FDBKA Beekeeping Course 2023 
Accepting applications now and starts early January

If you are interested in beekeeping you are more than welcome to put your name down for the next course starting in January 2023.  This gives a taster from a theory point of view during January and February and where we take you to our Training Apiary in late March or April (as with all beekeeping it is weather dependant) at the start of the active beekeeping season.  This 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 the 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 will be held at Manor Farm, Pylands Lane (run by Hampshire County Council), dates to be confirmed as they are obviously weather dependant.

We are looking to set up a mentorship scheme so that new or aspiring beekeepers can learn from the more experienced. If you would like to be mentored or are willing to mentor, please email-

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).  Beekeepers are known to have short arms and deep pockets!!

National Honey Monitoring Scheme

The National Honey Monitoring Scheme is a long-term programme set up in 2018 that will use techniques to identify plant DNA and measure environmental contaminants, such as pesticide residues in honey produced in the UK. 

All amateur and professional beekeepers are asked to register their interest in taking part by emailing the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) The viability of the monitoring scheme will depend upon sufficient numbers of beekeepers expressing an interest in participating. 

A pilot study identified widespread residues of neonicotinoid pesticides in honey samples collected from BBKA members across the UK. I took part in this pilot study and sent a sample of my honey to CEH in 2015, the analysis of which found imidacloprid (a neonicotinoid). The location of my apiary is close to commercial glass houses and a PYO farm, although it might have been picked up elsewhere.

Fareham members are therefore encouraged to volunteer for this survey by emailing the CEH. Further details can be found on the BBKA website at and CEH