Beekeeping Courses

Please read the notes below for more information but if you are ready to enrol for our 2019 Preliminary Beekeeping course please click here. There will two courses again this year, both will follow the same syllabus and will both be synchronised where possible to enable anyone who can’t make their scheduled night can attend the alternative course for that night:

The Belfast and District run an annual course entitled “Preliminary Beekeeping”. This is nominally a 10 week course covering the basics skills needed to start keeping bees. We would also recommend that people come along to the association meetings where the talks throughout the year will provide much additional information. Plus its a great place to discuss beekeeping problems and get advice. The Preliminary Course generally starts in mid to late February and consists of 8 classroom sessions covering a range of topics. This is followed by up to 4 but a minimum of 2 practical sessions at an apiary where we will open hives and demonstrate basic bee handling. Please contact the secretary for more details. A suggested reading list is given below.

Registration for the courses opens in October.  Contact the association secretary at the address below to register an interest in the course.

Please let us know in advance of any access difficulties you may have.

Secretary email address: belfastbee.secretary at

Course Reading

There is a wide variety of books available on the subject of beekeeping. These can make excellent Christmas presents if you need to drop some hints the following are possibilities:

  1. “Bees at the Bottom of the Garden” by Alan Campion. This is a good entertaining read, not too technical and will give an overview of the subject. It was included in the hive beginner kit from a major supplier so there probably are quite a few second hand copies as well as new.
  2. “The Bee manual” from Haynes by Claire Waring. Yes this is from the car manual people. It is a good compliment to the course material. It has lots of relevant pictures and describes the basics of beekeeping very well.
  3. “Guide to Bees & Honey” by Ted Hooper. A classic reference book which has been dubbed the world’s best selling bee book. This has been in print for many years and has had a number of updates so beware of old second hand copies. This is heavy going in places so is more for the enthusiast.

We suggest you buy one of these in advance of the course but it is not essential as the course notes will cover the basic material. You may wish to wait until the course starts as we will bring copies along and you could choose the most suitable. There are many more books available, these are some of the books the course tutors have read and feel are appropriate. They are partly ordered in increasing complexity of reading.


9 Responses to Beekeeping Courses

  1. James sidney gowdy says:

    Intrested on bee keeping have been for meny years, would very much like to learn from your course , tks James

    • Hi,

      The preliminary course has started for this year but only one night so far. If you are interested I would need to check with the course tutors that they can take another person. If so the next session is tomorrow night.

  2. Catherine Millar says:

    Hi can you tell me when your next bee keeping course is please

    • We run the preliminary course each year starting mid February. This usually is the 3rd Tuesday in February. This allows us to time the course to complete the theoretical sections at a time when the hives are starting to build after the winter and are in an ideal state for the practical sessions.

  3. Ken Elliott says:

    yes please I would like to attend. Ken Elliott

  4. Pauline Acton says:

    Can you tell me if you have any classes for feb2015 would really like to go please thankyou

  5. Mary says:

    Hi I would like to join a bee keeping preliminary course. When does the next course start? Is it possible to go to meetings without having attended the classes?

    • We run courses every year starting in mid-February. Registration for the courses usually opens around October, places can fill quickly so we recommend early registration. Anyone interested in attending the course is welcome to come to our monthly meetings but we would ask you to make yourself known to one of the members at the door There is usually some of the association officers or committee members there to meet members.

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