We highly recommend that you attend an introductory course before embarking on your beekeeping career.  Courses usually run once or twice per year, usually in the autumn/winter season.  Contact the following for dates of next available course.

Introduction to Beekeeping Workshop 6 week course

Winterbourne House & Garden
University of Birmingham, 58 Edgbaston Park Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2RT
Tel: 0121 414 3003   

Tutor: Birmingham & District Bee Keepers Association

Session Dates: 6 weekly sessions 19:30 – 21.00  on Tuesday evenings.

This course is for people who are interested in learning about becoming a beekeeper.  The course covers

  • what you need to know to start beekeeping
  • honey bee natural history
  • how to get your first bees
  • how to look after the bees
  • keeping them healthy
  • swarming
  • problems
  • harvesting and processing honey

The natural history of honey bees is truly fascinating and the hobby is very rewarding for those that take it up.  The sessions are delivered by members of Birmingham & District Beekeepers Association over six weeks.  The teaching is classroom based with some practical, hands-on content over one and a half hours.  All practical materials are provided.  Please bring your own pen and notebook.  After completion students will be invited to the BDBKA Training Apiary for a hands-on experience handling live bees during the next flying season, April - September 2018.


Beekeeping Taster Days 2017

Martineau Gardens
Introductory one-day courses on the art of bee keeping.
So you think you would like to keep bees? You may have noticed a number of media reports commenting on the current problems facing the honey bee and thought, “What can I do about it?” Well, for one you could come along to one of the one day courses at Martineau Gardens for a non-technical taster. Honey bees need your help! The course will take you through various stages including:-
  • The difference between the three most common striped stinging insects
  • What does it cost
  • Beekeeping organizations, insurance
  • Equipment-  to buy or assemble your own
  • Types of hive
  • Siting hives
  • Tools
  • Clothing
  • The bee colony
  • What bees make
  • Pests
  • How to obtain bees
  • Swarms
  • Honey
  • Honey shows
  • Tasting mead and honey beer
  • Hands on – with live bees!


Introduction to Beekeeping 6 week course

An informative workshop style course, for those interested in keeping bees for the first time. A wide range of subjects will be covered including hive design,
Life cycles, queen rearing, pests & disease, honey harvesting and swarm control... plus much more!
Brockswood Animal Sanctuary
Catholic Lane, Sedgley, Dudley DY3 3YE
01902 884390

Email:   brockswood@hotmail.co.uk

Start Date:   Date to Be Advised

Wednesday evenings 7pm to 9pm for six weeks

Duration:   6 weeks.

Tutor:   John Madgwick (of the Birmingham and District Bee Keepers Association).

Cost:   £55 per person.

Week 1 - General Introduction, What is a Honey Bee, Importance of Bee Keeping, Local & National Support, Equipment, The Colony, The Queen, Workers & Drones, Individual Lifecycles, and Division of Labour within the Hive.
Week 2 - The Hive, the Bees' Nest, Hive Components, Supers, and Making Frames.
Week 3 - History, Origins of Bees, Honey Hunting, Skeps, Langstroth, WBC, Smith, National & Nucleus, Beekeeping Year, Preparation for Winter, Spring Management, Inspections, Summer Build Up, and Harvesting
Week 4 - Queens, Queen Rearing, Mating Process, Marking & Clipping, Swarms, and Reasons for Swarms, Swarm Control, Swarm Prevention, and Swarm Collection.
Week 5 - Pests & Disease Pests, Brood Disease, Adult Disease, Varroa, and Statutory Requirements.
Week 6 - Bees, Plants & Hive Products, Pollination, Nectar & Honey, Local Forage Crops, Wax, Propolis & Pollen, Selling Honey, Getting Started, Association