Beekeeper Training

For anyone considering becoming a beekeeper it is essential to do both a Theory and a Practical Course. 

Surrey Beekeepers Association Guildford Division has been running both Theory and Practical Courses for some years and our experience in this field is exemplary. We probably have more teaching expertise than any other beekeeping group in the Guildford/West Surrey area.

Theory Course.  

 The next Theory course is due to start in January 2021 and will run for 8 weeks at Shalford Village Hall 7.00 - 9.00pm. We now have a waiting list for 2021

Below is a summary of what is covered on our Theory course:

  • Week 1 - Introduction. Why keep bees? The worker bee.
  • Week 2 - The National Hive, frames, bee space, larval development.
  • Week 3 - Gender, castes, mating, desirable characteristics.
  • Week 4 - Swarming, including how to do an artificial swarm.  
  • Week 5 - Bee Diseases, legal requirements, notifiable pests & diseases.
  • Week 6 - Disease questions. Other types of hive.
  • Week 7 - Setting up an apiary. The apiary year.
  • Week 8 - Getting started. What equipment?

Practical Course.  

The next Practical Course will start in mid April 2020. They are held on Saturdays between 11.00am and 1.00pm at our lovely Teaching Apiary at Birtley Brook. This is in a beautiful setting in the grounds of Birtley House. We have fantastic facilities in our own Barn. There are a large number of different types of hive on various parts of the estate so that students get all the experience they need.    Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for 2021 bookings. We now have a waiting list for 2021

The Practical courses put into practice everything that has been taught on the Theory as well as the unexpected!!

Here are a few of the comments we have had from students on our courses:

“Well what can I say about the first meeting….what a warm welcome!”

“The extent of knowledge and practical experience is amazing.”

“With the number of hives at the apiary I think I have seen (and worked on) most issues that could arise.”


The cost of the courses for 2021 is £95.00 per course per person. There is a discount if both courses are booked together, reducing the cost to £180.00 for both courses per person. Please be aware that there is also a non-refundable deposit of £25.00 when booking. The course must be paid for in full by the 1st September 2020. There is a long waiting list for both courses

To register an interest in either or both courses or to book please contact Lou Major on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Taster Days

We normally hold a Taster Day in July for those people who are just interested in bees or those considering doing our full training course. The date for 2021 is Saturday the 3rd July. We are now taking bookings. Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.