Training in aspects of beekeeping is available from many sources.

Initially we offer our own Introductory course, which is run in late February.

Within the RBKA (Rugby Beekeepers Association) we meet on the third Wednesday of the month in the Friends Meeting House Rugby. During the winter months we invite a speaker to present an interesting up to date talk.

During summer months we continue to meet without a formal speaker, this give both new and more experienced beekeepers a chance to discuss their own observations and raise questions.

Within Warwickshire we are especially privileged to have the headquarters of British Beekeepers Association (BBKA) and have access to frequent lectures and courses as well as being able to attend the talks given by those undertaking various examinations that involve such presentations. Mostly free of charge.

Another local branch, Warwick and Leamington, frequently have courses such as Microscopy, Skep Making etc to which we are invited. These usually carry a small charge to cover costs.

Nationally there are a series of exams that a beekeeper may choose to undergo. It is possible to progress to Master Beekeeper.
There is no necessity to follow this route, but it provides a wealth of useful and pertinent information to enhance a beekeeper’s ability.
There is one national test that is of great benefit. This is called the Basic Assessment and it has a practical element where an assessor will observe a basic hive examination and a theory element where the they will ask questions from a syllabus to test your knowledge. A candidate must have kept bees for a year before entering for the Basic Assessment.
The BBKA website contains the Basic Assessment syllabus as well as all of the other examinations.

Additionally, each year there is the BBKA summer convention held at Harper Adams College in Shropshire. Usually held in early April, it is run from a Friday through to Sunday. There are lectures and workshops available for an incredibly low fee of around £20 total. There is also a trade fair and many impromptu talks. Well worth a look!

Throughout the year there are also many different conferences, convention and shows. All advertised in the bee press.

BeeBase

Beebase News Web feed
  • Starvation Alert
    10 August 2020
    Bee Inspectors across the UK are reporting that many colonies are in need of food where honey has been harvested and nectar availability is reduced. Where starvation is a risk, replacement food needs to be provided.

    Please monitor your colonies throughout the coming months and feed as required to ensure your bees do not starve. A standard full size British National colony needs between 20-25 kg of stores to successfully overwinter. Sugar syrup should be made with 1kg of sugar to 650ml of warm water or a commercially ready-made bee syrup can be given.

    For further information, please see the Best Practice Guidance No. 7 - Feeding Bees Sugar
  • This week (13-19 July) is Bees’ Needs Week
    10 July 2020
    Bees’ Needs Week is a campaign co-ordinated by Defra to raise awareness of the importance of bees and other pollinators, and to provide practical advice on what we can all do to support them. Many organisations are working together to encourage everyone who can, to do simple things at home - like growing more flowers and cutting grass less often - to help our precious pollinators thrive, and to engage further with nature through citizen science initiatives.
    There’s more information on the Bees’ Needs Website. Throughout the week a variety of content will be shared online including:
    • Why bees are important animation
    • Day in the life of a beekeeper video
    • Educational resources including bumble bee identification
    • Information on the UK Pollinator Monitoring Scheme
    Get involved with Bees’ Needs Week on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook using #BeesNeeds
  • New Presentations Online
    11 June 2020
    The National Bee Unit is pleased to share a range of presentations created by Fera Science Ltd. presented by Kirsty Stainton on;
    Asian Hornet Biology
    Asian Hornet Genetics
    European foulbrood

    The presentations can be found on BeeBases pages on Asian hornet and Foulbrood.
    Please do contact us with your feedback.