Education And Training

During 2019 the SBKA will run a 6 week introductory course on Beekeeping.  The course syllabus is below, and will give a sound introduction to the basics.  Students will have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience of colony management, and remove some of the myths about bees.

Course Dates Are:

5th March,

12th March,

19th March,

26th March,

2nd April

8th April.

If you are interested, please complete the contact form, and a member of the team will be in touch.

Week 1 - Equipment

  • Personal  equipment needed to open a hive of honeybees and importance of cleanliness.

  • Able to name and explain the functions of the principle parts of the modern beehive. Different types of hives and their advantages and disadvantages

  • Use of hive tool, smoker and other tools; spray, queen cages, nucs, markers bucket for washing soda

  • Effects of stings and treatment

Week 2 - Bee Space and how to handle bees

  • Aware of the concept of bee space and its significance in the modern hive

  • Discuss the spacing of the combs in the brood chamber and super for both foundation and drawn comb and methods used to achieve this

  • The care needed when opening a hive of honey bees

  • Opening a colony and keeping it under control

  • Reasons for opening a colony

Week 3 - The life of the honeybee queen, worker and drone

  • Development of the Queen, worker and drone

  • Identify brood in all stages and honey, nectar and pollen in the comb

  • Periods spent as egg, larva pupa and adult summer and winter bees life span

  • Collection and use of pollen, nectar, water and propolis

  • How the honeybee passes the winter

Week 4 - Swarming and swarm control

  • Reasons for swarming and events during swarming

  • One method for swarm control

  • How to collect a swarm

  • Signs of queenlessness and tests

  • Laying workers and drone laying queens

  • How to introduce a new queen

  • Reasons for uniting colonies and one method of uniting colonies

Week 5 - Pests and Diseases

  • The appearance of healthy brood

  • Symptoms of AFB and EFB, chalk brood and sac brood

  • Varroa and its effects

  • Treatments for  varroa including integrated pest management

  • Adult bee diseases Acarine and Nosema symptoms

  • Disease diagnosis and sampling bees

  • Notifiable diseases and legislation

  • Wax moth, mice, woodpeckers, wasps and precautions

Week 6 - Honey harvest and the annual cycle

  • Annual cycle in the apiary

  • Setting up an apiary and precautions/public/neighbours/livestock

  • Feeding the bees sugar syrup/fondant/pollen supplement

  • Robbing and prevention

  • Harvesting honey and wax and legal requirements of bottling and selling honey; hygiene

  • Apiary hygiene and comb change

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