The I&ES BKA Teaching Apiary 2024 Programme

Teaching Apiary at Wherstead Park IP9 2BJ (directions)

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We meet on Sundays, 2pm-4pm. All welcome.

This is the outline programme, but obviously, bees and weather patterns don’t read books – so everything is flexible.

Sessions may change, depending on the needs of the groups – so be prepared. Change is good!

Any questions, contact Barrie Powell (07857 656382), Helen Thorne (07814 506988) or Jeremy Quinlan (01473 737700)
B = part of basic assessment

Date 'Beginners’ activity in addition to routine tasks in the apiary
'Intermediates' activity in addition to routine tasks in the apiary
Tutors Attending
  • General intro for all. Clothing
  • Intro to hive types
  • Importance of hygiene.
  • Health and safety / stings/ 1st aid
  • Locating hives /Apiary choice
  • Record keeping/different formats B
  • Discussion about what students want from sessions
  • Discussion re Basic Assessment
  • Recap knowledge/ hive inspections
  • How to open your hives B
Paul White
Helen Thorne
Phil Ramsey
Oscar Withers
Lorraine Harrington
Ryan Betts
Lorraine Goddard
Susana Uru
Carmine Sarro
  • DIY Lighting smoker/ use of smoke
  • Opening hives
  • Lifting/ holding frames
  • Shaking/ brushing frames
  • Identifying drones/workers/queen B
  • Finding/ handling/ removing the queen
  • Replacing a hive lost over the winter with a nucleus
Richard Allen
Heather Carter
Barrie Powell
  • Consolidating work from last week
  • Identifying pollen/ capped brood/ stores/
  • your first bees. Handling a 3 frame nuc.
  • Making frames B
  • Disease v healthy brood identification
  • Briefly explain/ show Rainbow nuc
  • Offer: make your own with bees and queen
  • Take orders B
Jeremy Quinlan
Phil Ramsey
Emma Nye
  • Varroa and implications
  • Both groups together.
  • Nosema
  • Taking a swarm
  • Where to hive it (link with disease) B
  • Varroa identification/monitoring/ treatment.
  • Nosema and chalk brood
  • How to take a sample of bees (matchbox)
  • Taking a swarm
  • Where to hive it (link with disease)
Barrie Powell
Heather Carter
Helen Thorne
  • Finding queen
  • Why to mark queen
  • How to mark queen
  • To clip or not to clip!
  • As beginners
  • Both groups to check hives
  • Revise taking bee sample
  • Baily Comb Change. Why? When? How?
Paul White
Helen Thorne
Phil Ramsey
  • Identifying and understanding swarm/ emergency/ supersedure cells. B
  • Artificial swarm B
  • Methods of swarm prevention and control.
  • Splitting
  • Artificial swarm B
Richard Allen
Helen Thorne
Emma Nye
  • Suffolk Bee Health Day. An afternoon discussing the health of your bees
  • In attendance will be your local Beekeeping inspector who will be pleased to answer any of your questions
Jeremy Quinlan
Barrie Powell
  • Identifying honey frames
  • Equipment needed
  • How to harvest honey
  • How/when to harvest honey
  • Use of refractometer
  • Swarm collection, bait hive
Helen Thorne
Richard Allen
Paul White
  • Why rear your own queens?
  • Queen rearing
  • Making nucs/Rainbow nucs
  • Making 3 and 5 frame nucs
  • DIY Rainbow nucs
Paul White
Phil Ramsey
Emma Nye
  • Bee Safari An interesting day for you all where we visit a number of Apiaries belonging to members of the Association
  • We are joined by the Beekeeping Inspector who will show you the different methods of keeping bees
Jeremy Quinlan
Barrie Powell
  • Importance of drones- mating/varroa control
  • When and how to feed?
  • Drone laying queens
  • Laying workers, identification and solutions?
  • Feeding
Richard Allen
Jeremy Quinlan
Heather Carter
  • Uniting
  • Check for stores
  • Is the queen bee good for winter ?
  • Uniting - when and how?
Barrie Powell
Helen Thorne
Heather Carter
  • Winter preparation
  • Check to ensure you have a good laying queen and plenty of stores
Phil Ramsey
Paul White
  • What to do and how to prepare hives for winter
  • Are hives dry/safe/warm ? What do we need to do with hives before winter
Barrie Powell
  • Farewell, Final Check
  • Farewell Are the hives warm and ready for the winter Have we treated for Varroa
Jeremy Quinlan
Barrie Powell
Sessions considered particularly helpful to those intending taking the BBKA’s Basic Assessment have been marked B.
If you want to change or delete any information on this table please email the changes to