Beginners Sessions

Beginners Sessions

Beginners Sessions at the Apiary – 2020

Welcome to the new season at the HBKA Apiary. In 2020 we again intend to hold our popular beginners’ sessions. We will start with our Frame Making Afternoon (see below for details). Outdoor practical sessions will take place on 10 Sunday afternoons at 2pm, for approximately 2 hours each, starting in May and running until August.
You don’t need to have bees to attend – just an interest in seeing what it’s all about. The sessions are open to Hexham BKA members (both beginners and those with some experience) who would like to see a range of different beekeeping skills and ways to deal with what you may find in your own hive when you open it.

The things we will cover are briefly:
Bee & brood identification and health of the colony
Feeding – what to feed, how & when
Equipment – what you need and how to use it
Swarm control – recognising the symptoms and managing the process
Disease diagnosis and control – varroa and other common diseases

The sessions are run as a series of separate meetings with an informal style. We put our beginners into groups of 4-5 with a demonstrator, who will be one of our more experienced beekeepers. You don’t need to commit to all the sessions – just pick the ones that you can attend. These are practical sessions and you will get hands-on time in a hive. We have bee-suits and gloves available for people to borrow. The only things you need are a pair of wellies, reading glasses (if you wear them) and a keen interest in learning about beekeeping. We finish each session with a drink and biscuit so that everyone gets a chance to meet the other beginners and have a chat.

The sessions will depend to some extent on weather and availability of demonstrators. A full list of the sessions we ran in 2019 is provided below – the corresponding 2020 dates will be provided in due course. As we limit the number of beginners around each hive (so that everyone gets some hands-on time), I need to know in advance who will be attending and there will be a maximum of 20 people at any session. Therefore, once the 2020 dates are published, anyone wishing to come should email me at with the dates they would like to attend so that we know how many people are interested. I will then email out with information for joining the sessions. Please check the website or our Facebook page for up-to-date details of the sessions.

Practical Beginners Sessions scheduled for 2020*

* NB – The following dates should be considered as ‘provisional’ in light of the government restrictions being imposed in response to COVID-19. It seems likely that many of the early meetings will not take place. We hope to be able resume the sessions at some point during the summer if/when circumstances permit. We will keep those interested in attending informed of developments through updates on Facebook and via e-mail.

Date        Type of meeting
25 Apr     Beginners Frame Making
17 May    Beginners Practical #1
31 May    Beginners Practical #2
07 Jun     Beginners Practical #3
28 Jun     Beginners Practical #4
12 Jul      Beginners Practical #5
19 Jul      Beginners Practical #6
26 Jul      Beginners Practical #7
09 Aug    Beginners Practical #8
16 Aug    Beginners Practical #9
23 Aug    Beginners Practical #10

Beginners Frame Making Session – 25 April 2020*

To begin our Beginners’ Sessions we had hoped to organise a frame making afternoon on 25 April.

The aim would be to learn how to make frames and how to prepare your kit for the coming season. This is a practical session so please bring a small hammer, pliers, strong bladed knife and wooden chopping board (to protect the Village Hall tables). Don’t worry if you don’t have all these things just bring what you can, we will have a few spare.

All beginners and new members welcome, you don’t need to have bees, plus anyone who feels they need a bit of practice at frame making. Experienced frame makers welcome to help, instruct and make frames – we need lots for the coming season. Tea, coffee, biscuits and a good chat are provided. You could also bring a cake if you feel so inclined.

*NB – Please note that this event is now unlikely to proceed in light of the restrictions being imposed in response to COVID-19. 

If you would like more details please email me at beginners

Sue Robinson