Fast Start to Beekeeping 2018

Tutor: Dougal Hendry, Canterbury Beekeepers

Venue: Folkestone area

Dates for part 1 (pre-bees): afternoons, 28/29 April and May 5/6/7


This course is aimed at potential beekeepers and those with an interest in beekeeping. The structure is to first cover the essentials that you would need to know before your bees arrive, and then the other stuff – hopefully before you need to know it! It is targeted at the needs of those thinking about keeping bees, and wanting to start this summer. Just-in-time learning for those who haven’t managed to get onto Winter classes! Novice beekeepers might also benefit by attending this course (there is a £5 discount on the course fee for existing CBKA members).  Perhaps not everyone will become a beekeeper after the course, but everyone will gain a realistic understanding of the fascination, pleasures and practicalities of beekeeping today.

The course aims to provide

  • Enough information for you to decide if you would like to keep bees.
  • An appreciation of the costs involved and the time and space required.
  • An understanding of the variety of types of hive, and which are recommended (or not) for beginners
  • Knowledge of the types of frame and how to assemble them.
  • Confidence in starting with bees and managing the colony.
  • An outline of the annual cycle of a honeybee colony.
  • Techniques to manage swarming.
  • The ability to recognise common problems in the hive, and how to avoid or manage them.
  • Know-how to harvest products from the hive, including honey and beeswax.

Venue and Dates

Classroom sessions will be held over two Spring weekends and later, one Summer weekend. At least two outdoor practical sessions with bees will take place in Spring and early Summer. Additional help and demonstrations can be arranged, if required.

Being intended to cater for comparatively last-minute applications, the dates and location can be tailored to suit those interested and applying in time for arrangements to be adjusted. The outdoor practical sessions will be at Dougal’s apiary in Folkestone. It is expected that the classroom sessions will also be somewhere in the Folkestone area – but potentially that could be altered to meet student demand.

Provisionally, it is anticipated that the first group of four classroom sessions and the first apiary visit will take place over the weekend of 28/29 April and the Bank Holiday Weekend of May 5/6/7. All outdoor sessions are naturally weather-dependent, and so may have to be re-scheduled at fairly short notice.

Course participants will receive an approved beekeeping book and multiple handouts for reference during and after the course. The sessions will provide ample opportunities to ask questions as well as to handle real equipment, including learning to assemble frames.

The cost of the course includes a year’s membership as a Friend of the Canterbury Beekeepers, which can be upgraded to Full membership with a supplementary payment. Details of all other recognised local associations will also be provided. Full membership of an association is strongly recommended for everyone actually keeping bees – it is also a wise route to acquiring bees!

Course attendees and Association members can obtain worthwhile discounts on (as just one example) top quality protective beesuits from the leading manufacturers.

In order to provide personal tuition, the course will initially be limited to a maximum of six students. Places will not be reserved until payment is received.

Cost £80 per person, or £140 for a couple sharing

Or for further details contact:   Dougal Hendry