The association provides training on an informal basis. These are lecture based during the Autumn/Winter with practical training combined with the Apiary meetings during Spring/Summer. It can also support those members wishing to take BBKA examinations and assessments.

Bee icon


Learn More
Bee icon


Learn More
Bee icon


Learn More

Beginner Training – 2pm Sunday at Petersfield Community Centre

Session 1: 23rd February 2020 (free) Brief Introduction to Beekeeping:

  • What is a honey bee?
  • How does it live.
  • Brief history of beekeeping
  • Where & how do we keep them.
  • Amount of work & equipment involved in their care and management
  • Basic beekeeping year
  • Why they swarm.
  • Hazards to keeper (stings and allergies) to bees.
  • Rewards.

£40 charge to continue the course, which includes one year’s Associate Membership of PDBKA and ongoing hands-on training at the Association Apiary for the season

please e-mail to book a place

Session 2: 1st March 2020 The life of the Bee Colony

  • Bee Life cycle
  • Colony Life cycle
  • Swarming

Session 3: 8 March Keeping Bees

  • Bee Space (fundamental building block)
  • Establishing an apiary
  • Colony Management across the year
  • Importance of record-keeping
  • Importance of keeping healthy bees

Session 4: 15th March 2020 Hive Manipulation

  • Suits, smokers & hive tools
  • Basic Hive, components & assembly
  • Preparation & manipulation of frames
  • Maintenance of Apiary site

Session 5: Honey & Wax

  • Honey
    • Composition
    • Variations
    • Harvesting
    • Treatment
    • Storage/Selling/Distributing
  • Wax
    • use in the hive
    • Extraction & cleaning
    • candles, polishes & balms

Please  e-mail book a place.


Improver Training

The PDBKA Improver Training sessions are based on the BBKA ‘Improvers’ Course-In-A-Case Red Course

Session 1: Hive Design & Equipment

  • Hives and frames
  • Design of hives, bee space
  • Apiary hygiene
  • Correct use of equipment
  • Personal protective equipment

Session 2: Apiary Location & Management Siting of apiaries

  • Layout of hives and equipment
  • Temperament and aggression
  • Natural food sources for an apiary
  • Drifting and problems that may occur
  • Annual cycle of management of a hive
  • Preparation of hives for the winter
  • Spring Management
  • Reasons for regular comb changing
  • What to do before opening a hive
  • Time and reasons for adding supers
  • The principles of feeding honeybees
  • Robbing and the causes and prevention

Session 3: Natural History and Biology

  • Differing races of honeybees
  • Other honey bees and problems
  • Features of queens, drones and workers
  • Life cycle of queens, workers & drones
  • Natural mating of queens
  • Seasonal variations in hive strength
  • Work carried out by worker bees
  • Summer and Winter bees
  • Basic function of the exocrine glands
  • Detection & use of alarm pheromones
  • Bee dances

Session 4: Foraging

  • Benefit of local forage crops
  • The special requirements of some crops
  • Undesirable sources of honey
  • The composition of nectar
  • Source and characteristics of honeydew
  • Conversion of nectar to honey
  • The use of pollen to identify honey
  • Other forage, water, pollen and propolis

Session 5: Pests and Diseases

  • How to examine a brood comb
  • The visual symptoms of EFB
  • The visual symptoms of AFB
  • Other notifiable pests
  • Action on notifiable pests and diseases
  • When a Bee Inspector calls
  • Monitoring various levels of varroa
  • Recognition of Nosema infection
  • Recognition of Acarine infestation
  • Recognition of chalk brood
  • Recognition of sac brood
  • Recognition of virus infections
  • Integrated Pest Management
  • Other methods of disease management
  • Mice, woodpeckers and larger animals

Session 6: Honey Removal, & Processing

  • Legal and hygiene requirements
  • Extraction and bottling facilities
  • Removal of Supers from Hives
  • Storage before extraction
  • Preparation for extraction
  • Types of extractor
  • Extraction
  • Storage after extraction
  • Melting, straining and bottling
  • Labelling and the legal requirements
  • Selling honey, sections and cut combs

Session 7: Swarm Prevention and Control

  • Biology of Swarming
  • Preparation for swarming
  • Swarm prevention
  • Basic elements of swarm control
  • Basic Swarm control methods
  • Taking and Hiving a swarm

Session 8: Other Products, Nuclei and Packages

  • The reclamation of wax
  • The preparation of wax for sale
  • The collection and uses of pollen
  • The collection of venom
  • The collection and uses of propolis
  • A nucleus and a package
  • The method of making nuclei
  • The standards of nuclei for sale
  • Preparation & standards and packages
  • Showing

Session 9: Beekeeping Procedures

  • Preparation for moving colonies
  • Artificial swarming and equipment
  • Queen Introduction
  • Queen Marking
  • Queen colours
  • Queen Clipping
  • Bailey comb change
  • Shook Swarm
  • Uniting Colonies

Session 10: Summary of course and discussion

  • Dealing with an aggressive colony
  • Normal Reactions to Stings
  • Anaphylaxis
  • Preparing for further study
  • Learning to Teach others
  • Getting involved with organisations
  • The national beekeeping scene
  • BBKA and NBU

Proficient Training

The PDBKA Proficient training course is based on the syllabus for the BBKA Modules 5-8 and the Advanced Husbandry Assessment