in partnership with the Duchy College
The Association in partnership with Duchy College, (Cornwall College’s Agricultural Faculty based at Rosewarne), offers Beginners Beekeeping courses which includes a practical teaching element. Details of the current year’s courses can be obtained from Duchy College, details at the end.
Beginners Beekeeping Part 1
This two term course of 36 hours provides all the basic information you will need to keep bees. It is aimed at those who have not yet got their bees, but will be useful to those who already have them and may explain many of the questions the bees have given you. We recommend that you join your local Beekeepers Association during the course (WCBKA student members do not pay a fee) so that you have the opportunity to learn from and consult with other experienced beekeepers.
The ten classroom sessions usually take place on Thursdays from 19:00 to 21:00, . The eight two hour practical sessions take place on Saturdays from April in the afternoons or alternatively on Thursday evenings.
Topics that will be covered include:
Purchasing healthy colonies; Siting colonies safely; The year’s work in the apiary; Opening a hive and assessing a colony; Swarm prevention, control and management; Keeping your colonies healthy; Keeping varroa under control; Maximising your honey crop; Taking, storing and presenting honey; Marketing the hive products; Modern hives and their maintenance; The life cycles of the honeybees; Helping to pollinate seed and fruit crops
Beginners Beekeeping Part 2
After 12 months of keeping your own bees a second course is available – Part 2, which can lead to the Basic Certificate in Beekeeping, awarded by the British Beekeepers Association. This course will deal with preparation for the basic exam and reinforce your knowledge of diseases, husbandry skills, swarming and manipulation of the bees,honey preparation and legal requirements. The course will also examine the BBKA Basic Syllabus.
Part 2 will consist of six two hour sessions, some classroom and some practical, culminating in the BBKA Basic Exam, the cost of which is included in the course fee and will begin after May.
Both these courses will equip you with the knowledge and practical skill to start your own apiary if you so wish and to carry out all necessary operations with confidence. It will also help novices to revise and extend their knowledge and skill. They will help you aim for the highest standards of beekeeping and anticipate some of the pitfalls of the early years. Beekeepers with experience will be as welcome as those with no knowledge at all.
All teaching will be at Rosewarne. West Cornwall Beekeepers’ Association has both an outdoor apiary and a bee-house at Rosewarne as a cornerstone of their developing partnership with the Duchy College. The course tutor is Rodger Dewhurst, a member of WCBKA. It is a presumption of the course that students will develop better beekeeping practices in the long term if their activities are firmly based on an understanding of how bees function and best practice from modern research.
Enquiries and applications to should be made to Admissions (Rosewarne) 0845 60 50 455 or email Duchy course enquiries.