Beekeeping - Education and Training.

For a list of recommended books, equipment suppliers, DVDs and bookshops - also includes honey based recipes submitted by our members for the Sandringham Flower Show, please download our Links Page.

Training Courses

See our 'Events Page'  for details of our 2018 Training and Educational Programme.


Examinations and Qualifications in Beekeeping

First Contact

'Jill Tinsey, 1 Old School Cottages, Etling Green, East Dereham, NR20 3EU 01362 694160 E

Choosing equipment

Things you should know before buying second hand equipment This is a link to an excellent site for beginners

Books and Videos

Recommended reading for the beginner and reference books too; Full Details.

Here are some interesting bee videos.

Feral Colony 

Waggle Dance

Vanishing Bees

Life Cycle

Queen Laying










The following Sessions and Courses are normally run by the Association. These are in response to demand and may vary according to that and our own limited resources. If you are interested, please e-mail or talk to the relevant contact person as shown against each course to get further details and register your intention.  For fuller details of courses for 2016  and details of the BBKA Exam structure, please see files and links at the top of this page.



We are offering ‘Taster Sessions’ for those interested in taking up beekeeping. The two hour sessions are designed to give an experience of looking into a hive, how it feels to be surrounded by buzzing insects and provides an insight into the world of the honeybee. Visit our 'Events Page' for details of 2018 Taster Sessions.


This course is run over the winter when the Theory aspects of keeping bees are taught and then followed by practical sessions in the following Spring and early Summer at the Association Apiary. The aim is to bring newcomers to the basic standard necessary to have their first hive(s). The cost is from £90 per person and this includes the training material.
Contact Venetia Rist on e-mail at 

This is open to Association members only who have done the Beginners course and is designed to take members to the point where they can gain their BBKA Basic Certificate in Beekeeping. There is no charge for this course.
Contact Jill Tinsey on e-mail

Again open to members only, these days are help members improve key aspects of their skill and knowledge.
Contact John Woodford on e-mail


This course is designed to prepare beekeepers who have the Basic Certificate and who wish to attain further accreditation of their skills and will prepare them for the BBKA General Husbandry Assessment.
Contact John Woodford on e-mail



Welcome to the fascinating life of Bees and Beekeepers in West Norfolk. If you want to find out about honey bees then a good starting point is to join one of our apiary sessions (see events page). Here you can see hives and bees, hear about looking after honey bees and meet beekeepers too. We also have stands at the major Shows in Norfolk and often have an Observation hive too where you can see bees in action. If it is not possible to make these dates then contact us and we will see if there is a beekeeper in your area who will be willing and able to talk to you about keeping bees.



In summary you will need .... some knowledge, some equipment, an inquisitive mind and a few hours a week during the season (late March to September). As with many animals if you leave them alone they will die but if you look after them they will reward you with lots of honey and a wonderful sense of satisfaction too. Wear a beesuit into your local store, garage or pub and you will get a warm welcome and a barrage of questions too! Probably the best way to get started is to attend one of our Taster Sessions  If you join our association, which we hope you will, you will get insurance (public and product liability), a year book with lots of useful articles and a list of beekeepers in your area, and a newsletter which provides useful contacts, equipment and bees for sale and details of meetings.


The panel opposite provides links to some of the topics you need to think about or alternatively / as well you can contact us directly and we will try and help you work out the best approach for your circumstances.


Here is your first year in beekeeping .......



› Go to lectures and meetings of your local branch. 
 Attend any courses you can find. 
› Read, using the library of your association and your local library. We suggest two of the books to read are "Guide to Bees and Honey" by Ted Hooper and "Beekeeping a Seasonal Guide" by Ron Brown. 
 Take a beekeeping journal 
 Find a site for keeping your bees, your garden may not be suitable. 


› Buy, from a Beekeeper in your association if you can, a 4 frame nucleus with a young queen. Ask for bees that are quiet and easy to handle. With your nucleus you will gain, experience, confidence and manual skills. You are unlikely to have swarming problems. Your bees will be on 10 or 11 frames by July. 
 Feed your bees ready for winter. 


› Make or buy two more hives. 


 Increase your bees to two stocks by making an Artificial Swarm. 
 Collect a Swarm. 

By the end of the season you will have three good stocks, experience and a crop of honey.

With Acknowledgment to RON BROWN of Devon



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