Introduction to Beekeeping Course

Interested in learning about beekeeping or just learning more about bees?


Our Introduction to Beekeeping Course is specifically designed for beginners, equipping you with all of the basic knowledge of how to keep and look after honey bees.

Learn about the life of the bee, the different types of hive, threats to our bees, how to stay safe around bees and get hands-on experience handling bees. We also look at bee-friendly flowers, honey production, collection and much more.

Our next Introduction to Beekeeping Course will start in late March 2021 and comprises of 4 x 2 hour classroom sessions and 2 x apiary visits. These sessions are run on Sunday afternoons (except Easter Sunday) between 2pm and 4pm. Don’t worry if you can’t make all of the sessions as comprehensive handouts are provided and there is time set aside for questions and answers allowing you to catch up.

Location: Methodist Church Hall. Middlefield Road, Hoddesdon EN11 9ED


Covid 19 restrictions permitting

Reserve a place now

You can reserve a provisional place now sending you name and contact email or phone number together with the words 2021 Beekeeping Course to  We will send you an application form to complete as soon as we are happy that it is viable to run the course with all the necessary Covid safe precautions in place.


Introduction to Beekeeping Course

Sample Syllabus

SESSION 1   The Honey Bee – Life cycle, Protective clothing, Stings, Getting started with Beekeeping

  • Identifying bees, wasps and hornets

  • Three castes of the honey bee and their function, life cycle and life expectancy

  • The stages/timings of development of Workers, Drones and Queens

  • Protective clothing, bee stings and how to treat them

  • How to get started with beekeeping


SESSION 2      The Hive and its Construction

  • Components of a hive  and their function

  • Types of hive – advantages/disadvantages

  • Frames –types, spacing and top/bottom bee space

  • Constructing frames and installing foundation


SESSION 3      Managing the Hive and Bees

  • Siting the hive – factors to consider

  • Annual cycle in managing the colony – inspections, adding/removing supers, feeding

  • Undertaking a hive inspection – smokers, hive tools and how to use them

  • Recognising the different cell types at different times of the year

  • Swarming – reading the signs, prevention, collection, re-hiving


SESSION 4      Apiary Visit 1

  • How to light a smoker and open a hive

  • Demonstration of the use of tools, equipment  and handling the bees

  • Inspect and recognise eggs, larvae, workers, drones, the queen, capped brood

  • Recognise capped stores, unripe honey, pollen


SESSION 5      Bee Pests and Diseases and Honey extraction

  • Awareness of pests and diseases than can affect honey bees

  • Notifiable diseases and their recognition

  • Prevention and treatment, good husbandry

  • Honey extraction – when to remove supers, how to extract honey, bottling and labelling


SESSION 6      Apiary Visit 2


Course Location:  Methodist Church Hall, Middlefield Road, Hoddesdon, EN11 9ED 

Time:                 Sessions commence Sunday 22nd March 2020, 2pm – 4pm and run for 6                                Sunday afternoons (excluding Easter Sunday)  In total there are 4 classroom

                         sessions and 2 apiary visits. 

South East Herts Beekeepers Association – a local branch of Hertfordshire Beekeepers Association and a member of the British Beekeepers Association