Beekeeping - Beginners' Course

Our 2019 Beginners' Course will again be led by David Packham, Seasonal Bee Inspector, with assistance from other beekeepers.

The course is intended for complete beginners without bees and no or very little experience but with the desire to learn about bees and beekeeping with a view to keeping bees. Students will automatically become members of DBKA and BBKA by enrolling on the course.

Course content

  • The natural history of the honey bee.
  • Clothing and equipment.
  • Products of the beehive.
  • Getting started with bees.
  • The annual cycle of work in the apiary, including swarm control.
  • Disease, poisoning and pests of the honey bee.

Individuals who are known to react badly to bee stings are advised against handling bees.

Course venue

The Green Room, Broadclyst Victory Hall, Broadclyst, Exeter EX5 3EE.

Course dates

  • Wednesday 6th February 2019.
  • Wednesday 13th February 2019.
  • Wednesday 20th February 2019.
  • Wednesday 27th February 2019.
  • Wednesday 6th March 2019.
  • Wednesdayy 13th March 2019.

The sessions will run from 7pm - 9pm (with a short break for tea/coffee).

Two practical apiary sessions will be planned for (provisionally Saturday 6th and Saturday 27th March 2019) depending on the weather.


  • £110 to include BBKA registered membership (normally £37) for one year.
  • £90 for partner, living at the same address as a registered member, includes partner membership.
  • £55 for junior member (under 18 on 1st January 2019) to include junior membership.

Payment due by 1st December 2018.

Book now

Space is limited to 20 students and early booking using the booking form below is advised to avoid disappointment.

Cancellations up to one month before the course start date (6th January 2019) will be refunded in full. Cancellations after this point will receive no refund, but you may instead elect to defer to the following year subject to the payment of any increase in the course fee.

Your details

One booking form per person.
Membership category
Do you have any special requirements to assist your learning?
Have you had any experience handling bees or any aspect of beekeeping?

Bees for beginners

A "Nuc" (short for nucleus colony) is a fully functional miniature size bee colony and is a great starter colony for the beginning beekeeper to grow and build confidence with. Our branch apiary may be able to provide a nuc of bees for beginners at a reduced rate. Is this something you would be interested in?
Interested in a nuc?
Would you like to subscribe to Beekeepers Quarterly magzine?
The Beekeepers Quarterly is a quality beekeeping journal for beekeepers interested in what is happening around the world. It normally costs £30 for one year (issues in March, June, September and December) but can be ordered through DBKA’s bulk subscription scheme for £20. It is posted directly to your address as a member. If you want to subscribe for 2019 please add £20 to your payment and tick the box.
2019 subscription (£20.00)


Bee Diseases Insurance (through BDI Limited) covers losses due to notifiable bee diseases. Insurance for three colonies is included in the registered membership subscription only. Registered members with more than 3 hives are required to increase the insurance component of their subscription as per the table below.

Members are advised to read the terms and conditions of this insurance before subscribing to ensure that the cover and terms are appropriate for their situation. Use the tables below to calculate the additional premiums payable. Special terms are available for members with forty or more colonies.
Do you require insurance?
(For example, iff you have 4 hives in total, the first 3 are covered in the subscription. You need to pay a further £2.00)
Method of payment
Please let us know how you will be paying the booking fee (details will be in your confirmation email).

Gift Aid declaration

DBKA can claim 25p in Gift Aid for every pound from your membership subscriptions and donations. Please indicate if you would like DBKA to treat these as Gift Aid donations.
I am a UK taxpayer and understand that if I pay less Income Tax and/or Capital Gains Tax in the current tax year than the amount of Gift Aid claimed on all my donations, it is my responsibility to pay any difference.

Your privacy

Your name and contact details will appear in the DBKA online yearbook and may be used by DBKA and BBKA and Bee Diseases Insurance Limited (BDI) to facilitate the administration of membership services. Your name and contact details may be passed to the National Bee Unit (NBU). You are encouraged to register on BeeBase, the NBU website. Registration will ensure that beekeepers receive automatic notification of notifiable bee diseases in their area as well as free advice and guidance from the NBU.

If you do not wish your contact details to be published in the DBKA online yearbook and/or do not want your contact details passed to NBU, please inform the membership secretary when you book your place on the course.
I have read and accepted the terms detailed in the privacy section above.