Beekeeper Training

Surrey Beekeepers Association Guildford Division has been running both Theory and Practical Courses for some time and their experience in this field is exemplary. For anyone considering becoming a beekeeper it is essential to do both a Theory and a Practical Course.

Theory Course

Our 2019 course is fully booked.  The next Theory course is due to start in January 2020 and will run for 8 weeks. This is held at Shalford Village Hall 7.00 - 9.00pm. We are taking bookings now for 2020.

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 2019 and is fully booked. 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. Following the Practical Course new beekeepers are offered a mentor if they wish. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for 2020 bookings.

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 2019 is £90.00 per course.

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.