RBKA Beekeeping For Beginners


 An Introduction to Beekeeping

For anyone who thinks they might interested in keeping bees

The 2024 Course has now been successfully completed. The next Course will be in March/April 2025. Details of costs and timing will be announced by October 2024.This extremely successful and popular course is based around the BBKA Course in a Case and has been further developed over the last few years we have been running it. It now incorporates the latest developments in beekeeping and includes practical and outdoor work, for those who wish to do it.


The location is Oswaldkirk Village Hall [YO62 5XT]

The  Course  comprises:

  • An Outdoor open-hive session will be arranged at the last indoor session
  • In addition participants are invited to attend all/any of RBKA’s 2024 indoor and outdoor meetings
  • The tutor is Dr Rhona Sutherland with assistance from other Ryedale beekeepers

Course Summary:
Session 1     
Introduction to Bees   Origin and variety of Honeybees and other bees – The Colony – Anatomy and life cycle

Session 2    The Hive and Beekeeping equipment   History of Beekeeping – Structure of modern hives – Beekeeping Equipment

Session 3
   The Beekeeping Year   Changes in the Colony through the year – Colony management and record keeping – Swarming and its control

Session 4    Pests and diseases  Healthy Bees . Possible Pests – Brood diseases – Chalk brood, Foul Broods – Adult bee

diseases – Nosema, Acarine and Varroa – Possible future pests – Small hive beetle and Asiatic Hornet

Session 5/6    Hive products and practical sessions   Sources of Pollen and Nectar – Honey Extraction – Microscopic observation of bees and  Practicals   Making up frames – Lighting smokers – Tasting honey – Next Steps – Organising Apiary sessions.  Discussing sources of equipment, help and information

Bee Life Cycle

This is a National Geographic life-cycle video.  It’s well worth watching – come to the Course and find out more!.

Beginners’ Course 2024

The 2024 Course has now been successfully concluded – ending with a practical session and samples of the RBKA Chair’s interestingly flavoured mead. Thanks to all participants and we hope your fascination with bees and beekeeping continues. We look forward to seeing you at future RBKA meetings.

The Australian Flow Hive

A video about the Flow Hive for those on the 2022 Course, and anyone else who is interested!

The Aussie Flow Hive!

There is also more information [including costs] on their commercial site. Inclusion of this link does not constitute a recommendation for their products!

Bee Farmers’ AGM Video

An interesting video from the Bee farmers’ AGM is available on YouTube if you follow this link.

BBKA Basic Assessment and other Training Options 

BBKA offers members a series of 8 Practical assessments and 7 Modules examinations to help raise the standard of Beekeeping, see the BBKA website .
 The exams start with the Bee Basic Assessment which Beekeepers are encouraged to take after they have been keeping Bees for at least 12 months, and for which a Pass is required before any of the other examinations can be taken.
If you are interested in taking on the challenge of the Bee Basic please contact Simon Lathlean in order to organise the assessment in collaboration with YBKA and BBKA.

There is also information on other courses and qualifications that are open to members.

Bee Basic Results-2019

Congratulations to Rick Colman, Kay Stevens and Simon Lathlean on gaining their Bee Basic beekeeping qualifications from BBKA.

Especially well done to Rick and Kay, who who passed with a Credit!

Beekeeping for Beginners 2019

The 2019 Beekeeping for Beginners Course has now finished.

The last session involved practical work making up brood and super frames as well as trying to set the Village Hall alight with smokers.

Many thanks to the participants for their commitment and enthusiasm. We hope to see you all at our future meetings!

Beekeeping for Beginners  2018

Martin just loves beekeeping…

The apiary visits by those on the course in 2018 have now been completed and some fine photos of one of these sessions are available courtesy of Polly Baldwin who attended this year’s course and is also a professional photographer! Follow the link to see her pictures…Practical and Open Hive sessions – RBKA Training Course 2018

Some of Polly’s Pictures from one of the hive sessions, after the course…