TRAINING & EDUCATION

Most courses are held in spring, in time to be prepared for the season ahead.

The exception to this is a Bee Awareness evening that is held in October and a 4 day microscopy course starting in November.

We also hold members’ apiary training sessions throughout spring and summer and offer a bee buddy service for members.

Please contact training@cshbka.uk if you have any questions or are interested in attending a course.

For Beginners

Bee Awareness Evening

Cost:
Free
Date:
To be confirmed

The Bee Awareness session is held in the autumn and is aimed at people who are interested in knowing more about bees and the work of the beekeeper as well as people who are thinking about taking up beekeeping.

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Beekeeping Beginners Course

Cost:
£80.00
Dates:
March 03 | 10 | 17 | 24
Additional Information:
2.5 hour practical session on March 14
April:
Apiary visit. Date TBC

This course is run in March each year in readiness for people wishing to start beekeeping straight away. You will gain a good basic understanding and be able to make all the necessary preparations for introducing a colony of bees at the ideal time of April to June. It is also aimed at people wishing to take a slower approach and maybe be able to help another beekeeper or to then be able to just observe for a year or so.

The course includes:

  • History and background to the honey bee and beekeeping
  • The make-up of the honey bee colony; the history of honey bee ‘nesting’; honey bee foraging and uses within the hive; materials and produce from the hive, and their wide ranging uses
  • Modern day hives and equipment
  • Different types of hive; beekeeping clothing; hive tools used to maintain the hive
  • The new beekeeper getting started
  • Where to keep bees; positioning the hive; obtaining a beginners hive, clothing, and tools; and obtaining bees
  • The beekeepers first year – spring, summer, late summer, and mid-winter honey bee colony and hive inspection and maintenance
  • An overview of the range of training and support to cover the hobbyist beekeeper with one or two hives, up to the serious beekeeper with multiple hives and associated activities.
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For beekeepers with a MINIMUM of 1-2 years experience

New Season Preparation Course

Cost:
£15.00
Dates:
February 26
March 04 | 11

This course, normally held in March, is for beekeepers who have completed a year’s practical beekeeping experience, and for those wishing to use the course as a refresher. Typically, a beekeeper’s first years are concentrating on becoming comfortable handling a colony, often starting out with a small young colony, and now wish to prepare for managing a more mature and demanding hive and colony in their second year onwards.

The course goes into more detail on many aspects of Beekeeping, including:

  • Review and discussion of your past season
  • Equipment Checkpoint
  • New Season Hive Inspections – first, Spring, Summer, Autumn
  • Pest and Disease Awareness
  • Swarm prevention – e.g. Pagden method
  • Uniting Colonies
  • Autumn treating and feeding process
  • Preparing the hive for winter
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Swarm Collecting Course

Cost:
£5.00
Date:
March 31

This course, normally held in March/April, is aimed at beekeepers collecting their own swarms when preventative measures may have failed and for those wishing to become involved in going out to collect swarms; a fascinating and rewarding process. The course includes describing the swarm collection process, dos and don’ts, different options and their benefits as well as swarm collecting equipment.

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BBKA Basic Assessment Preparation Course

Cost:
£15.00
Dates:
March 18 | 25
April 01

This course, normally held in March/April, is suitable for beekeepers who have managed at least one colony for a minimum of 12 months regardless of whether he/she attended previous courses, are self-taught, or a combination of the two. It provides a check for the beekeeper as to how well he/she is doing, and areas that might need some ‘brushing up’. The course provides a guide to those areas which will be examined during the BBKA Basic Assessment process although there is no obligation to take the assessment.

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Healthy Bee Day

Cost:
Free
Date:
May 16

This day is lead by a Regional Bee Inspector with the help of Seasonal Bee Inspectors. The bee inspectors run through presentations providing up to date details of the various pests and diseases including those that are notifiable and will demonstrate good husbandry practices to reduce the possibility of bee diseases being spread by the beekeeper. They will have samples of pests and diseases on hand so that the attendees can see and smell brood diseases that can occur in a hive.

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specialist courses

Microscopy

Use of Microscopes Appreciation Taster Day
Cost:
£50.00
Dates:
January 26

The appreciation day is aimed at beekeepers just wishing to know more about microscopy and its work associated with beekeeping. It provides an opportunity to experience working with the different types of microscope and their uses in supporting beekeeping. It introduces beekeepers who are thinking about becoming involved in microscopy with a taster before committing to a longer microscopy course.

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BBKA 4 Day Microscopy Training Course
Cost:
TBC
Dates:
TBC

A very important and comprehensive course over 4 full days to prepare those keen to take up microscopy. Normally, the first three days of the course are held in November and cover the honey bee anatomy; an understanding of the uses and benefits of Compound and Stereo Microscopes; their set up and care; microscope practical work; bee dissection, and slide preparation. It also includes advise on the purchase of equipment. The fourth day is normally taking place in April and is timed such that it allow attendees to gain some practice and experience from that learnt from the first three days, to check and discuss progress as well as to receive further training.

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member services

Apiary Training

During the time of year when regular hive inspections are made, we offer apiary training at various Association hive sites. Timings and dates vary as a result of the weather. Depending on the apiary site, these training sessions are open to members who have their hives on the respective sites or are open to all members.

Details about the apiary training programme are communicated to members throughout spring & summer.

Bee buddies

You have completed the beginners’ course and have had the first 'hands on' experience during the practical part of the course. You have sorted your location for your first bee hive, you have your hive including bees and the adventure begins. Whilst we encourage beekeepers to use knowledge they gained through the courses, it is very helpful to know that there is someone 'at the end of the phone if you have a problem'. Bee buddies are experienced beekeepers that are available to be contacted if you face a problem with a hive, need advice or if you just want reassurance and discuss aspects of your beekeeping.

Details about joining the bee buddy programme are given to new members at the time of joining CSHBKA.

Contact Details

If you are interested in any of the courses, training or bee buddy programme or have any other training related questions please email training@cshbka.uk