If you are ready to learn to become a beekeeper then take a look at this course that we run each year. Its fun and informative even if you don’t go on to keep bees yourself.

But if you are still wondering, you could come along to our Taster Day in August before attending the Beginners’ Course in March/April the following year.

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If you want to start beekeeping, a good way to learn is to take a Beginners’ Course with an established Association.

At the HWBKA Beginners’ Course you will be introduced to the essentials of beekeeping in seven classroom sessions, and get experience of handling bees in two practical sessions.

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

Classroom dates for 2024 Course:

The classroom session will be held at

Bledlow Ridge School

Church Lane
Bledlow Ridge
High Wycombe
Buckinghamshire
HP14 4AZ

As each session focusses on a different aspect of Beekeeping, it is preferable if you are able to attend all of the sessions, but we do provide course notes so you can catch up if you cannot attend a session.

The classroom Sessions for the 2024 Spring course will be held on the following dates on Saturdays from 10am to 12 mid day.

  • Sat 09/03/2024 at 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
  • Sat 16/03/2024 at 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
  • Sat 23/03/2024 at 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
  • Sat 06/04/2024 at 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
  • Sat 13/04/2024 at 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
  • Sat 20/04/2024 at 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

After the classroom sessions have completed, we offer a choice of dates to attend 2 x practical bee handling sessions at HWBKA’s training apiary near High Wycombe, including free gloves (to keep) and a free loan of hive tools, smokers and a protective bee-suit.

After the whole course is completed, you will be invited to on-going supervised hive inspections at the training apiary throughout the year.

You will also be welcome at our Association meetings, will receive our monthly Bee-space Magazine and support from Association Members if needed.

Course notes are included.  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.

HWBKA also has a library of reference books available for Association Members to borrow.

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Practical sessions will be held at our Training Apiary in Saunderton following the theory sessions.

There will be a choice of sessions available from which you can choose two dates. You will learn the essential skills of bee handling, hive inspections and observation techniques needed to manage a colony.

The cost of the course for 2024 is £80.00 per person.

On-going support

After the arranged sessions have finished you can continue to help out at the apiary for supervised hive inspections if you wish to 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.

 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”

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For any questions regarding the 2024 Beginners’ Course, email: beginners@hwbka.co.uk