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.

Percy Phelps will be hosting a regular series of talks via the training Zoom link on Wednesdays at 19:00 about his beekeeping experiences and tips relevant to the time of year for new beekeepers.

Contact annechantal@btinternet.com


PDBKA holds winter and early Spring training groups for members interested in following/attaining BBKA training qualifications:

Bee Basic – Practical assessment to promote new beekeepers’ training and knowledge and good practice of basic husbandry.

Bee Health  – to promote practical and theoretical knowledge of bee diseases increasingly prevalent due to climate change.

Module 2theoretical assessment of products of the hive from nectar collection by bees to honey processing by beekeeper.

General Husbandry – Practical assessment to promote intermediate beekeepers’ training and knowledge of bee husbandry, products of the hive, bee diseases and queen rearing.

To cover the theory, sessions will start on zoom unless the group wishes otherwise.

Bee Basic and Bee health are practical assessments and hands on so once the apiary opens, there will be a couple of practical sessions.

The modules are written papers.  Module 2 is offered at this time, other modules are available.

Members can join any of these groups and don’t have to do the assessments or paper at the end.

If interested please contact annechantal@btinternet.com before Christmas for a start in January.

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Beginner Training – 2.15pm Sundays in February & March

Session 1:(free) via Zoom  – 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.

The course consists of five sessions on Sunday afternoons, starting at 2.15pm and finishing at about 3.30pm with breaks for questions and answers.

The first session is free and is an overview of beekeeping to give people a chance to decide if beekeeping is really for them.
On the second session, a fee of £40 is payable. This includes Associate membership as well as the theoretical course.  It also includes the hands-on practical part of the course which takes place once a week at the Association Apiary for 6 weeks, there after joining other members at the Association apiary every Sunday afternoon throughout the summer.

please e-mail petersfieldbees@gmail.com to book a place

Session 2:  via Zoom.  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 3:  via Zoom.   The life of the Bee Colony

  • Bee Life cycle
  • Colony Life cycle
  • Swarming

Session 4:  at Petersfield Community Centre.  Hive Equipment and Manipulation

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

Session 5:  at Petersfield Community Centre. Honey and Wax

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

Please  e-mail petersfieldbees@gmail.com 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