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Enter the world of the honey bee and join our ‘Beekeeping for Beginners’ course.

We are a group of hobby beekeepers based in the New Forest and along the south coast between Southampton and Bournemouth.

Our next course starts Wednesday 21st February 2024. 

The course includes:

– 7 inter-active classroom sessions on Wednesday evenings

– practical training sessions in our club apiary throughout the summer

– year-round support from your bee buddy

This course is ideal if you would like to start beekeeping or have been keeping bees for less than a year. Also great as a gift for a family member or friend.

Course options

We offer two different options for those taking the beginner’s course. Both include all theory and practical training sessions and support from a bee buddy:

Full membership – £130

This includes the Beginners course, full SWHBK membership (includes talks, events, newsletters and support), British Beekeepers Association (BBKA) membership, Hampshire Beekeepers Association membership and Bee Disease insurance (BDI) for up to 3 colonies – recommended if you wish to or already keep bees in 2024.

Associate membership – £100

This includes the Beginners course, associate SWHBK membership (includes talks, events, newsletters and support) – ideal for those who are undecided about having their own bees or who are full members of another association.

Your membership will start 1st January 2024 and last until 31st December 2024.

We can supply gift vouchers on request.

Our next course runs for seven evenings in Brockenhurst and starts Wednesday 21 February 2024 at 19:30. The dates of the other Wednesday evening sessions are 28 February, 13, 20 and 27 March, 10 and 17 April.

Classroom sessions

Each evening class will cover a different aspect of beekeeping from bee biology, pests and diseases, through to making frames, choosing the right hive and the best spot for your own apiary – for more information scroll on below.

Week no.Topic
1Introduction. What is a honey bee? Introduction to equipment. Getting to know a hive
2The colony. How to choose an apiary site
3History of beekeeping techniques and equipment. Hive and frame making demo & practical
4Beekeeping year – bees and beekeeper. Feeding and feeders
5Apiary hygiene. Notifiable diseases. Lesser diseases. Animal pests inc Asian Hornet
6Swarming and swarm control. Small group practical
7Getting bees. Getting started – equipmentSetting up your own apiaryYour own apiary
Note: order of topics may change

Apiary sessions

Practical apiary training will be on warm and dry days throughout the active beekeeping season at our club apiary in the New Forest.


Each new beekeeper will also be offered a bee buddy or mentor who will help you out as you start your journey into the world of beekeeping.

Recommended course book

Anyone attending the course we recommend you get this book. It covers all the basics of beekeeping.


Complete the form to reserve your place or contact if you have additional questions.

Book now as spaces are limited