FDBKA Beekeeping Course 2024 

If you are interested in beekeeping, applications are invited to register for the next course starting in January 2024.  It gives a taster from a theory point of view during January and February and then we take you to our Training Apiary in late March or April at the start of the active beekeeping season (dates dependent on weather).  The course will give you an excellent base to work from and the opportunity to open up a beehive to determine if beekeeping is for you before any significant outlay in beekeeping equipment.  

Please email for an application form.  The cost of the course is £85.

Subject covered are:

Part 1 (Theory & In Class Practical)

Session 1      Honey Bee, Honey Bee Colony & Hives                    

Session 2      Colony Inspection & Beekeeping Year                       

Session 3      Swarm Management & Control                                     

Session 4      Bee Diseases, Treatments & Hygiene                       

Session 5      Bee Equipment & Swarm Control Demonstration

Session 6      Assembly of Hive Components & Frames           

Part 2 - Apiary Practical(s)

Apiary practical sessions are held at Manor Farm, Pylands Lane (run by Hampshire County Council), with weather dependant dates to be confirmed.

Start Up Costs
Beekeeping is a fascinating hobby and the temptation of free honey is very irresistible.  Whilst we will always encourage anyone interested in taking up the hobby, it can be expensive so it is only fair that you are forewarned!  
  • You can expect to spend around £100 to £200 on a bee suit, smoker, hive tools, gloves etc, depending upon quality, just to get started.  Much more on other bits and pieces.  
  • A top quality Western Red Cedar full hive and supers (which should last 40+ years) as a flat pack will set you back around £400, other cheaper options such as English Cedar or Pine are available for a bit less but will not last as long (pine will need treating with a bee friendly wood preserver).  A poly hive and supers will set you back about £325 and will need painting.  
  • You are advised to have at least two hives going into winter which means much more kit.  
  • You can pay £100 - £200 for a starter colony of bees or wait for a swarm which is free (but may come with their own problems).
We do have some donated equipment from retired beekeepers which we sell to course students at significantly reduced costs.  Association member Adrian Hopwood also has some new items for sale at bargain prices, see HERE.

Beekeepers are known to have short arms and deep pockets!

We also run an Informal Mentoring Programme so that new or aspiring beekeepers can learn from the more experienced. If you would like to be mentored or are willing to act as a mentor please email us.

BBKA Assessments & Modules
We support FDBKA members wishing to take a BBKA module or an Assessment which normally take place during March/April each year.  See below for the latest updates.

Module Exams
For those wishing to take a Module Exam in November'23 please note that the last day for applications is Thursday 5th October'23.  No applications after this date will be accepted by BBKA.
Please let me know if you are taking an exam and I will pass on your email to Jean, the Education Secretary for HBA who will email you an application form.  Please use

Previous 2023 module exams took place on Saturday 18th March. 
Exams were online but candidates could take them in-person at Sparsholt College.  There is a cost to hiring the hall so preference would be for online. 

Practical Assessments
Applications closed on February'23
Advanced Husbandry, Honey Bee Health, General Husbandry and Honey Bee Breading certificate.

Bee Basic Assessments 
Applications closed on 30th April 2023. 
We try to arrange all FDBKA candidates to take the basic assessment at a local apiary but if we have only one candidate they will usually need to go to a neighbouring association to join in with their assessments.
Any queries please let me know by email.

Good luck to all candidates.


See attached documents for the fees and practical syllabi.