July Beginner Beekeeper Course

Our next Beginner Beekeeper Course will commence on Saturday 23rd July at the Association Apiary in the grounds of National Trust Shugborough Estate.  The course will provide you with practical skills and a basic knowledge and understanding of bees and beekeeping, which will enable you to handle bees safely.  The course runs for 6 consecutive Saturdays from 10.00 – 12.30 and costs £120.00.

If you are interested in booking a place, please email ssbka-mail@southstaffsbeekeepers.com

New beekeepers start practical sessions

This year’s intake of new beekeepers had completed their six weeks theory sessions via Zoom and were ready to get to grips with the practical aspects of beekeeping by meeting the bees for the first time at Shugborough.

Because of Covid-19 we could only have a maximum of 30 people gathering together at the same time.

So the new beekeepers were split into a Tuesday evening group and a Saturday morning group.

This still allowed for a support team of tutors and helpers to be in attendance on both days.


June 1st was the first time that anybody other than the small apiary work group teams had attended the Shugborough apiary since late 2019.

We set up a makeshift camp of chairs on the small car park at the entrance to the apiary so that our new beekeepers could change into their bee suits and listen to the safety information and get their first try at lighting smokers.

It was a bit chaotic at times as we adapted to the new working conditions but everybody got stuck in.

The following Saturday we met up with the other group of beginners but this time we were a bit more organised and had more chairs thanks to Phil who collected them from our Hilton Green apiary.

Thank you to all the new beekeepers for bearing with us and a big thank you to the club members who supported and continue to support our new beekeepers.

The beginner practical sessions continue on Tuesdays and Saturdays for the next few weeks.

Given that we can meet together in bigger groups, the apiary will then be open to all members on Saturday mornings until the end of the season.

Beginners Course Starts

The association last ran its popular beginners beekeeping course in 2019 but, after a one year layoff due to COVID, the course started up again on Tuesday 20th April 2021.

The thirty people who have signed up to learn about beekeeping received their course packs recently by special delivery and are are now ready to attend the theory sessions which this time will be via Zoom instead of the traditional Wolseley Bridge venue.

The course which will run for six weeks starting at 7.00pm each Tuesday evening includes presentations on the following subjects: An introduction to beekeeping,
Honey bee biology, Hives types and equipment, Swarming and Pests and Diseases.

We have some additional speakers this year, with existing speakers Geoff Hopkinson, Stuart Roberts, Trevor Smith, Alan Greenman and Barry Crossly being joined by Jo Berriman, Dayna White and Julie Hamer who are making their debut on the speaker team.

As well as the traditional topics, this year we have added some new presentations including the beekeeping year, forage and products of the hive

We hope that the beginners will enjoy the new improved course and that they will go on to enjoy keeping bees themselves in the future as much as we all do.

So, we wish them all the best with their studying and look forward to seeing them for the practical bee handling sessions in the apiary on June 1st 2021.

Special thanks must go to Stuart Roberts for all the work he has put in to producing the beginners course over the last few years. He and his team have put together an excellent beekeeping course for new members of the association.

Thank you Stuart and your team