There is no doubt that our native pollinators are in decline, and honeybees are struggling with environmental pressures and intensive production. Beekeeping is not just about looking after our colonies, it is also about how we can use our knowledge to help all pollinators, and other wildlife while we are at it. Our gardens are increasingly becoming oases and it is possible to make a material difference, even on a small scale - and keep it beautiful.
We will cover the following topics:
- bees and plants: how they use each other
- best plants, and how to identify a good pollinator plant
- bug boxes, bee hotels and hibernacula
- adapting your garden to maximise wildlife potential
- the "June gap", nectar flow, and why bees need trees
Cancellation and a full refund can be obtained up to 2 weeks before the course starts. Start dates may be amended on request.
Tea, cafetière coffee, fresh mint tea, and homemade cake.
A handout with all the information covered and the resources you'll need to help bees in your garden.
You can also choose a pollinator plant or seeds to take home.
This craft course provider has been awarded Gold status for receiving 10 or more 5 star ratings from previous students.
The Students' Choice award ensures that course providers get recognised for their efforts in the teaching and practice of UK craft.
They also allow tutors to gain valuable feedback on their courses and for new students to find the course that's right for them.
2 hours (2:00pm to 4:00pm)
Next available date
27th February 2021
Jenny offers a friendly, wholesome, and passionate introduction to beekeeping. It is not only an excellent introduction for those who are interested in keeping bees, but also for those who just want to learn more about the humble honeybee, as she provides a wonderful insight into the life of the hive and the bees who run it. Promoting sustainable beekeeping, she shows she is both environmentally and ecologically aware of her approaches. Jenny's approach to beekeeping prioritizes the welfare of the hive and the bees' interactions with the environment instead of the commercialization of the hive and honey produced, which I found very refreshing.
Ahead of time Jenny also sent a document containing information that would be covered in the zoom course which I found extremely helpful. Not only was I able to read the content beforehand but I am also now able to revisit it should I need to refresh my memory on any of the topics covered.
I would highly recommend this course to anyone who has an interest in beekeeping or honeybees in general and wishes to protect them for the future.
Response from Wayward Bee:Thank you so much for joining the Zoom Kayla, I'm really pleased you enjoyed the course. Great to meet you, and thank you for your review!
I am a complete novice to beekeeping but wanted to take it up as a hobby. This course was fantastic in simplifying beekeeping to a natural science and Jennifer is an excellent teacher. It was unfortunate that we couldn't meet in person but Jennifer really made it work on Zoom. It's just a shame you can't Zoom cake! If you are interested in taking up beekeeping then I would whole heartedly recommend this course to explain all the fundamentals and give you the confidence to go for it.
Response from Wayward Bee:Thanks so much for your review, Rex - it was great to meet you [virtually] too! Really pleased you enjoyed the course, and I'll work on teleporting the cake....
This Zoom course was beyond my expectations! Jennifer had all of our attention with clear and interesting explanations of hive structure and bees. I loved how it felt as if I was in a real class, so very grateful.
Response from Wayward Bee:So pleased you enjoyed it, Gayana - it was great to meet you 😊
I’ve attended both face to face and zoom courses with Jen. Her knowledge is incredible, she has a scientific and experiential understanding of honeybees. Her teaching is relaxed and conversational which makes the experience perfect for everyone. Her courses are great for people who just want to know more about honeybees and also so informative for those wanting to start or maintain a hive. More so her approach is so in tune with nature and supportive of the bees natural world. I left my first 2hr course with Jen knowing that I had contacts and mentors to talk to. I’ve since collected my own swarm and supported a hive, on my 2nd in my second year now and so chuffed. Enormous thanks Jen
Response from Wayward Bee:Thanks so much for your feedback, Lee - and great that the Zoom works ok (though sincere apologies I can't supply virtual cake...)
A wonderful way to spend two hours - fascinating informative and really enjoyable. Jenny was both knowledgeable and accessible - making the prospect of beekeeping in a natural way both appealing and approachable. Great cookies too
Response from Wayward Bee:Thanks Amanda! Lovely to meet you :)
An inspiring afternoon - Jen is a natural and knowledgeable teacher who encourages her students to observe and think. I’d recommend this course to anyone who keeps bees and has an interest in understanding them and reimagining the role of the beekeeper.
Response from Wayward Bee:Thanks so much for coming along, Venetia!
