Beekeeping courses in 2019/20 for beginners and improvers

1. The branch will be running another Beginners’ Course, starting in Spring 2020, 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 15th successful year.

The theory part of the course will be taught over one weekend in early Spring (29 February-1 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 sessions 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 each day for the theory weekend as the format is for two whole days.

The fee for the course will also include a year’s membership of the Whitstable & Herne Bay branch of Kent Beekeepers’ Asociation as a ‘Friend’, and thus through them of the British Beekeepers’ Association. 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.

2. In January 2020, a course on Honey Bee Biology will be offered to current branch members and Friends, running weekly (on Tuesday evenings, at Herne Mill) from 21st January to 17th March. This will follow the syllabus for the BBKA’s Module 5 and can be used either as a stand-alone course for self-development or as preparation for the Module 5 examination in March 2020. Further details will be available in early January but please contact Julie as soon as possible if you wish to join this course for any or all of the sessions.


Email: contact Julie