Rugby Beekeepers Beginners Course

2nd & 9th March 2024

(all places are now filled)


Each year around the end of February/beginning of March we put on a beginners course for people who would like to keep and look after bees of their own. The course is held over two days and is classroom based.  Once the course has been completed and the weather has warmed up attendees will be invited to our apiary for an afternoon to watch a hive of bees opened and inspected by an experienced beekeeper.

Course Outline for RBKA Beginners Beekeeping Course

  • A Brief History of beekeeping
  • Development of modern beekeeping, husbandry, legal obligations, challenges
  • Roles of the Queen, Workers, Drones in maintaining integrity of the colony
  • Development times of casts, why they are important in managing bees
  • Substances collected by bees and their purpose
  • Equipment needed for Beekeeping
  • Structure of a removable frame hive
  • Personal equipment
  • Hives and accessories, Storage space, Different hive types
  • Colony Lifecycle
  • Stores and impact of weather
  • Inspecting Bees, why we do it and what we are looking for
  • Disposal of wax, hygiene between hives/apiaries/tools/clothing
  • Stings, protection, safety of self and public
  • Finding and marking queens
  • Swarming and colony Reproduction
  • Swarm control and prevention
  • Collecting and hiving swarms
  • Moving bees
  • What healthy brood looks like, what to do if it looks concerning
  • Pests like wax moth, mice, varroa, woodpeckers, vandals
  • Common diseases
  • Harvesting Honey and other hive products
  • Honey Extraction and sale, legal requirements
  • Siting your Apiary, neighbours, public access
  • Obtaining bees
  • A new beekeeper presents 'My first year of beekeeping'
  • Role of a mentor and apiary sessions
  • Practical Session in the Branch Apiary in April/May weather depending