Romsey and District Beekeepers' Association

Our Beginners' Course

Our course takes a flexible approach that provides the essential knowledge, confidence and support necessary for those who wish to keep bees. You can enrol at any time before mid-April.

It consists of 12 pre-recorded sessions available online exclusively to our beginners so that they can choose their own quiet time to watch. We also schedule 12 live Zoom chats for questions and discussion. Our beginners find this flexible approach helpful because everyone has other commitments.

Each beginner receives a folder packed with useful reference material and tips, and a few other bits and pieces to support their learning.

Most importantly, the course includes a hands-on day to meet in person for a spot of revision, some practical work and the essential visit to the bees (always a highlight!). This will be Saturday 6th or Sunday 7th May 2023 - your choice.

We continue to support our beginners when they come to setting up their first apiary or taking their first colony. The cost for all this is held at last year's price, just £110 per person.

The BBKA website can help you to find training if you are outside our area.

Topics included

Our beginners' course includes:

  • The bees' nest - common types of hive, hive parts and their function
  • Setting up an apiary - finding a site that's good for bees and safe for those close to it
  • Stings - why bees sting, how to avoid being stung and what to do if it happens
  • The honey bee colony - the structure and needs of the 'super-organism'
  • Swarming - recognising the signs and controlling the situation
  • Keeping healthy bees - recognising healthy brood, dealing with pests and diseases
  • Bees, plants and hive products - providing sustainance for your bees and other pollinators
  • Routine inspections - why, when and how to check your bees
  • The beekeeping year - beekeeping tasks through winter, spring, summer and autumn
  • Simple honey extraction - how to extract small quantities of honey if the bees can spare some
  • Getting started - putting it all into practice
  • A hands-on day that includes the all-important experience of handling bees
Are You Interested?

Beekeeping is a fascinating and rewarding hobby.

If you are interested in keeping bees, we strongly recommend that you enrol on a beginners' course that covers the essentials and includes practical experience of handling bees before acquiring bees or buying equipment.

If you would like to enrol on our 2023 course or have any queries, please email gillian.j.bird@btinternet.com

If you are undecided about becoming a beekeeper but would like to know more about these fascinating insects, please consider our Bee Experience Day.


Our 'Taster Day' is ideal for those who want to know more about honey bees but are not ready to commit to taking on a colony. The morning sessions cover theory and the afternoon - weather permitting - a visit to the apiary.

A Taster Day makes an excellent gift.
If you would like to find out more about the 2023 Taster Day, please CLICK HERE.