About the Course
Learn the rudiments of this all-absorbing craft and how to nurture an insect that is crucial to us and our planet. Led by Caroline Dilke.
Have you always wanted to keep bees? This course offers a no-nonsense way in to a fascinating craft, nurturing an insect that is crucial to us and our planet.
People have collected honey for millennia and kept bees for hundreds of years. Fifty years ago, all you needed was a stray swarm, protection against stings and a suitable site for a hive. Now that we humans have introduced pests from abroad it is more challenging to keep our bees healthy, happy and productive. Beekeepers need to adopt a more hands-on approach.
The course is a practical one. As well as learning about the fascinating lifestyle of the honey bee, you will have guidance in managing a whole colony and get your head around its "psychology". You will learn how to deal with stings, collect a swarm and harvest honey. You will gain a realistic idea of the commitment, skills and equipment you will need, and how to keep your bees healthy. You will do a bit of carpentry and, weather permitting, will observe and handle bees in a hive. Pollination will be demonstrated by flowers in the lovely Kingcombe Meadows Nature Reserve. A new beekeeper will share with you the experiences of his first year and a honey tasting is included in the course.
A weekend is a short time to gain the confidence to keep your own bees, but you will have plenty of opportunity to ask questions and it will be clear what steps to take next: you will be welcomed into the friendly world of beekeeping.
Caroline Dilke has kept bees for 14 years. She is currently chair of the West Dorset Beekeepers’ Association and is lead tutor on their course for new beekeepers. She also runs a popular after-school beekeeping club for primary school children. In a former life Caroline was a biology teacher, then later a writer and journalist.
If booking with a CraftCourses voucher for part or all of the course fee, please fill in the contact form above. Your voucher code must be provided at the point of booking.
What's included in the price?
Residential: £305 pp includes 2 nights' sole occupancy accommodation, full board including a home-cooked breakfast, tea/cake, lunch and three-course dinner, all tuition and activities.
Non-residential: £221 pp includes all the above except accommodation and breakfast.
Times: Arrive 3pm for tea on Friday. The course will start at 3.30pm. The course will end after tea on Sunday approximately 4.30pm.
What to bring: A notebook, a small hammer, a pair of clean wellies and some Marigold-type rubber gloves. Bee suits will be provided. Please do not wear perfume, hair spray or deodorant on Saturday or Sunday as the bees will disapprove.