In association with Bridgend Beekeepers, we have produced a series of four leaflets by way of an introduction to bees and beekeeping, each of which is available to download:
In addition to these introductory leaflets, we shall be producing on these pages helpful beekeeping guides. Some are reproduced from other sources and others will be original work from our own contributors. The list will grow over time. When using these guides, remember that in beekeeping nothing is ever "black or white". Beekeepers will have their own preferred methods depending upon their circumstances and resources. It's up to you to "cherry pick" ideas and methods to see what works best for you.
Presentation - Queen Mating with Mini Nucs (these slides were presented to the Association members at the January 2014 winter meeting by our Training Officer, Mike Davies)
Thinking of keeping bees but not sure what is involved? Maybe you do not want to commit just yet to a full beekeeping course or maybe you are just curious to know more. This one day introductory session held in April is just for you!
The outline for the day is:
10:00 a.m. Introductions
10:15 a.m. The Wonderful Honey Bee (presentation)
12:00 p.m. Lunch break
1:00 p.m. Getting Started (practical activity and presentation)
2:00 p.m. Inside the Beehive
3:30 p.m. Question & Answer Session
4:00 p.m. Finish
Tea, coffee and biscuits will be provided, but please bring your own packed lunch. Dependent on the weather, we will give a practical demonstration of a beehive inspection - protective clothing will be provided, but please bring your own Wellington boots and Marigold (or similar) gloves.
Click here for directions to the Millennium Hall in Cellan.
The date for our next Taster Day is 7th April 2018. Please contact us if you are interested in attending. If you would like to give the gift of beekeeping, contact us about buying a gift voucher for the Taster Day.
This comprehensive course consists of five theory classes held from 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. on Sunday afternoons from late April onwards each year. After the theory classes finish, all beginners are welcome to attend the open sessions held at the Association's apiary on Sunday afternoons throughout the summer to observe and assist our experienced Apiary Management Team.
The cost for the full course is £75 per person or £130 per couple, payable in advance or on the day of the first theory class. Your first year's membership of our Association is included in this fee – see the Join Us pages for information on the benefits of membership.
The topics covered in the classes are:
- Life in the Beehive: The lifecycle of the bee & colony development
- Getting Down to Basics: What you do and don't need to be a beekeeper
- The Beekeeper's Year: seasonal management, siting apiaries & handling techniques
- Swarms: planning for and collecting swarms
- Things That Can Go Wrong: Diseases, stings & other problems
- The Fruits of your Labour: Honey & other hive products (practical class at our apiary held in August)
Click here for directions to the Millennium Hall in Cellan where the courses are held.
All members of our Association are welcome to attend individual course classes as refresher sessions – we charge £10 per class, although members who attended the full Beginners' Course the previous year are invited to attend all or any classes in the following year for free.
See Events for dates of the classes on the 2018 Beginners' Course.
Please contact us if you are interested in attending our Beginners' Course in 2018.
It is our intention that all of the Association's inexperienced new(ish) beekeepers are allocated a beekeeping mentor, someone who can share their experience with you and help you through the steep learning curve we have all experienced in the first few years.
We try to allocate a mentor where needed when those on our Beginners' Course get their first colony.
Our more experienced members, such as the Apiary Management Team and Training Officer will always be happy and willing to lend a hand and provide guidance. Attending the Association apiary on Sunday afternoons during the main beekeeping season from April to September is a great way to learn.
If you suspect that your bees have disease then please contact your Seasonal Bee Inspector who will arrange to visit you and inspect your bees.
On these pages we will be providing answers to some of the most common questions about honey bees and beekeeping. We will be expanding the list of questions over time, so please do keep checking back. You might also find what you need to know amongst our information guides or perhaps in our seasonal notes.