Beginners’ Introduction Course

The Beginners's Introduction Course leads straight into the full Beginners' Main Course should you wish to continue further.
It is necessary to register for these courses by completing the Application Form which can also be found on this site. Training Booking Form
The courses are very popular and are therefore sometimes over subscribed, so in order to avoid being disappointed book early!

Proposed programe of lessons for the HWBKA 2017 Beginners Introduction Course

First three sessions to be held at Jarvis Brook Memorial Hall,(TBC)
all further sessions at
Cherry Gardens Farm, Groombridge, Tunbridge Wells, Kent. TN3 9NY

  • The Indoor sessions are from 2.00 to 5 pm
  • The Apiary sessions are from 1.30 to 5.00 pm

Cost of the Introduction Course is £70. Payable in advance please.

(1) Saturday 4th March 2017 at 2.00 pm Tutors; 

What is beekeeping all about? (indoors; JB main hall)

Welcome. Introductions. Administration (register, name tags)
What is a hive and the different parts of the hive. Where to purchase your first hive. Explanation about frames and bee space.
Where to put a hive.
Basic bee equipment. Record sheets. Purchase of the recommended book. Joining the Association. Bee stings and allergies.
DVD 'The Honeybee'

(2) Saturday 18th March. 2.00 pm Tutors;

Beehives and Equipment (indoors; JB Main Hall)

Making hives and frames from flat pack kits. Sterilisation of old equipment.
Group 1 sterilisation of wooden hive parts with blowtorch. Sterilisation of a poly nuc with a strong bleach solution.
Group 2 construction of national frames, deep national frames and super frames
Group 3 construction of a brood box from a flat pack kit.
Demonstration of how a WBC hive works.

(3) Saturday 1st April 2.00 pm Tutors; 

Basic Bee biology (indoors; J B main hall)

Three casts. Development of these from egg to adult together with timings. Organisation of a colony. Tasks carried out by worker bees. Colony reproduction and the swarming impulse. The colony's annual cycle.
Demonstration of how to collect a swarm.Bee products; honey, wax, pollen, propolis. The importance of these products for the colony.
Foraging behavior, bee communication, pollination and interaction between plants and bees

(4) Saturday 15th April. 1.00 pm Tutors; 

Inside the Hive (In the Apiary)

Bee suits and gloves. How to use a smoker effectively. Situation of apiary. Apiary hygiene. How to open a hive calmly.
Identification of the three casts, recognising pollen, recognising open and capped brood and stores.
Using hive tools.
Record keeping and filling in the record sheet.

(5) Saturday 29th April. 1.00 pm Tutors; 

Inspecting the colony; (In the Apiary)

Examining the colony for signs of swarming. Recognition of drone brood. Reasons for swarming.
Swarm prevention. Two methods of swarm control; artificial swarm and nucleus box. Tutors will be asked to cover these methods with their group.
The importance of putting supers on early to give space.
Booking for the main course.

Cost of the Introduction Course is £70. Payable in advance please.

The price includes use of a beekeeping overall, gloves & veil, and all other tools & equipment, but you need to wear ‘gardening’ clothes, including sturdy shoes or Wellington boots when we are in the Apiary.

Anyone going on to do the Main Course will become a member as part of the course fee.

The above information can also be downloaded as a printable pdf here 2017-beginners-introduction-course

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