Loved the course. Very practical and helpful.
Response from Wayward Bee:Marvellous to hear, Karen. Thank you very much.
Inspiring. Got home, bought a hive.
Response from Wayward Bee:That's great news! Thank you for your review.
Really enjoyable, well presented - I like Jennifer’s approach to bee-keeping. Left me motivated and keen to start. I really should mention the excellent cake too!!
Response from Wayward Bee:Ah, thank you Lizzie! So pleased you enjoyed the course - and the cake!
Very informative, I left having made a number of new decisions about the garden. From the importance of where you buy seeds, to encouraging lizards!
Response from Wayward Bee:Wonderful to hear, Paul! Let me know how you get on with your plans :) Thanks very much for coming along.
Brilliant course! Jennifer was very knowledgeable and passionate about protecting wildlife.
I learned a lot and I’m looking forward to transforming my garden into a bee and wildlife friendly space.
Response from Wayward Bee:Thanks so much Julie, I'm really pleased you enjoyed the course and found it useful. I hope you find the things we discussed bring more wildlife to your garden :)
Response from Wayward Bee:Thank you! :)
A wonderful and informative afternoon. Jennifer's passion shines through. If I wasn't already sold on the idea of getting a hive, I certainly am now.
Response from Wayward Bee:Ah, thank you so much Mark! Great to meet you :)
A fabulous afternoon. Jennifer is incredibly knowledgable and engaging. We loved her way of teaching and her beliefs. I would highly recommend Jennifer and thank her so much for a really lovely afternoon including a lovely piece of homemade cake and great coffee ☕️
Response from Wayward Bee:Thanks Sarah! It was great to meet you both :)
I would definitely recommend this course. It is relaxed and informal; Jennifer explains everything you need to know with the emphasis on what is good for the bees rather than the beekeeper. Jennifer has a lot of experience and a wealth of knowledge - and makes a lovely cake!
Response from Wayward Bee:Thank you Annette, I'm pleased you enjoyed the course - and the cake ;)
Jennifer is so knowledgeable, and conveys that knowledge in an engaging way. Would thoroughly recommend. Great cake too!
Response from Wayward Bee:Thanks Carrie! That's great to hear :)
My husband and myself came on this course with no knowledge at all about bees & beekeeping, but thought the beginners course would be a great start- we both thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon & learnt so much from Jennifer. The time just flew, but we gained so much from the course. Jennifer is passionate about beekeeping & that came across in her knowledge, enthusiasm and the course notes. We are definitely looking into starting up beekeeping in the future! I would definitely recommend this course to anyone who is interested in beekeeping. We will definitely be interested in coming on the intermediate course!!
Response from Wayward Bee:Thank you for coming along Teresa! :)
I thoroughly enjoyed this course - it was so interesting and informative. I love Jennifer’s approach to keeping bees, with the care and wellbeing of the bees being paramount. I cannot believe how much I learnt in two hours, which flew by! Jennifer is clearly passionate about bees, and this comes across when she’s teaching. The accompanying course notes (with lots of useful links to a wealth of resources) are really helpful, so I can follow up on more reading etc. I can highly recommend this course, and am looking forward to progressing to Intermediate level very soon. Thank you Jennifer!
Response from Wayward Bee:Thank you Amelia! :)
As someone who was interested in keeping bees I signed up for the beginners course and thought it would be interesting for my youngest child, who is in fact a teen, to join us. I wasn't wrong.
This course expelled some common misconceptions and is extremely informative. It certainly gave me clarity about the comittment involved. I highly recommend this course if you are considering keeping bees.
Jennifer is a lovely person with (in my humble opinion) the right views on how invasive things need to get to keep bees, and was the perfect hostess with her home-made cake, tea and honey samples. She is extremely knowledgeable about the topic and explains everything well. She answers questions and anything else not understood in a pleasant and non-patronizing, non-condescending way which I have found some course providers do.
We came away full of knowledge! It certainly didn't feel like we'd been there 2 hrs! In fact we went a little over time because it was so enjoyable that time got forgotten.
A thoroughly enjoyable day!
Response from Wayward Bee:Thanks Mia-Louise! Great to meet you and your daughter :)
Excellent course! My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Jennifer has a wealth of knowledge and her passion shines through when she is teaching. She gave us invaluable information to get us started on our bee keeping journey! Would recommend this course to anyone interested in keeping bees! She also makes a delicious cake too!
