If you are hoping to learn more about beekeeping, the best way to start is by gaining hands-on practice with an experienced beekeeper, to which end we recommend attending the NBKA Apiary in East Haddon which will open on Sunday mornings from 10.30 am, from late Spring until September – further details are available on the Apiary webpage.
Each year we offer a beginners’ course consisting of 7 talks in the period from January to March, followed by the opportunity for practical experience, This course always fills up quickly and we invite applicants to notify us of their interest from August each year. For information the format of the course is shown below. The 2024 course is now fully subscribed.
We also arrange for members to take the BBKA Basic Assessment and, during the winter months, organise a series of lectures geared towards BBKA Modular Examinations. Further details below:
BBKA Basic Assessment
To take the Basic Assessment you should have managed at least one colony of bees for a minimum of 12 months
The Basic Assessment syllabus and further information can be found through the BBKA Practical Assessments link below.
The format of the course this year follows the format shown below and is based on sessions held at Moulton Community Centre on Saturday mornings between January and March. The cost of the course is currently £90.
NB If you know that you have an allergy to bee stings it is inadvisable to undertake beekeeping unless you have discussed this with a qualified medical practitioner.
Format of Beginners’ Course Programme
Session 1 – Meet the team and more about beekeeping – presentation by the NBKA executive committee.
Session 2 – Lifecycle 0f the Bee
A brief explanation of the honeybee’s lifecycle from egg to grave.
Session 3 – Equipment
An introduction to the extent and type of equipment used, of how a hive is designed, and why it works.
Session 4 – Wintering and Spring Build-up
An explanation of how a colony survives the Winter and builds up in the Spring.
Session 5 – Swarm Management
Why bees swarm, the problems this may cause for the beekeeper, and techniques to manage the swarming impulse.
Session 6 – Pests and Diseases
How bees become sick, what the beekeeper can do to avoid it and the effect pests and diseases have on the colony.
Session 7 – Honey and Hive Products
How the bee makes honey, techniques for extraction and watchpoints for the beekeeper.