Northants Bee Keepers Association

Northamptonshire Beekeepers' Association (NBKA) Registered Charity No. 295593


Northants Bee Keepers Association

Copyright © NBKA 2007-2018

Northants Bee Keepers Association

A member organisation representing beekeepers in the County of Northamptonshire


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Beginners' Beekeeping Course

Intermediate Classes

Training Apiary

Training - Apiary
Training - Intermediate
Training - Beginners

NBKA Beginners’ Beekeeping Course 2019


Lecture sessions are from 10am to 12.30pm at the Moulton Community Centre, Sandy Hill, Reedings, Moulton, Northampton NN3 7AX.


For directions go to:


All classroom sessions take place on Saturdays from January to March.


NBKA 2019 Beginners’ Course Programme


19th Jan Bee Biology – presented by Richard Knott

A brief explanation of the honeybee’s lifecycle from egg to grave.


26th Jan Equipment – presented by Brian Dennis

An introduction to the extent and type of equipment used, including demonstration of how a hive is designed and why it works.


9th Feb Overwintering and Spring Development – presented by Trevor Minett

An explanation of how a colony survives the Winter and builds up in the Spring for maximum efficiency.


16th Feb Swarm Management – presented by Brian Dennis

Why bees swarm, the problems this may cause for the beekeeper, and techniques for delaying swarming.


16th March Pests and Diseases – presented by Patsy Hollingum

How bees become sick, what the beekeeper can do to avoid it and the effect pests and diseases have on the colony.



23rd March Honey – presented by David White

How the bee makes honey, techniques for extraction and watchpoints for the beekeeper.


30th March Hive building – this is a hive building training event and must be individually booked once the Beginners’ Course has started

This session will take place at Ravensthorpe Village Hall in the afternoon and is optional. Places are restricted to those who are taking part in the 2019 Beginners’ Course, and there will be a limited number of places available.


Two practical sessions

These will take place on Sunday afternoons. They are scheduled for April 28th and May 5th but dates may be changed as opening hives is dependent on suitable weather conditions.


It is especially important to gain hands-on practical experience.

The practicals are not just add-ons, we ask you to make sure you can attend them barring a definite prior engagement or a genuine reason for being unavailable.

Late July – Varroa treatment and Winter feeding and First Season Q and A Session.

Date is to be confirmed


In order to complete the course you need to have attended all the mandatory sessions


The optional training session in hive building is charged separately to the Beginners’ Course. It is open solely to participants on the course and there will be a limited number of places. Included in the fee for the hive building session is a National Modified hive, which will be supplied by the Association. The participant will learn how to build this flat-packed hive in the course of the session.

In the Spring the final sessions of the course consist of two practical sessions which take place “in the field”. These are run by association members in their own apiaries. Trainees are able to look inside “live” bee hives, to handle frames of bees, observe the bees at work in their home environment, and gain a fuller understanding of what has been learned in the preceding sessions.

These practical sessions are an essential part of the Training Course. Beginners who are unable to attend must find the time on alternative dates to attend the Association Apiary. No amount of book-learning can substitute for this hands-on experience.


Because the spring weather governs exactly when beekeepers are first able to open the colonies after the winter it is difficult to fix dates for the practical sessions until the Spring is underway. For this reason the dates we have suggested will be subject to change if the weather is against us.