Following the absence of educational offerings in 2020 and taking note of the feedback in the annual survey, the following is the club proposal for the 2021 season:
The beginner course will run from Tuesday 20th April at Wolseley Bridge (7pm start time).
Week 1. 20th April
Introduction to Beekeeping – Geoff Hopkinson BEM, NDB
Frame Making – Stuart Roberts
Week 2. 27th April
Honeybee Biology –Trevor Smith
Mating Biology & Behaviour – Stuart Roberts
Week 3. 4th May
Hives, Tools & Other Hardware – Alan Greenman
Top Bar Hive – Barry Crossley
Week 4. 11th May
The Beekeeping Year – Julie Hamer
Forage – Jo Berriman
Week 5. 18th May
Swarming – Stuart Roberts
Feeding – Trevor Smith
Week 6. 25th May
Honeybee Pests & Diseases – Clive Stewart
Products of the Hive – Dayna White
Note: All lecturers are still to be confirmed
If for any reason we cannot meet at Wolseley Bridge then the lectures will take place via Zoom.
The lectures will then be followed by 6 weeks of practical sessions in the Shugborough apiary starting at 7.00pm on the following dates: Tuesday 1st June, Tuesday 8th June, Tuesday 15th June, Tuesday 22nd June, Tuesday 29th June, Tuesday 6th July.
If for any reason we cannot meet at the apiary then the class will be split into groups of a suitable size that can meet. We may have to meet on different days.
Mentors will be found for those beginners that wish to have one.
Note: The practical leaders are still to be confirmed.
We feel that it is important to continue to support the beginners from 2018 onwards and any other beekeepers who think that they are lacking in confidence. To this end we are planning to host beekeeping chat sessions once a month.
These will initially be Zoom meetings but targeted at beekeepers chatting to their peers. This is to encourage open and honest discussions in a safe environment.
The hope is that new beekeepers (3 years or less) will discuss their beekeeping issues among friendly like-minded people.
Novice meetings will be on every 2nd Thursday of the month.
We will do the same for Improver beekeepers (3 – 5 years) but on every 3rd Thursday of the month.
On the 4th Thursday of the month we will have a discussion for the more experienced beekeepers. However, everybody is welcome to attend this session.
So the education offering will look as follows:
When the apiary opens in May the meetings will take place there (assuming that we are allowed to meet in person).
The Saturday apiary sessions will be general hive inspections led by one of the Apiary Working Group (AWG) members. Unsupervised hive inspections will not be allowed. However, hands-on supervised inspections are to be encouraged.
Two separate ‘Bee Safaris’ have been scheduled but are yet to be confirmed. There will also be a ‘healthy bees’ day which is still to be agreed with the Regional Bee Inspector. It will either be on a Saturday during the day or on a Thursday evening.
In addition to these sessions for the general membership there will be separate sessions for those people wishing for tuition relating to the BBKA Basic Certificate.
These will be theory sessions covering the syllabus, either in the classroom or by Zoom, and practical sessions in the apiary demonstrating how the assessment will run and how the candidate is to display their knowledge to the assessor.
There may also be study groups set up to tackle the BBKA theory modules depending upon demand from the membership.
Stuart Roberts – Educational Coordinator