September 27, 2021

Thinking of becoming a Beekeeper?

We are delighted to offer an online beginner beekeeping training course during 2021. This course is aimed at those who are interested in taking up the wonderful hobby of beekeeping as well as those who just would like to learn more about beekeeping.

The currently offered course comprises YouTube videos that are recordings of the live on-line course held earlier in 2021 which consisted of 8 weekly online sessions covering basic theory and handling of bees, delivered by experienced beekeepers. See the course programme listed below. The course fee (£70) includes recordings of the online sessions, some additional handout material and full membership of Bedfordshire Beekeepers Association until 31st December 2021 so that you will be able to join in other events put on by the Association and benefit from contact with more experienced members.

We believe it is important for new beekeepers to get experience working with live bees under the guidance of an experienced beekeeper ideally before getting bees of their own. Thus, in addition to the theory course, we very much hope that those who have completed the course will be able to get practical hands-on beekeeping experience at the Association teaching apiaries during the beekeeping season. This is not part of the course and depends on what is permitted and possible under current Covid-19 restrictions.

You can subscribe to the course via our “Introduction to Beekeeping (2021 Online Only)” event here. We will be holding a beginners’ training course early in 2022 although it is not yet clear if this will be via our normal face-to-face meetings or online. If you are interested in our 2021 or 2022 beginner training but require more information please contact-us.

Programme for the 2021 live Online Course

Session 1

Welcome and introduction to the teaching team and course
Is Beekeeping for You?
The Beekeeping Year

Session 2

Equipment you need
Where to place your hive/apiary sites
Lifecycle of the Honey Bee

Session 3

Handling bees and avoiding stings
Disease and Bee Health

Session 4

Swarming
Swarm control
Catching a swarm
Hiving a swarm

Session 5

Uniting
Spotting the Queen (if you can)
Introduction to Nucs
Responsibilities in keeping bees
H&S in beekeeping

Session 6

Flower to Honey, pollination and dances
Honey Harvest

Session 7

Wintering
Kinds of bees and where do I get my bees from?
Receiving bees

Session 8

Recap: What you do when you open a hive (why and how?)
Resources to help you: from District Advisors and bee buddies to magazines to books to Facebook and BeeBase, and more
Beds BKA – what is it about? – services
Varroa: Threats and treatments
What next? Mentoring and teaching apiaries