R&DBKA

Romsey and District Beekeepers' Association

Beginners' beekeeping

There is a wealth of information about beekeeping on the Internet and in books: some of it is excellent, some is confusing, some of it is specific to a location. Beekeeping is a practical skill, best learned directly from the advice and support of experts who will help you to gain knowledge and confidence.

A beginners' course will guide you through buying a suitable hive, protective clothing and essential items, and acquiring your first colony of honey bees. It will teach you how to keep your honey bees safe, healthy and calm. It will help you to avoid making discouraging mistakes that could be costly, and could be harmful to bees.

Our 2023 Beginners' Course
What you will learn
How to enrol on our 2023 course
Not in our area?
Not sure if beekeeping is for you?
Our 2023 Beginners' Course

Our course takes a flexible approach. It consists of 12 pre-recorded sessions available online exclusively to our beginners so that they can choose their own quiet time to watch. We also schedule 12 live Zoom chats so that you can chat to our experts and ask questions about any beekeeping topic.

Most importantly, the course includes a hands-on day to meet in person for a spot of revision, some practical work and the essential visit to the bees (always a highlight!). You will also have the option to attend further practical sessions at our training apiary.

Each beginner receives a ring-binder packed with useful reference material and tips, and a few other bits and pieces to support their learning.

Our beginners find this flexible approach helpful because everyone has other commitments. We continue to support our beginners when they come to setting up their first apiary or acquiring their first colony.

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What you will learn

The recorded sessions cover everything you need to know as a beginner. You will learn:

  • About hive styles and parts, and how they are used
  • What to consider when finding a good site for your hive
  • Why bees sting, how to avoid being stung, and how to treat stings
  • About the fascinating structure of the honey bee colony
  • Why bees swarm, and how we can handle it to the bees' and our own benefit
  • How to keep your bees healthy
  • How to make sure that bees have access to good forage
  • How to inspect your bees safely and effectively
  • About beekeeping tasks throughout the year
  • How to harvest your first honey
  • How to pull your knowledge together and become a good beekeeper
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How to enrol on our 2023 course

The cost for all this is held at last year's price, just £110 per person.
If you would like to enrol on our 2023 course or have any queries, please email gillian.j.bird@btinternet.com

The course commences mid-February but we can accept late enrolments; the format of our course makes it easy to catch up. The practical day will be on Sunday 7th May 2023.

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Not in our area?

To find beginners' courses organised by other beekeeping associations within Hampshire, please go to the Hampshire Beekeepers' Association website.

Most local beekeeping associations offer beginner training. If you are not in the Hampshire area, please go to the British Beekeepers' Association website.

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Not sure if beekeeping is for you?

Our 'Taster Day' on Sunday, 15th July 2023 is ideal for those who want to know more about honey bees but are not ready to make the commitment. We cover basic theory in the morning theory and visit the apiary in the afternoon. If weather prevents us from opening the hives, we have plenty more exciting activities planned!

A Taster Day makes an excellent gift. If you would like to find out more about our Taster Day, please CLICK HERE.

Read more about what it takes to be a beekeeper by CLICKING HERE.

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