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

Date: Sunday June 23rd


  • Learn the basics about:-
    – Bees
    – Beekeeping
  • Observe and handle bees to check whether beekeeping may be a suitable hobby
  • Consider whether the longer Introduction course might be of interest

If you are interested please contact Dick Church :-   OR  01380 828597

Completion of an Application Form with payment confirms your place on the Course.
Early application is advised since numbers are strictly limited.

Please check you are free on the course date before signing up.

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: –


– All Beekeepers who have at least one colony.

These courses are restricted to maximum of 8 participants, except Varroa Management which is restricted to 16 participants, so please ensure you are available before signing up!

 In addition to the member sessions run by the Apiary Team there will be FOUR Apiary Skills Short Courses this Summer, similar to recent years, designed to help members improve normal apiary procedures.

In the last two years 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 2019.

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 Location
Sun. May 12th
9.30am – 12.30pm
How to manage Swarming successfully. David Brown

Supported by members of the ‘A’ team

 Rowde Village Hall

Rowde Apiary

Sat. June 15th
9.30am – 12.30pm

Queenright and Queenless.

Queen Finding, Marking and Introduction

Robert Carpenter Turner

Supported by David Brown and members
of the ‘A’ Team

Bishops Cannings Village Hall

Bishops Cannings Apiary

Sat. Jul 6th
9.30am – 12.30pm
Varroa Management: recognition, monitoring and treatment

Robert Carpenter Turner

Supported by David Brown and members
of the ‘A’ Team

Bishops Cannings Village Hall

Bishops Cannings Apiary

Sat. July 21st
2.00pm – 5.00pm
How to Extract Honey – from hive to jar. Sophie Chalmers & Dick Church  Sophie’s Kitchen

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


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 Courses:

– 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,