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 through 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 beginners' beekeeping course completes at the beginning of May.
What you will learn
How to enrol on our 2024 course
Not in our area?
Not sure if beekeeping is for you?
Our course takes a flexible approach, so we can accept enrolments up to April 2024. 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.
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
The cost for all this is just £110 per person; not increased since 2021.
If you would like to enrol on our 2024 course or have any queries, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
We accept enrolments up to the end of April 2024. The practical day will be on Sunday 5th May 2024.
Please try to resist the temptation to buy any beekeeping equipment before you are well on your way through a beginner's course. Beekeeping catalogues are full of marvellous but unnecessary gadgets, and there are several styles of hive to choose from. We are happy to advise, if you wish.
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.
Our 'Honey Bee Appreciation Day' on 7th July 2024 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!
An Appreciation Day makes an excellent gift. If you would like to find out more, please CLICK HERE.
Read more about what it takes to be a beekeeper by CLICKING HERE.