Introduction to Beekeeping Course - Syllabus
Oxleas Wood
Keeping a colony of bees is a commitment that requires not only knowledge of the basics but also hands-on training with handling and managing bee stocks.
The Oxleas Wood Apiary Introduction to Beekeeping course provides the essential first steps enabling the would-be beekeeper to safely and responsibly move onto acquiring his or her first colony of honeybees.
Starting in mid-April this evening course of 8 sessions includes fully illustrated theoretical, practical and hands-on elements, covering the basic theory and equipment required, the life cycle of the honeybee, and the work involved over the beekeeping season, including at least two additional sessions working with the hives in the Oxleas Wood Apiary.
Hive Assembly Early on in the course the class sub-divides into smaller groups, each assembling a new hive and inner wax foundation frames from components provided by the Apiary. Each group then stocks its own hive with a fresh colony of bees bought in from different suppliers, as well as a stock of bees raised in the Oxleas Wood Apiary - each of the individual groups monitors the progress of its own hive and the different strains of honeybees throughout the remainder of the course.

The following fully illustrated components make up the syllabus of the Introduction to Beekeeping course, successive Wednesday evenings, 7:30 to 9:00 pm commencing Wednesday, 19 April through to 7 June 2017:-

  • Life of the Honeybee – the Beekeeping Season
  • Anatomy and Characteristics of Apis mellifera
  • Hives and Apiaries - Equipment, Costs and Time Involvement
  • Queens, Workers and Drones - Roles and Functions
  • Colony Organisation within the Hive, Breeding and Swarming
  • Diseases,   Disorders and Pests
  • Foraging and Bringing in the Honey Harvest
  • Settling and Overwintering the Colony for the New Season
  • The Introduction to Beekeeping course includes a number of 'Hands-On' working sessions in the Apiary under the close supervision of the experienced Apiarist - these sessions will include:-

  • Assembling hive components, frames and wax foundation
  • Hiving  a  Fresh Nucleus of Bees
  • Queen Cell Grafting
  • Opening up the hives – mid May
  • Honey Harvest – extracting the honey – mid to late August
  • Hive Assembly

    As the course develops, those students wishing to raise and keep a colony of honeybees themselves can first establish and allow their colony to thrive in the Oxleas Wood Apiary under the watchful eye of the resident Apiarist for the first beekeeping season, following which the colony and hive is moved to their own site to overwinter and develop thereafter.

    The aim of the Introduction to Beekeeping course is to ready the would-be beekeeper to start of his or her own colony in the following year - for those wishing just to get a 'hands-on' experience of beekeeping, or who are simply inquisitive about the Wonderful World of the Honeybee then participating in an Apiary Day provides this opportunity.