Beekeeping for Absolute Beginners

The next course will be held on  Saturday 15th March 2025. There are a limited number of places available.
To book your place please 
email Richard - include your name, postal address and telephone number:
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If you book and then find you are unable to come, we will refund provided we are able to fill your place. We will also refund if we cancel the course.

Day/Time - Saturday 15th March 2024 10:00-4:00

Cost - £30.00 and £15 for under 18s (must be accompanied).

Venue Itchen Abbas Village Hall 

About the course

If you are interested in keeping honey bees, we offer an informal one day classroom based course: Beekeeping for Absolute Beginners. This course is ideal for anyone who has an interest in bees and starting beekeeping and aims to help you decide whether beekeeping is right for you. 

Topics covered

  • Learning resources – books, magazines, online, assessments and exams.
  • Bees and apiaries – types of bees, planning an apiary and dealing with stings.
  • Honey bees – sub species, castes, anatomy and how to get bees.
  • Equipment – clothing, hand tools, hives etc. and costs.
  • Inspections and manipulations – swarms and extracting honey.
  • Diseases, problems and seasonal jobs.
  • Next steps – what to do before you start keeping bees.

During the day there will be plenty of opportunity to talk to us individually about your own situation. The course does not involve handling live bees but we will invite you to join us at an apiary meeting during the summer.

After attending the course, we strongly recommend you undertake further reading and gain practical experience before you get your first colony of bees. 

If you are unable to book on a course you may be interested in other ways of learning about beekeeping. Please see Learning resources. You are strongly advised to get practical experience of handling bees before keeping bees yourself. 

 Further support after the course

  • Before you get your first colony.
    We can usually allocate our members a mentor, who is an experienced beekeeper. You will be able to ‘follow’ your mentor for a season to give you practical seasonal experience.
  • Getting your first colony.
    You must upgrade your membership to full member so that you have Public Liability and Bee Disease insurance. Your mentor will continue to give you advice and practical support to help you get started.
  • Ongoing help.
    As there are always jobs that need another pair of hands, your mentor may be able to help, otherwise it is useful to find another local beekeeper to give you a hand and we may be able to help find someone local to you.

Please note that while we will make every effort to find you a mentor, it may not always be possible. We can only allocate mentors to members of WDBKA.

If you live outside our area, while you are welcome to join us, it is better to join your local Beekeeping Association as we would be unable to allocate you a mentor. 

Feedback from our 2024 attendees:

'Hugely enjoyable informative fascinating day - Thank you very much indeed!'

'It was a really good course and I really enjoyed it, I still can't believe some of the things I learnt about bees.'