Beginners’ Course and Taster Day

Beginners’ Course

If you want to start beekeeping, a good way to learn is to take a beginners’ course.   At the HWBKA beginners’ course you will be introduced to the essentials of beekeeping, and get practical experience of handling bees.

A new course will start on 9th March 2019.  This is a Saturday morning course.

The beginners’ course consists of a series of classroom sessions followed by practical experience with bees at our apiary.

Classroom sessions consist of presentations and demonstrations given by experienced beekeepers.  There are some practical activities involved, but no live bees.  The aim is to give you a basic understanding of bee husbandry, bee behaviour, dealing with the honey crop and the essential requirements of being a beekeeper . 




Course notes and membership of the HWBKA and BBKA (the national body) are included in the price.  If you take up beekeeping we suggest that you obtain a suitable beekeeping book – there are several to choose from.  One of the best is “The Bee Manual” by Claire and Adrian Waring.

Following the theory sessions there will be practical sessions with bees at our apiary.


There will be a choice of dates available from which you can choose two sessions of practical bee handling.  You will learn the essential practical skills and observation techniques needed in beekeeping.

After the arranged sessions have finished you can continue to come to the apiary if you wish and improve your beekeeping skills and knowledge.  Protective clothing is loaned free of charge (except footwear – Wellingtons recommended).

If you decide to keep your own bees, there are often some suitable colonies available from our members at a reasonable price, alternatively, during the swarming season (around May/June) you may be able to collect a swarm for free.  Secondhand hives are sometimes available also.

The dates for the 2019 course are 9/3, 16/3, 23/3, 30/3, 6/4, 13/4, 27/4.  These are all Saturday mornings, time 10.00 -12.00.  Parking available in adjacent public car park (Currently £1.50 for 2 hours).

To book a place on the course visit our EVENTBRITE page (click link)You will need to make payment when you book to confirm your place.  If you have any specific questions please contact our beginners’ course coordinator:

If you are intending to keep bees in your garden or allotment please consider that your chosen site may not be ideal.  Read our notes on   Keeping Bees in your Garden or Allotment (click link)

Here are a few comments about a previous course from some of the participants:

“Really enjoyed it and would recommend”

“A very good course”

“Very well run, well presented”

“Have learned a lot about beekeeping”

“Well done, really enjoyed it”

“Enjoyed the course, everyone very helpful and friendly”

“It was very good indeed”

“Thought it was excellent and very informative”

Apiary Public Open Day  – next open day will be 6th July 2019

Learn a little about bees put on a beesuit and see a hive inspection at close quarters.  Barbecue and other refreshments available.  Entrance free, a donation for refreshments appreciated. More details email

Beekeeping Taster Day 10th August 2019

Our beekeeping taster day has proved very popular.  It’s intended for people who would like to find out what’s involved in keeping bees.  We will tell you  about bees and beekeeping,  especially the sort of tasks that beekeepers need to do, and you can try some of these out for yourself.

In the afternoon, providing the weather is suitable, we will visit our apiary and you can try your hand at a practical hive inspection with guidance from an experienced beekeeper.  Please note that the day is to give you an idea of what beekeeping is about, it won’t teach you to be a beekeeper.  We run a beginners’ beekeeping course in the spring. The cost is £20, tea and coffee are provided but please bring your own lunch.    More details email