OBKA Beginners Course

Beginners Beekeeping Course

Our annual beginners course starts in late February/early March with an introductory “What is Beekeeping” meeting at Marlborough school in Woodstock. The aim of this session is to give you an overview of beekeeping  and the Beginners course; you do not have to have signed up for the beginners course to attend this session (but see Please Note, below).


The Beginners Course ‘proper’ starts with a theory session and is then 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 April/May to August/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 !


The cost of the course (2018) is £55. You can apply to join the course using the form below. 



If you want to know a bit more about becoming a beekeeper and what it entails then we recommend reading this article from a well known blogger on beekeeping (and bee researcher) The Apirist; his recent article about becoming a beekeeper is here.



Please Note: Attendance at the  ‘What is Beekeeping’ meeting is encouraged but not compulsory for those wanting to sign up for the Beginners Beekeeping course. People find that attending the ‘What is Beekeeping’ course is a useful way to decide if they want to commit to the full course and hence whether or not to sign up for the Beginners course and also join OBKA;  you cannot do the Beginners Course unless you are also a member of the Association.


To join the Oxfordshire Beekeeping Association (OBKA) click on this link to go to the application form.


Introduction to Beekeeping Course 2019


PLEASE NOTE that the Beginners course is full and we are not taking any more applications as there is a waiting list. Applications for the 2020 course will open on 01 September 2019.  If you didn’t get a place on the 2019 Beginners Course you are still welcome to attend the 2019 Taster Day which is on 17th August 2019 – click on this link to go to the Taster Day 2019 page.


For reference we are leaving the dates of the 2019 beginners Course sessions below:


 Session 1
Identifying Bees and Brood
Session 2
Swarm Control
Session 3
Session 4
Honey Harvest
Session 5
Winter Preparations
Group A17 April15 May12 June10 July24 July
Group B25 April23 May20 June18 July01 August
Group C01 May29 May26 June10 July07 August