Below are a list of our current beekeeping courses.
Jump to the appropriate course:
- Taster session: Meet the Bees
- Introduction to Beekeeping (Beginners)
- Winter study sessions
- BBKA Basic Assessment
- BBKA Junior Certificate
Please note that we teach on National Hives and we cannot provide support for the FlowHive. Please contact FlowHive directly if you need support
Taster session: Meet the Bees
Come and look into the mysterious world of the honeybee, with experienced Kingston beekeepers. Learn how they control their environment and progress from housekeepers to foragers bringing home the nectar and pollen.
An overview of what is involved in beekeeping will be given, such as the equipment required, and what makes a suitable apiary.
There will be an opportunity to ‘meet the queen’ and look inside a hive as the colony goes about its work. Marvel at the wax comb engineered by the bees, the way pollen and honey is stored and how they stop the draughts!
Finally, we look at the importance of pollinators, with emphasis on honey bees and their role in the environment generally.
What you need to know
We have two sessions being held at Kingston Apiary on Hampton Court Way in 2024:
- Session 1: 10:00 to 12:00 noon on Saturday 15th June.
- Session 2: 10:00 to 12:00 noon on Saturday 7th September.
Full, top quality bee suits will be provided. Please bring wellies and Marigold or rubber gloves.
After the sessions there will be an opportunity to chat to our beekeepers and find out about the 2024 beginners course.
The cost is £25 and includes a jar of our delicious honey.
Please DO NOT come if you are allergic to bee stings.
Introduction to Beekeeping (Beginners)
This introductory course is delivered in two parts – theory and practical.
The theory course is covered in a series of eight evening classroom lectures with study resources available online. This includes:
- Week 1: Introduction – the importance of beekeeping to the environment
- Week 2: The Hive – the equipment required to keep bees and the different types
- Week 3: The Beekeeping Year – the commitment required by the beekeeper throughout the year
- Week 4: The Colony – the lifecycle of the honeybee
- Week 5: Swarm Control – a description of the steps which can be taken to help prevent the bees from swarming
- Week 6: Queens – rearing new queens
- Week 7: Pests and Diseases – keeping the bees healthy
- Week 8: Bees, Plants, Hive Products – responsible beekeeping
The practical course involves the regular opening up of beehives (weather permitting) and will give a solid basic grounding in the art of beekeeping including:
- Good practice beekeeping husbandry
- Handling of bees
- Hive management
- Handling a hive tool
- Lighting a smoker
- Advice and support for setting up your own hive and colony
- An introduction to beekeeper’s examinations (optional)
We expect participants to come for the whole season to experience a complete cycle looking after bees, assist in extracting honey from the hive, and learn how to prepare colonies for the winter.
Our 2024 Introduction to Beekeeping Beginners’ Course begins on Wednesday 14th February 2024 19.00 to 21.00 at Imber Court.
Please contact us at email@example.com for further information.
Further Learning for KBKA Members
We offer a number of other training courses for our members.
Winter Study Sessions
Each year we run a theory course over the winter months. This is only available to our members. If you’d like to become a member please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
BBKA Basic Assessment
We support and encourage our more experienced members to take the British Beekeepers Association’s Basic Assessment. The assessment is for members that have managed at least one colony of bees for a minimum of 12 months.
Each cohort at Kingston Beekeepers go through a series of sessions to understand the various aspects of the assessment in order to prepare for the theory and practical needs of the assessment which will be carried out by a BBKA assessor at the apiary.
The assessment consists of:
- Manipulation and equipment. This is a practical assessment of the candidate’s ability to handle bees and beekeeping equipment and the ability to interpret what is observed.
- Oral questioning and assessment of the candidate’s knowledge of natural history and beekeeping.
- Oral questioning on swarming, swarm control and effects.
- Oral questioning on diseases and pests
The length of the assessment is approximately an hour.
BBKA Junior Certificate
We support and encourage our junior members to take the British Beekeepers Association’s Junior Certificate. The certificate is for members aged under 18 and requires an accompanying parent.
The Junior certificate consists of 4 elements
- 10 minutes of oral questions
- Examine a frame of bees
- Present a piece of coursework
- Present your beekeeping diary
The following pictures are from our 2022 cohort of Junior Beekeepers.