Training in aspects of beekeeping is available from many sources.

Initially we offer our own Introductory course, which is run in late February.

Within the RBKA (Rugby Beekeepers Association) we meet on the third Wednesday of the month in the Friends Meeting House Rugby. During the winter months we invite a speaker to present an interesting up to date talk.

During summer months we continue to meet without a formal speaker, this give both new and more experienced beekeepers a chance to discuss their own observations and raise questions.

Within Warwickshire we are especially privileged to have the headquarters of British Beekeepers Association (BBKA) and have access to frequent lectures and courses as well as being able to attend the talks given by those undertaking various examinations that involve such presentations. Mostly free of charge.

Another local branch, Warwick and Leamington, frequently have courses such as Microscopy, Skep Making etc to which we are invited. These usually carry a small charge to cover costs.

Nationally there are a series of exams that a beekeeper may choose to undergo. It is possible to progress to Master Beekeeper.
There is no necessity to follow this route, but it provides a wealth of useful and pertinent information to enhance a beekeeper’s ability.
There is one national test that is of great benefit. This is called the Basic Assessment and it has a practical element where an assessor will observe a basic hive examination and a theory element where the they will ask questions from a syllabus to test your knowledge. A candidate must have kept bees for a year before entering for the Basic Assessment.
The BBKA website contains the Basic Assessment syllabus as well as all of the other examinations.

Additionally, each year there is the BBKA summer convention held at Harper Adams College in Shropshire. Usually held in early April, it is run from a Friday through to Sunday. There are lectures and workshops available for an incredibly low fee of around £20 total. There is also a trade fair and many impromptu talks. Well worth a look!

Throughout the year there are also many different conferences, convention and shows. All advertised in the bee press.

BeeBase

Beebase News Web feed
  • Survey on how training and information sources for beekeepers and bee farmers can be improved now closed
    20 April 2021
    With thanks to those of you who have already responded. 

    Gyda diolch i'r rhai ohonoch sydd eisoes wedi ymateb. 

    Defra and the Welsh Government want to ensure that beekeepers and bee farmers have access to training and information that can help them implement effective biosecurity and maintain good standards of husbandry, so as to minimise pest and disease risks and improve the sustainability of honeybee populations.

    A questionnaire was available for current beekeepers, people who have recently stopped keeping bees as well as bee farmers to give their views and opinions on the type, accessibility and range of training and information available and how it could be improved. 

    The survey closed on 21 April
  • Seasonal Bee Inspector (SBI) Vacancies
    19 April 2021
    The National Bee Unit currently has a number of Seasonal Bee Inspector (SBI) vacancies advertised in the following areas South Kent & East Sussex, South West Devon and South East Wales

    If you are interested in applying for the job, full details can be found on Civil Service Jobs.


  • Reporting Varroa
    12 April 2021
    Amendments to the Bee Diseases and Pests Control (England) Order 2006, the Bees Diseases and Pest Control (Scotland) Order 2007 and the Bee Diseases and Pests Control (Wales) Order 2006 come into force on the 21st of April 2021 requiring all beekeepers and/or officials in GB to report the presence of Varroa in any of the hives that they manage. This amendment will allow Great Britain to comply with the Animal Health Law which is necessary for future working relationships with the European Union.

    To make this simple, a tick box will be introduced to BeeBase, the voluntary register for beekeepers managed by the National Bee Unit. This will be the easiest way to report Varroa but an alternative mechanism will be provided for those who do not wish to register on the BeeBase system. Details of this alternative system will be provided after 21st April. If Scottish Beekeepers wish to, they can report varroa by contacting the Scottish Bee Health Inspectors (BeesMailbox@gov.scot).

    Although Varroa is known to be widespread, it continues to be one of the most serious pests faced by beekeepers. Reporting Varroa will contribute to the overall pest and disease surveillance work of the National Bee Unit and the Scottish Bee Health Inspectorate. We are grateful for your assistance with this new simple measure.

    No action will be required until after 21st April.