The Association has a teaching apiary at the Marlborough School in Woodstock which boasts a custom-made workshed, fully equipped to meet the needs of beginner beekeepers including study for the BBKA Basic Examination. The Woodstock Teaching Apiary is managed by Kevin Mewis and Jonathan Clark.
Within the Woodstock apiary stands a Bee-bole, which serves to remind newcomers to beekeeping that it is an ancient craft on which they are embarking. The Bee-bole also highlights the development of bee management techniques, from skeps to the modern hive, as well as pointing out the value of changing comb regularly.
Adjacent to the teaching apiary at Woodstock is the bee garden that displays the main species of plants that all types of nectar-seeking insects (including bees) favour. This extension to the apiary is meant to provide not only an educational resource but also an area where staff, students, members and visitors can relax and enjoy the moment.
Our annual beginners course starts in February with an introductory “What is Beekeeping” meeting at Marlborough school in Woodstock. This is followed by a series of largely practical sessions where you are split into small groups and are shown bees in operation within a hive. Over the period of May to September, at monthly intervals, on either Wednesday or Thursday evenings, you will be taken through the full cycle of bee behaviour, seeing the Queen developing her colony, watching bees foraging for nectar and pollen, looking for any signs of disease or other problems and (hopefully) extracting and bottling honey in late summer. With the assistance of our team of experienced tutors, by the end of your course you will be fully equipped to order your first nucleus of bees the following Spring and your beekeeping will take off !
Please note : to join the course (which costs £55 (2018)) you must also become a member of the Oxfordshire Beekeepers Association (O.B.K.A) See “join us” on the website.
For further details, or indeed if you would like to apply to attend the next Beginners Course, please contact Peter Chaunt, Beginners Course Co-ordinator, using the form below: