Beekeeping Courses for Beginners

Local beekeeping associations in Hampshire such as those listed below offer courses to those who are interested in beekeeping. Some offer a series of evening classes through winter, others a 2-day weekend in spring or early summer, or a single day ‘taster’. Some now offer online courses with additional practical support.

Most attendees will go on to keep bees but the courses can also be of interest to those who wish to learn more about honey bees. We strongly advise that anyone who wishes to start keeping bees attends a structured course to learn the basics.

Additional local information can be found on the associations’ websites; please click here for links to local associations.

For intermediate and advanced training offered by Hampshire associations, please CLICK HERE.

Andover Basingstoke Fareham
Fleet Meon Valley (theory) Meon Valley (practical)
Meon Valley (taster day) Meridian New Forest
Petersfield Portsmouth Romsey (beginners)
Romsey (taster day) Southampton Southwest Hampshire
Winchester
Andover BKA Beginners’ Beekeeping Course 2022
Start and duration: Starting Tuesday 11th January, running for 8 weeks from 7.30pm then practical sessions during the season
Venue: Picket Piece Village Hall
Cost: £30 including a beekeeping book for homework and a hive tool
All you need to bring is a notepad and pencil
Website and contact: Please click here for more details or to register

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Basingstoke BKA Introduction to Beekeeping course 2022
Start and duration: To be advised
Venue: To be advised
Cost: To be advised
We run an exciting introductory course each year for those in the Basingstoke and surrounding areas to learn how to get started as a beekeeper. It is an informal, non-examination course where no previous knowledge or experience is required and there is no obligation to join the Association.
Website and contact: Please click here for more details or to register

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Fareham & District BKA Beekeeping Course 2022
Start and duration: January 2022
Venue: To be advised
Cost: £75
The course consists of 6 theory classes and a practical session. The 2022 course is underway and fully subscribed but you can register for the 2023 course by clicking the link below
Website and contact: Click here for more details or to register

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Fleet BKA Beginner Training 2022
Start and duration: To be advised
Venue: To be advised
Cost: To be advised
We expect our course to start in spring 2022 with theory sessions in March and April followed by practical training.
Website and contact: Please click here for more details or to register

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Meon Valley Beginners’ Theory Course 2022
Start and duration: Tuesday 8 February for eight weeks
Venue: The first session will be held at Warnford Village Hall (SO32 3LB); sessions 2 – 6 will be held via Zoom
Cost: £100
We record the Zoom sessions so members can catch up if they miss a session. Session seven is held again at Warnford and session eight is at the association apiary when we introduce them to the bees and demonstrate essential skills such as lighting a smoker.
Website and contact: Please click here for more details or to register

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Meon Valley Beginners’ Practical Course 2022
Start and duration: Last week end April/first week end May (weather dependent)
Venue: The association apiary
Cost: £100
The course is held every two weeks, either on a Saturday or Sunday depending on other activities the association is involved in, throughout the season ending with a session about cleaning kit in November.
Website and contact: Contact Jean Frost (Training Team Leader)

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Meon Valley Taster Day 2022
Start and duration: Sunday 12 June
Venue: East Meon Village Hall
Cost: £85
A talk about bees and beekeeping is followed by a picnic lunch at the association apiary in East Meon. After lunch we open hives and have a general discussion about the type of hives, what is inside and general information about the bees.. We have bee suits that we can loan. We end with a Q & A session with tea and cake.
Website and contact: Click here for more details or to register

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Meridian BKA Beekeeping Course 2022
Start and duration: Wednesday 12th January 2022 for 7 weeks, followed by practical sessions
Venue: Curdridge Reading Rooms, Reading Room Lane, Curdridge, Southampton SO32 2HF
Cost: £110
Website and contact: Click here for more details or to register

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New Forest and District Beekeepers Association Introduction to Beekeeping for Beginners Course 2022
Start and duration: Wednesday evenings for 6 weeks, 7.30pm to 9.30pm, starting mid-March
Venue: Lyndhurst Community Centre
Cost: £75 including Associate membership giving full access to all the association support and events
Our course covers the basics of beekeeping: good colony handling techniques and factual things that all beekeepers should know in order to care for their bees responsibly, such as the life cycles of queens, drones and workers, the swarming procedure and disease recognition. It includes two hands-on ‘meet the bees’ apiary sessions and Associate membership to New Forest & District Beekeeping Association.
Website and contact: Please click here for more details

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Petersfield BKA Beginners’ Course 2022
Start and duration: Sundays 20 February, 27 February, 6 March and 20 March 2022; all 2:30pm to 4:30pm
Venue: Petersfield Community Centre
Cost: The first session is free; then £40 which includes membership of the association
The first of the 4 sessions in our beginners’ course is a free taster session. Training continues in the apiary from spring
Website and contact: Please click here for more details or email petersfieldbees@gmail.com to book a place

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Portsmouth BKA Beekeeping Course 2022
Start and duration: January 2022 for 8 weeks
Venue: Portchester Community Centre
Cost: £60
The aim is to provide the theoretical knowledge required to safely manage honey bee colonies.
Website and contact: Please email for more details or to register

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Romsey & District BKA Beginners’ Course 2022
Start and duration: Enrol any time up till the end of April; learn at your own pace. We will support you while you learn and through the 2022 season
Venue: Online (multi-media) and later at Awbridge Village Hall
Cost: £110. Cost includes materials and a full day of practical work with a hands-on visit to the bees
This course aims to provide newcomers to the craft of beekeeping with enough knowledge to start this season, using pre-recorded tutorials, online chat sessions, and an essential full day of practical experience. The 12 tutorials, recorded by our expert members, are offered online so that you can choose your own quiet time for watching. We hold live Zoom Q&A sessions with the tutors from mid-February to mid-April. Each beginner receives a package of reading material. The course includes a full day at Awbridge (near Romsey) with practical sessions so that you can handle bees with confidence under supervision. You are encouraged to learn at your own pace and will be supported throughout the course and your start in beekeeping
Website and contact: Please click here for additional information, and how to enrol

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Romsey & District BKA Taster Day 2022
Start and duration: Sunday 17th July
Venue: Awbridge Village Hall
Cost: £90
While we advise anyone who intends to keep bees to enrol on a full beginners’ course, this one-day event will provide an introduction for those who would like to know more about honey bees and beekeeping before taking that step.
Website and contact: Please click here for additional information, and how to enrol

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Southampton & District Beekeepers’ Association Beginners’ Course 2022
Start and duration: Starting 23rd February 2022
Venue: Online
Cost: To be advised
We will be running a beginners’ course in 2022. Please contact us for details
Website and contact: Please click here for latest announcements

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South-West Hampshire Beginners’ Course 2022
Start and duration: Mid-March at 7:30 p.m. for 7 weekly sessions, then 4 weekly session in the apiary (weather etc permitting)
Venue: Brockenhurst Village Hall, S)42 7RY
Cost: Cost £100 including full SWHB, BBKA & HBA membership, or £80 including Associate SWHB membership only
Our beginners course is perfect for both non-beekeepers and those who started beekeeping in the last 12 months.
Each evening class covers a different aspect of beekeeping to give you a strong start.
Website and contact: Please click here for more details

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Winchester BKA Beekeeping Course 2022
Start and duration: Saturday 19th March 2022 10:00-4:00
Venue: Itchen Abbas Village Hall
Cost: £25
If you are interested in keeping honeybees, we offer an informal one day classroom based course: Beekeeping for Absolute Beginners. This course is ideal for anyone who has an interest in bees and starting beekeeping and aims to help you decide whether beekeeping is right for you.
Website and contact: Please click here for more details or to register

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