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 2018

– 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 21st.
2. March 7th.
3. March 21st.
4. April 11th.
5. April 25th.
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 5th. (Alternative May 12th.)
7. Sat. May 12th. (if not needed for Meeting 6. Alternative May 19th.)


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 16th Wiltshire Bee Centre, Old Yatesbury Airfield, near Calne SN11 8FA
  • 2 hours Theory
  • Break
  • 2 hours Theory
  • Lunch
  • 2 hours Practical
Sun June 17th 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,


Previous Courses in 2017

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 FOUR courses this Summer, similar to last year, designed to help members improve normal apiary procedures.

These seemed to work well in 2016 but suffered from attracting few of our more experienced  members.

This year there will be more for them as well as basic manipulations for newer beekeepers.

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 21st
9.30am – 12.30pm
How to handle Swarming successfully. Richard Oliver & David Brown

Supported by members of the
‘A’ team

Sat. July 8th
9.30am – 12.30pm
How to find if a Colony is Queen right.

How to find, mark & clip the Queen.

How to find eggs.

Richard Oliver & David Brown

Supported by members of the
‘A’ team

Sun. July 16th
9.30am – 12.30pm
How to recognize Varroa.

How to minimise it: the methods of control.

Robert Carpenter Turner

Supported by members of the
‘A’ team

Sat. July 22nd
9.30am – 12.30pm
How to Extract Honey – from hive to jar. Sophie Chalmers & Dick Church

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


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

The Study Group will be led by Richard Oliver, the County Education Officer, with occasional help if required from Fee Robinson in Calne.

This aims to help students prepare for this practical assessment – the driving test for beekeepers.

Richard and Fee will offer Practical opportunities and Alan Stonell will carry out a full mock assessment.


Theory Tuesday 7:30 – 9:30pm :
1. March 21st
2. March 28th
3. April 11th
4. April 25th
5. May 2nd
Practical 1. Sunday – May 7th PM
2. Sunday – May 14th PM
Mock Assessment
(including Practical)
Sunday May 28th PM
(alternative Sunday June 4th PM)

For further details regarding ‘basic-assessment-study-group’, please contact – Dick Church,


– 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,