Enrolment to learn beekeeping in 2021 is now open!
Please note: Due to the pandemic, the teaching practices of the practical training has been adapted to the government guidelines. For this reason, there are a restricted number of places available to first year beekeepers and training will only operate at our Wilmslow Training Apiary.
Learn Beekeeping - How will BeeEducated 2021 work?
Enrolment for BeeEducated 2021 is open now and closes December 31st 2020. The project starts January 2nd 2021 with winter treatments at a temporary apiary based near Manchester Airport. You will be invited to come along and see the bees in their winter state and discuss any questions you may have about how the course will work, what is involved and anything else not explained below.
The course has been designed to give an in-depth view into the art (and science) of beekeeping during a full season. There is a commitment of around 3 hours a week from the start of January through to October.
The training: theory and practical beekeeping.
The aim is to give you as much knowledge of beekeeping between January and April through theoretical sessions so that by April, you will have the best start to the beekeeping season. The theory is delivered on a Sunday evening at 18:30 via 'Zoom' and consists of a laid-back presentation with scenarios, videos, accounts of previous learners and a Q&A session. At the end of the session, you will be given a quiz sheet which you can complete and submit for feedback before the next session.
|Zoom room at 6:30pm||Topic|
|Sunday 03 January 2021||Induction & Q&A|
|Sunday 10 January 2021||The colony|
|Sunday 17 January 2021||Starting right with bees|
|Sunday 24 January 2021||Honey production colonies & feeding|
|Sunday 31 January 2021||Bee Improvement|
|Sunday 07 February 2021||Queen rearing|
|Sunday 14 February 2021||Making an increase|
|Sunday 21 February 2021||Swarming|
|Sunday 28 February 2021||Handling and Examining Bee Colonies|
|Sunday 07 March 2021||Managing Varroa|
|Sunday 14 March 2021||Apiary & Hive Hygiene|
|Sunday 21 March 2021||Disease Recognition|
|Sunday 28 March 2021||Production hives, Cell builders and Queen banks|
|Sunday 04 April 2021||NBU & The Law|
For updates and learning activities as they happen, we use a private Facebook group to share videos, images, tasks and stories which we encourage everyone to participate in (even if it’s a dummy account). Once the practical sessions starts, you will be responsible to keep hive records and we find the easiest way to share them with the rest of the group, is to add the notes to your hives Facebook post. (We can support you with this if needed)
In addition to the theory, there will be a number of hive building and apiary maintenance sessions at the beginning of April, where you will be invited to build the hive that will house the colony you will be learning with and to ensure that the area around your hive is well maintained. This will involve trimming grass around the your hive and if you are a keep gardener, you can support your colony by planting flowers and seeds in the raised beds.
April 2021- bee season begins!
This usually begins with the annual BBKA Spring Convention in Telford with offers on bee suits and is well worth a visit for bee-related bargains.
Each week thereafter you will attend your apiary and inspect your colony for signs of swarming, starvation, mite infestation, infections, and diseases in order to get the colony through the season and strong for the following winter.
You will be provided with everything you need except a bee suit which we recommend you do not purchase until April. There are restrictions on gloves and footwear too so please don’t plan these in advance of April 2021.
What will you learn?
How to manage a colony of bees throughout a whole season. By the end of the season, after completing all the theory and and practical sessions, you will be in an excellent position to maintain your own colony. Many first years come back to learn more or get support from the group to manage bees at home.
The cost per place is based on the training and hive management for new colonies, hive parts, and treatments which are all included. Priced £245 for around 40 sessions (weather permitting) you can become a beekeeper for around £6 a session.
The apiary is situated at The Animal Sanctuary, Wilmslow and has a maximum of 5 new learners beekeepers.
As part of the learning and commitment to keeping our bees and the bees in the area safe, you are expected to complete all of the theory learning activities from the theory training before starting you hive building and practical beekeeping sessions.
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Following on from theory sessions between January and April, you will meet your trainer and fellow learners at "The Pencils" on Mondays at 18:30 where you will start to build and paint the hives ready for the bees at the end of April. Once the bees arrive in 'nucs', you will learn to move these into hives and maintain the colony throughout the season.