Mantel Farm provide beginners beekeeping courses in Sussex. Each year the Hastings and Rother Division run a training course for those interested in taking up beekeeping. The course provides both theory and practical components. The aim of the course is to give potential beekeepers sufficient knowledge of the honey bee and good beekeeping husbandry that will allow them to:
- understand the basic biology and requirements of honey bees
- manage a few colonies of bees,
- make and maintain equipment
- produce and prepare honey
- be aware of their responsibilities and legal obligations as beekeepers and/or honey producers
The course is held at the Divisional Apiary at Ivyland Farm, Netherfield, nr Battle over two whole Saturdays, followed by several practical sessions on Saturday afternoons in the Divisional Apiary, bees and weather permitting. It covers hive structure and function; the purchase, construction and care of equipment; the biology of the honey bee; pests and diseases their recognition, prevention and treatment; how to open hives and handle bees; good beekeeping husbandry; preparing bee colonies for the winter; honey harvesting and preparation; the legal obligations of those who keep bees and/or sell honey. Participants are given the opportunity to handle bees, inspect a colony and to build hive parts. Further lectures suitable for beginners are given during the Winter Programme of the Division. After completion of the course participants should, with some practice and additional reading, be able to undertake the BBKA Basic Assessment.
Next year the division plan to run a half or one-day taster session for those thinking of taking up beekeeping as well as the more detailed course outlined above.
If you are interested in joining these, please get in get in touch with the Training Co-ordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org