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What career opportunities can this lead to?

After a year or two of handling bees, the student could attend a further course that will prepare them for the British Beekeepers Association - Basic Certificate examination. Thereafter, further practical work and study can lead to Master Beekeeper - see for details. Finally a National Diploma in Bee-keeping is available; see

Normally, a refresher course is required before students can take the BBKA basic assessment.

What are the entry requirements?

There are no formal entry requirements in respect of this course; it is suitable for everyone interested in keeping bees.

What does this programme involve?

You will learn the basics of Beekeeping including:
- Learning to recognise the difference between honey bees, solitary bees and wasps.
- Learning about the amazing activities of honey bees.
- Recognising the sexes and castes of honey bees.
- Parts of the hive, choices of some of the different hives with their pros and cons.
- How bees function and how the bee-keeper manages them - other tools of the trade.
- Identifying and managing major pests and diseases.
- Details of insurance and local associations.
- Swarm collection and swarm control.
- Harvesting, storage, processing, labelling and selling honey.

The course includes six evenings in a classroom, plus one practical session held at an apiary, usually at the weekend.

A college certificate will be awarded on request.

How is the programme taught and assessed?

You will learn through the presentation of information and demonstrations in small chunks separated by question and answer sessions. The course will include some hands-on activities, for example, looking for varroa in hive debris and assembling a frame.

What else do I need to know?

Students are responsible for the purchase of any materials or clothing relevant for the course.

Please bring a pen and paper to your first class and a diary to record date for apiary session/apiary visit. Wellingtons and marigold gloves for the apiary session will be required - suit will be provided.

No additional costs are anticipated.

Dates for the diary

Our part-time open event is held every June. For specific dates and times please see the events section of our website or telephone 023 8091 1270.

How do I apply?

Apply by clicking on the APPLY NOW link on this page. Alternatively, you can apply by completing an application form through our Adult and Community Learning team by telephone 023 8091 1270 or via email at

*Fees will apply if you are over 18. You may be eligible for fee support or a loan. To find out an accurate cost, based on your individual circumstances, please contact our Adult and Community Learning team.

Course Code


Session Venue Starts Days Time Weeks Fees* 24+ Fees*
G333B Thornden School 30/01/2019 Wed 19:00 – 21:00 7 £112.00 £112.00 Apply now

* Please note that although this tool looks to give customers the best indication of course costs, a final cost can only be confirmed once all submitted information is verified by our information, advice and guidance team.

Need any further advice?

If you require further advice and guidance about any course costs and/or the funding options available to you, the College has a dedicated Adult and Community Learning team who can be contacted on telephone 023 8091 1270.

The Equality Act

The College wishes to ensure that it complies with the requirements of the Equality Act 2010. If you are a disabled person, please ensure that we know what you need so that we can make all reasonable adjustments to help you succeed.

Please note all courses descriptions may be subject to change.

Course Notice

Unfortunately this course is now full. Please select another date, if available, or click here to submit an enquiry. By doing so our admissions team can contact you if a place becomes available.