Beekeeping (OL03L78F)

Learn all you need to know about keeping bees from an expert beekeeper.
Four theory lessons in real time online classes.
Two Saturday morning classes live in the apiary at Uckfield College.

Where? This is an online course.
When? Tuesday, 7:00pm - 9:00pm from 8th June 2021 until 29th June 2021 for 4 weeks.

10th July - Practical session postponed adverse weather
How much does it cost? The full fee is £104.00. The concessionary fee is £56.00. Reduced fees are available to students in receipt of certain means-tested benefits. For more information on applicable benefits and eligibility please see the Financial Support page on our website or contact the ACRES team.

Please see additional cost information below
You will need to supply your own protective safety clothing

How to enrol?

Course overview

This is a a blended learning course.
You will obtain all the necessary theoretical knowledge required to keep honey bees in 4 real time online lessons and then you will attend 2 practical classes at the ACRES' apiary in Uckfield College where you will handle live bees and gain the necessary knowledge and experience you need to be able to start keeping your own bees.
Practical classes: 10am - 13.30pm on Saturdays 17th & 31st July 2021. (Back up date 7th August 2021)

What you already need to know

This course is suitable for complete beginners and those who would like to refresh their knowledge.

What you will learn

The theory part of the course will include:
- The anatomy and lifecycle of a worker, drone and queen bee
- Understanding how the honey bee colony works
- The role of a beekeeper
- How to get started
- The hive and all its components
- The personal equipment required and how to use it
- Setting up an apiary
- Bee swarm prevention and control
- Capturing and hiving a swarm
- Bee and colony health, controlling diseases and pests
- Overwintering bees
- The beekeeping year and record keeping.
- Harvesting honey, collecting pollen and propolis
- Dealing with problems
- Observing health and safety when handling bees
- Arranging insurance in rural and urban areas

During the practical lessons you will:

- Experience what beekeeping involves
- Learn how to set up and maintain a hive
- Handle bees safely using your own protective equipment

How you will learn it

The theory part of the course will be taught in real time using the video platform Google Meet, supported by other online resources. To ensure you get the most out of the course and can fully participate in the sessions you will interact with your tutor and other students through speaking, listening and the chat function, as well as being able to see each other via the video links, though you can turn off your camera and microphone at any time.

You will therefore need to have access to either a laptop, computer or portable device (eg tablet or phone) (this ideally needs to be less than 5 years old), with a camera / webcam and microphone, as well as a good broadband / Wi-Fi connection.

Though it is not essential, you may choose to create a separate email account for your online learning (preferably Gmail which is most compatible with Google Meet). This will give you the added security to allow you to share your email address with your tutor and other students on the course to enhance your learning experience, without disclosing your personal information.

At the start of the course and before each lesson your tutor will send you an invitation with a link to join the class and any further information including resources and equipment you will need for the lesson.

For the practical part of the course:

Saturdays 10th & 17th July classes will be held 10am - 13.30pm at Uckfield College in the Eco area at the lower end of the car park (behind Freedom Leisure Centre). The leisure centre is open for students to use the toilets and to purchase refreshments.
Uckfield College, Downsview Crescent, Uckfield TN22 3DJ

What do I need to bring to the first session?

For the practical lessons you will need your own protective equipment.
You will need a full length boiler type beekeeping suit which includes a veil (approx. price £25) and wellington boots, plus beekeeping gloves that cover hands and forearms to the elbow (approx. price £10) as basic safety equipment.
Please avoid using strong perfumed products when attending the apiary.

If you are unsure of what you need or where to purchase, your tutor Steve will give you more information during the course.

How much extra study or practice is involved?

You will be given additional research to carry out at home if you wish to do so, but this will be optional.

What do previous students say?

"Amazing course, I have learnt loads"
"Steve really knows his stuff"
"I am so excited to be finally getting my own bees. Steve has given me all the information I need and is on hand for advice along the way"

What are the next steps within this subject with ACRES?

What are the future steps beyond ACRES?

Find out about other courses with the National Careers Service for opportunities to extend your skills and knowledge.

How can I get further information about these?

Please visit our website at, see our brochure, or alternatively contact a member of the team on 01825 761820.