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Thinking about furthering your Beekeeping knowledge? There is no better way than to join the local beekeepers' group and take a course with your local group such as Dorchester and Weymouth Beekeepers Association

2024 Spring Course for New Beekeepers

The course ran on six Tuesdays starting 20th February at the Colliton Club in Dorchester. It ran from 7pm to 9pm - though many stayed on to ask more questions.

The cost of the course was £60 and you had to be a member of the Dorchester and Weymouth Beekeepers Association. Membership forms are available here. Further details are available from our secretary.

The course was popular.

The course started with a look at the different approaches to beekeeping and why we do what we do. There was also an introduction to the equipment used and that question always asked by beginners - "Will I get stung?"

The course went on to look at the different roles played by the different bees in the hive and how we set up the hive to make their life easier and also make our work easier when we want the honey.

But how do you get your first bees? Well that too was covered. Where do you get a swarm and once you've got it what you do with it?

Beekeeping is not all plain sailing and they are prone to certain diseases. If we are to help the bee population and get the honey which we want then it is important to know how to prevent disease and how to treat it if it occurs.

After all that hard work it is time to gather our harvest - not only of honey but also wax and propolis. The course will cover how to get the honey and what to do with it once you have it.

There is much more to beekeeping than can be covered in a short course such as this. However what this course will give you is the confidence to start your own apiary and manage your own hives - though the bees do most of the work.

We followed the theory sessions with practical sessions where you get to open the hive. These started as soon as the weather was suitable.  We don't open hives unless the temperature is above 15C and it is not raining - but more of that later.

After the course the support available from the club has not finished. You will be able to ring us and ask for help. We have all been beginners once and understand the problems you face. But be warned - ring up 5 beekeepers with a problem and you will get at least 6 solutions!

If you are thinking of keeping bees then this is a perfect way to start. You will learn some theory but most importantly you will get an opportunity to open a hive and see what goes on inside.


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