For anyone considering becoming a beekeeper it is essential to do both a Theory and a Practical Course. Guildford Beekeepers Association (GBKA) has been running both Theory and Practical Courses for many years and our experience in this field is exemplary. We take pride in providing a solid grounding in the craft so that beginners have the confidence to manage bees on their own. Trainees are further supported by automatic membership with GBKA during the course, with access to the Association Apiary at weekends. When the trainees acquire their bees, there is a mentoring scheme through which they can contact a more experienced member to help them through the first years.
The Theory course starts in January and runs for 9 weeks, partly via Zoom and partly at the Association’s Apiary at Birtley Brook.
Bee diseases – American Foul Brood (AFB) & European Foul Brood (EFB) including statutory requirements. Other brood diseases, notifiable pests, Varroa mite and Integrated Pest Management (IPM).
Other pests, including Asian hornet.
Setting up an apiary, the apiary year, extracting honey
Swarming – natural and artificial swarms, hiving a swarm, uniting colonies.
Getting started, equipment, making frames.
The Practical Course starts in mid-April. The course is usually held on Saturdays between 10.30 am and 12.30 pm at our lovely Association Apiary at Birtley Brook. This is in a beautiful setting in the grounds of Birtley House. We have fantastic facilities in our own Barn. There are several different hive types used so that students can experience different management options.
The Practical courses put into practice everything that has been taught on the Theory Course and prepares trainees to be ready to deal with the unexpected!
Here are a few of the comments we have had from students on our courses:
“Well what can I say about the first meeting….what a warm welcome!”
“The extent of knowledge and practical experience is amazing.”
“With the number of hives at the apiary I think I have seen (and worked on) most issues that could arise.”
We normally hold a Taster Session for those people who are just interested in bees or those considering doing our full training course. The Taster Session is usually held in July at the Birtley Brook Apiary from 2.00 pm to 4:30 pm.
Please contact us if you are interested in attending: [email protected] or submit the form below.
The cost of the courses are given below. A discount is available if both courses are booked together.
Prospective trainees will be contacted by the Course Administrator in early October to confirm the course details, the costs, and the method of payment. Course places are allocated on a first come first served basis.