Jennifer is a “hive” of information about all aspects of beekeeping. Her more natural and sensitive approach to caring for your bees are a breath of fresh air and a delight to listen to and discuss. I came away from her course feeling like I could begin a new chapter in my beekeeping and with the confidence to follow my instinct when making decisions about how to care for my bees. Thankyou for a very informative and enjoyable afternoon.
Response from Wayward Bee:Thanks Tracy, pleased you found it useful!
An excellent course! Jennifer's approach to beekeeping has made me feel much more comfortable about looking after my own hive and the care of my bees. She answered our questions and concerns, and whilst I appreciate every colony is different, Jennifer has left me feeling more confident in my abilities. I could have listened, and talked to Jennifer all afternoon. Thank you.
Response from Wayward Bee:Thanks John, great to meet you!
I thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon, very informative and really nice to meet like minded people in a homely environment.
Response from Wayward Bee:Thank you so much!
A very informative day - I learnt more about bee keeping in 2 hours with Jennifer than from all the literature that I had been reading. Jennifer is very knowledgeable and explains the subject in a clear and understandable manner at a pace that everyone could keep up with. Well worth doing if you are thinking of keeping bees in a sustainable way.
Response from Wayward Bee:Thanks so much Frank - great to hear :)
Relaxed and very enjoyable course. Very informative talking you through understanding the bee and introducing you to the equipment
Delicious tea and cake icing on the top of an excellent afternoon!
Response from Wayward Bee:Thank you so much for coming along :)
Jennifer is a natural teacher with great communication skills. There is plenty of detail in this course so that you can actually go an "do" things to start your colony afterwards, but Jennifer also explains sustainable beekeeping holistically, so it also becomes a way of thinking rather than a tick box exercise. It means that if you do decide to read books on the subject afterwards, you have a really solid framework in which to put all your newly acquired knowledge. It's a great course which I'd recommend without hesitation to anyone starting out with beekeeping. (The cake is also amazing.)
Response from Wayward Bee:Thanks Alex! :)
Wonderful course and a fascinating introduction to the extraordinary life of bees as well as the keeping of them. I'd highly recommend this course to anyone who is interested in sustainability and discovering ways to nurture and grow their local bee population as well as make honey.
Response from Wayward Bee:Glad you enjoyed the course Amy!
Jennifer's course was great. I learned a lot and was interested in everything she had to say. I would recommend her course to anyone thinking about keeping bees.
Response from Wayward Bee:Thanks Ali, so pleased you could come along :)
This course was perfect. Jennifer has an art to imparting her passionate knowledge of bee keeping in such a way that beginners feel inspired and equppped to start immediately. Jennifer is clearly incredibly knowledgeable about the subject and her sustainable approach should be admired. She teaches in such a way that you leave the course with confidence. The added extra is that you get to taste the product of her incredible baking skills. A wonderfully relaxed but truly informative course. I will certainly be attending an intermediate course in the near future 🐝
Response from Wayward Bee:Thanks Lee :)
I have wanted to find out about bees for ages, but was a bit anxious about what it involved. This course however was just the thing needed to fill me with confidence and to propel me into action: a few days after attending, I have already ordered my hives and am looking forward to the whole beekeeping experience. I am so glad that Jennifer was the one to introduce me to the subject - her knowledge and sound good sense was inspirational and I have complete confidence that her methods, traditional ones that look to the welfare of the hive rather than mere honey production, will be rewarding and successful. She is a very good teacher and I'm sure will be a fantastic mentor, should I need further advise. I can thoroughly recommend this course.
Response from Wayward Bee:Thank you so much!
I attended as a follow-up to Jennifer's Beginner's Course. This time was just as great as last year when I was just starting out, with the added bonus that I had experienced some of what we discussed with our own hives. Really helpful to be thinking about the next stages in our beekeeping adventure and to be able to share knowledge with others. Highly recommended.
Response from Wayward Bee:Thank you Bev!
Friendly and highly informative, just right for beginner covering everything I had hoped.
Response from Wayward Bee:Thank you :)
I would thoughly recommended this course . If like me you have been thinking of having a hive in your garden but just don't know how it will happen due to lack of knowledge. This course is for you . Jenny has a lovely way of sharing her knowledge. I now have a colony of bees in my garden which is just a dream come true and there is nothing better than tasting warm raw honey from your own bees