Beekeeping courses in 2019 for beginners

NB: The Beginners’ Course for March 2019 is now full and the sign-up link at the foot of this page has been removed for the moment. We will be running another course at the end of the summer and will post further details here when they are available. The course will follow the same format as that below.

The branch will be running another Beginners’ Course, starting in March 2019, for anyone interested in becoming a beekeeper. The course is being run by our Education Officer who is also a BBKA Master Beekeeper, Julie Coleman, and is now in its 14th successful year.

The theory part of the course will be taught over the weekend  of 23/24 March and covers all aspects of beekeeping for the beginner; there will be lectures, demonstrations, some practical tasks and a video. Weather permitting, we may also inspect some hives.

The course cost is £70, which will include the two classroom days and hands-on mentoring throughout the following season. Beesuits will be available for use on the practical session but course members will need to bring their own wellington boots and gloves – ‘Marigold’ or similar gloves are suitable. Delegates will need to bring a packed lunch as the format is for two whole days.

The fee for the course will also include a year’s membership of the British Beekeepers’ Association ( and the monthly magazine ‘BeeCraft’, as well as a year’s membership of the branch as a ‘Friend’. There will be an option for beginner beekeepers to buy a suitable starter nucleus of bees at a discount price once the course is completed and to be provided with a mentor to help with the first year of beekeeping, although many beginners prefer to continue learning on the branch hives for the first year rather than immediately getting their own bees. Anyone interested in the course should contact Julie Coleman in the first instance. A deposit of £10.00 is required, in advance.

Please note that it is not necessary (or a good idea) to buy hives and equipment before attending the course. There are several different types of hive and what you work with will be affected by your situation and by the strain of bees that you start with. You will have plenty of opportunity to talk through what would be the best hive for yourself and your bees during and after the course.


Email: contact Julie