Learn to keep bees

Each year, depending on demand, we run one or two introductory courses …”Beekeeping For Beginners”… designed to introduce the craft of beekeeping to people who wish to find out more about this fascinating hobby. Many people who attend the course decide that they want to begin beekeeping, but this is by no means compulsory!


Next course will take place in Spring 2025.

Our courses are held on Saturdays during March/April each year and sometimes again in July/August, at the Riverford Organic Vegetables site, Sacrewell, Thornhaugh, Peterborough less than a mile from the A1/A47 junction close to Peterborough.

Each week a different aspect of bees and beekeeping is explained, and practical activities help reinforce the topics discussed. Each session is tutored by an experienced beekeeper.

Content for a Course is usually:

  • Week 1 The course format; Our Association; A brief history of beekeeping; Types of bee; Types of hive; Basic equipment; What is “normal”; Questions.
  • Week 2 Hive products; Pollination; Feeding; Shows; Sales.
  • Week 3 Hives and their assembly; Hive maintenance; Assembling frames; The hive in detail.
  • Week 4 The Colony; The importance of the queen; Bee communication both chemical and physical;
  • Week 5 The skills needed in beekeeping; Castes; Swarming; Division of labour; summer and winter
  • Week 6  Pests and parasites; Problems; Disease; Neighbours; Practice in bee handling.
Beginners course 2015

Suiting up for the practical

To request information or to enrol, please get in touch using the contact form.