Ever fancied becoming a beekeeper? Perhaps you’re looking for the perfect gift for a loved one who has always wanted to learn beekeeping. Epping Forest Honey Co. offer beekeeping courses for beginners in the Essex and London area that will provide you with enough beekeeping knowledge to look after your own colony of honey bees.
Robin Harman and Mark Chambers have over fifteen years of beekeeping experience between them. They are tutors for the local Epping Forest Beekeepers’ Association course, a separate charity run course in Dagenham, as well as running an ‘Introduction to beekeeping’ courses at Bedford House training centre in Buckhurst Hill.
They have a number of qualifications between them including the British Beekeepers Association Basic Assessment, the BBKA General Husbandry Exam and various BBKA Theory Modules. They run over one hundred and fifty beehives in the Epping Forest area, raise their own bee stocks and also are contracted as beekeepers for a commercial bee farmer. They provide on-site beehives, and subsequently honey, to farm shops, delicatessens, pharmacies and restaurants in the Epping Forest area.
Our course for 2020 will be based in two parts – a theory evening and a theory/practical weekend. It will be for a small group of six / eight students.
- What to expect from beekeeping and where you can place your hive.
- The life cycle of the honey bee
- Cost of bees, equipment and where and what to purchase (please do not buy anything before the course as it is a minefield).
- Swarm control.
- Making of frames.
- Extraction methods.
- BBKA / Insurances, National Bee Unit and Epping Forest Beekeepers Association.
We will also distribute our teaching book of choice – the Haynes Bee Manual – which we consider the best on the market for beginning beekeeping and it will be yours to keep. We will ask that you familiarise yourself with various sections prior to the weekend. So yes, you will have homework!
Theory / Practical
This will take place on a Saturday and Sunday in June or July from 9am until 5pm each day at one of our home apiaries. All protective equipment will be provided. The days will be spend beekeeping and covering what it involves in detail. You will identify all brood stages, queen cells, pollen, nectar along with the different castes of honey bees within different hives. You will perform various manipulations including a weekly inspection, completing records, swarm control, upgrading small nucleus colonies to hives along with finding and marking queens for easy identification. We will also discuss the various pests and diseases, and how to deal with them along with further theory sessions. On the Sunday afternoon we will visit one of our larger local out apiaries where you will be expected to individually inspect at least one, if not two, whole colonies as if it was your own.
This course will put you in a position where you can safely and competently keep your own colony of bees.
There will be a lot of theory to acquaint yourself with and we would ask that you ensure you are able to attend all three sessions before committing yourself to the course.
The course cost is £175 and includes the Haynes Bee Manual. Tea, coffee and soft drinks will be provided and we would ask that you bring your own packed lunch at the weekend.
We can arrange collection from Buckhurst Hill Underground Station should you travel by public transport. Parking will be made available for you if needed.
This can be via online payment to R. Harman Santander account 09-01-26 09134873 or via cheque to R.Harman, 108, Palmerston Road, Buckhurst Hill, Essex, IG9 5LG.
Should the weather cause the course to be cancelled then you will have an option to re-schedule to another weekend or for a full refund.
Please do not hesitate to contact either of us should you have any questions along with the availability of course dates.
Robin Harman 0797 123 7312
Mark Chambers 078244 86661