This is the first in a series of notes to help Associations to run courses in order to encourage

people to learn more about beekeeping. This one deals with the basics of beekeeping for

complete beginners with the objective of introducing people to the craft. The second one, to

be produced later in 2001 will be for beekeepers with a limited experience to prepare them for

the BBKA Basic Assessment.

This framework is based on a number of successful courses that are run by some Associations

and has been compiled to give support and guidance to other Associations who may wish to

run local courses to attract new members.

The course can be run as 10 by 2-hour sessions throughout the winter or as an intensive 3

weekend-day course or any other appropriate way. The local conditions and availability of

lecturers will determine how the sessions are combined. It is advisable that one person from

the Association is responsible for the course but it will be prudent for the lecturer to have

assistance at the sessions. The course might be timed to complete in early spring so that there

is an opportunity for follow-up practical sessions at a Branch apiary. In this way the new

beekeepers can either have their own nucleus in early summer or spend the first season

‘shadowing’ an experienced beekeeper.

Course attendees are usually asked to pay for the sessions and the general price seems to be

about £25.00 for the complete course. This usually covers the hire of a hall, any handouts and

lecturers’ expenses but often does not leave any payment for the lecturer. The number of

attendees ideally will be between 10 and 20.

The course attendees can be given a short booklist to encourage additional reading. The list

should include readily available practical books. The following are suggested:

Guide to Bees and Honey

Ted Hooper

Practical Beekeeping

Clive de Bruyn...