Our beginners course uses the Haynes Bee manual as a reference. It’s not especially expensive and readily available so well worth buying as your first book on beekeeping as it gives clear, simple explanations of what is involved managing a colony. There are a number of similar books available covering beekeeping for beginners.
There are various beekeeping websites, some of which are helpful, others less so. We suggest you start with the British Beekeepers Association’s website. Another website, aimed more at existing beekeepers, is BeeBase. This is run by DEFRA and aims to promote bee health; it contains a lot of excellent information on bee diseases, for example and has a dedicated page Advice for New Beekeepers.
You will probably need to buy some beekeeping equipment. There are of course various suppliers on the internet about although as a charity we are cautious about mentioning any specific supplier, let alone recommending any. There is a list of beekeeping equipment stockists at the end of the BeeBase Advice for New Beekeepers page
Unfortunately not. Notwithstanding that in most years the course is over-subscribed and we therefore have a reserve list, we don’t think that it is of benefit to a new beekeeper to miss one of the sessions.