Beginners Sessions

Beginners Sessions

Beginners Sessions at the Apiary – 2021

Welcome to the new season at the HBKA Apiary. In 2021, we again intend to hold our popular beginners’ sessions. This year we are starting with an introductory zoom meeting for those who have already registered an interest. Outdoor practical sessions will then take place on 10 Sunday afternoons at 2pm, for approximately 2 hours each, starting on 16th May and running until 29th August.

As a result of the total cancellation of our 2020 Beginners Sessions and the currently restricted apiary capacity (in order to maintain social distancing), the 2021 sessions will be limited to a maximum of four sessions per person and these are already fully allocated. 

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. In 2021, we will put our beginners into groups of 3 with a demonstrator, who will be one of our more experienced beekeepers. 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 2021 dates shown below for information. 

Practical Beginners Sessions scheduled for 2021

Date        Type of meeting
28 Apr     Beginners Introductory Zoom meeting
16 May    Beginners Practical #1
30 May    Beginners Practical #2
06 Jun     Beginners Practical #3
13 Jun     Beginners Practical #4
27 Jun     Beginners Practical #5
04 Jul      Beginners Practical #6
18 Jul      Beginners Practical #7
01 Aug    Beginners Practical #8
15 Aug    Beginners Practical #9
29 Aug    Beginners Practical #10

Beginners Frame Making Session

To begin our Beginners’ Sessions we usually organise a frame making afternoon in April – but unfortunately not this year. We hope to resume this popular introductory session in 2022.

The aim is to learn how to make frames and how to prepare your kit for the coming season. This is a practical session at which you are required to 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 provide a few spares.

All beginners and new members are welcome (you don’t need to have bees) plus anyone who feels they need a bit of practice at frame making. Experienced frame makers are 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.

If you would like more details or to reserve a place for 2022, then please email me at

Sue Robinson