Introduction to Beekeeping for Beginners

Beginners’ Course

We run a course for beginner beekeepers every year. The course covers the essential knowledge and skills that all new beekeepers should have before they take delivery of their first colony of bees. The syllabus follows the British Beekeeping Association Introduction to Beekeeping Course and covers the following material:

General introduction to beekeeping

The colony

The hive

History of beekeeping

The beekeeping year


Swarms and swarm control

Pests and diseases

Bees, plants and hive products

Getting started – what happens next?

After the classroom sessions have been completed, beginners will attend two further sessions at our branch apiary to gain some hands-on experience of working with bees, and essential handling skills. These sessions form an important part of the beginners’ course programme.

The dates of the apiary sessions will be confirmed at a later date, and may have to change if the weather is unsuitable for opening hives for inspection.

Following attendance at both hands-on club apiary sessions we will assign each beginner a mentor to support them through their first beekeeping season. Please note that we are only able to offer mentoring to course participants whose apiary is in West Wiltshire.

Beginners’ Course 2024 – Dates and Venue

The 2024 Beginners Course has now finished. The next Beginners Course will take place in February and March 2025. Dates are yet to be finalised, but will be published on this page when they have been agreed.

Cost of the Beginners’ Course

We welcome and encourage anyone interested in beekeeping to join our eight session Beginners’ Course – the course fee is £80. In addition to the course fee, you will need to take out full membership of the WWBKA. WWBKA membership provides access to a wide range of benefits, including insurance for the practical sessions and mentoring that are part of our Beginners Training package. The annual cost of membership in our active and friendly is an additional £40.00. You can apply for membership here.

Attendees are also asked to obtain a copy of the BBKA Guide to Beekeeping, which is required reading and supports the course material.

Book on to the beginners’ course

To find out more, or to book on to the next beginners’ course, please contact our Training Co-ordinator at