Club Education & Training

Club Meetings and Apiary Sessions

These are suitable for prospective and existing members who are encouraged to come to club meetings, mainly at Bishop’s Cannings village hall, when we have speakers and opportunities to informally share good practice.
**See the KBKA Programme or Calendar for details

At the club apiary visitors get a chance to meet the club’s bees and experience the joy of observing and handling honey bees on several Saturday mornings through the summer, whilst existing members gain additional practice and help newcomers.
See the KBKA programme for details(weather permitting). Anyone wishing to visit the apiary outside of these dates can contact the apiary manager – see contacts page. (Access is strictly at the apiary managers discretion)

Courses and Events

Courses and events are aimed at people interested in learning about honey bees and bee-keeping.


Download details of the Mentor policy.


Courses for 2019

– Starter Level

The 14 hour course is divided into:-

Theory 10 Hours at Bishops Cannings Village Hall
2.5 miles from Devizes,
These sessions will mostly be on alternate
weeks, on Wednesdays,
between 7.30pm – 9:30pm.Meetings:
1. February 20th.
2. March 6th.
3. March 20th.
4. March 27th.
5. April 10th.
Practical 4 Hours at the Club ‘s Apiary,
close to Bishops Cannings
These sessions will be held mostly
Saturdays for 2 hours between
11:00am and 3:00pm.
Exact times and dates are weather dependent.Meetings:
6. Sat. May 4th. (Alternative May 11th.)
7. Sat. May 11th. (if not needed for Meeting 6. Alternative May 18th.)


The 12 hour course will be over one week-end; both days consisting of mornings in the classroom and  afternoons in the apiary:-

Sat June 15th Wiltshire Bee Centre, Old Yatesbury Airfield, near Calne SN11 8FA
  • 2 hours Theory
  • Break
  • 2 hours Theory
  • Lunch
  • 2 hours Practical
Sun June 16th Wiltshire Bee Centre, Old Yatesbury Airfield, near Calne SN11 8FA
  • 2 hours Theory
  • Break
  • 2 hours Theory
  • Lunch
  • 2 hours Practical

For further details regarding ‘Introduction to Beekeeping’,  please contact – Dick Church,

– Beekeepers who have managed at least one colony of bees for a minimum of 12 months.

The study group aims to help students prepare for this oral and practical assessment.

It will consist of 5 theory sessions and 2 practical sessions, followed by a complete practice of the exam, on all parts of the syllabus.

The theory will be led by Fee Cooke – Kennet Honorary member and Bee Farmer.
Fee and Richard Oliver – County Education Officer – will also offer Practical opportunities and Alan Stonell will carry out a full Mock Assessment.


Theory Thursday 7:30 – 9:30pm :
1. March 7th
2. March 21st
3. April 4th
4. April 18th
5. May 2nd
Practical 1. Sunday – May 5th PM
2. Sunday – May 13th PM
(alternative Sunday May 19th PM, in case of bad weather)
Mock Assessment
(including Practical)
Sunday June 2nd PM
(alternative Mid Week evening, in case of bad weather)

For further details regarding ‘basic-assessment-study-group’, please contact – Dick Church
His email address is: –


WBKA Courses / Events

The following events that will be running over the winter months by WBKA .
Those wishing to apply for any of the events should contact Richard Oliver, Wiltshire BKA’s Examination & Education Officer, (

Honey Bee Health Certificate

This is a new course introduced by the BBKA to encourage beekeepers, who have been awarded their Basic Certificate and have at least three years of beekeeping experience, to improve their understanding and practice of beekeeping.
The assessment will cover practical skills and knowledge of beekeeping. The assessment lasts about 90 minutes and is held at an apiary other than your own.
The BBKA sees this as a stepping stone between the Basic and General Husbandry assessments. If there is sufficient interest, Richard Oliver would happily run a course to help members prepare for the assessment. This would start in late March and consists of about four theory and a couple of practical sessions.

Note 1. Entries for the assessment have to be with the BBKA by the end of March.

Note 2. A scanned copy of the syllabus will be forwarded to anyone interested.



Previous 2018 Courses:

These courses are restricted to maximum of 8 participants, so please ensure you are available before signing up!

 In addition to the Club’s seasonal meetings at the Apiary and sessions run by the Apiary Team there will be THREE sessions this Summer, similar to recent years, designed to help members improve normal apiary procedures.

Last year the courses included material suitable for our more experienced beekeepers as well as basic manipulations for newer beekeepers. This balance seemed to hit the right spot and we hope to repeat it in 2018

Detailed programmes will be issued for each course later.

The cost is £3.00 per course to cover the hire of the Hall & any handouts.

Date Course Topic Teachers
Sun. May 13th
9.00am – 12.00pm
How to handle Swarming successfully. Richard Oliver & David Brown

Supported by members of the
‘A’ team

Sat. July 21st
9.30am – 12.30pm
How to Extract Honey – from hive to jar. Sophie Chalmers & Dick Church
Sat. Aug 18th
9.30am – 12.30pm
Winter Preparations David Brown & Rachael Banyard
Varroa this year Promoted to Club and Apiary Sessions led by Robert
Fri. July 6th – 7.30pm Presentation in BC Hall             
Sat. July 7th – 10.00am Practical – Apiary

For further details regarding ‘Apiary Skills courses’, please contact – Dick Church,









Previous Courses in 2017:

– Beekeepers who have managed at least one colony of bees for a minimum of 2 years and have Basic Certificate.

The initial study group for this Module was led by Sally Wadsworth and Alan Stonell,  the fourth Module in the recent past, where they have successfully led students and took place in Autumn 2016. They focused on the next examination in March 2017 but their main aim was to expand student understanding.

Content :  Module 6 revision study group helps to answer some of these questions and many more.

– How can a colony of 50,000 bees live in harmony – most of the time –  in an area roughly 18”X18”X27” (1 brood & 3 super boxes)?
– Who makes the decisions in the colony? How?
– How do bees communicate? Once inside the hive there is little that they can see.
– How do they know where to get to the best forage?
– What alerts them to vary the type of forage – it may change daily.
– How is nectar, with possibly 70% water content changed to honey with under 20% and with added enzymes?
– What leads to swarming?
– How is a new “des res” chosen?

Revision Study Groups

Whilst some prefer to revise individually, others find working in a small group helpful.
These are only intended for members who have already studied Module 6 in some detail.

There are two groups, one based in Seend, the other in Chippenham, 7.30 – 9.30pm

The dates for the groups are:-

Seend OR Chippenham Group Monday 7:30 – 9:30pm :
1. January 9th
2. January 16th
3. January 23th
4. February 6th
5. February 13th
6. February 20th
Combined Group (in Devizes) Tuesday 7:30 – 9:30pm :
1. January 31st
2. February 28th

If you are interested please contact – Dick Church,