First Steps in Beekeeping
Don’t rush into getting a colony of bees before you are ready. If you want to be a custodian of live bees you owe it to them (and yourself) to have the right knowledge and experience.
Open Apiary Inspection Sessions
The Association does not offer training courses but non-members are welcome to come along to one of our open inspection sessions and get a taste of what beekeeping is about. You can join us when an experienced beekeeper works with the bees during the part of the year when they are most active. The sessions give an insight into the beekeeper’s year… along with its puzzles and solutions. Sessions take place at the Association’s apiary during the spring and the summer. Protective clothing is provided. Look at our News & Events for the dates and times of our Open Apiary sessions.
Where To Learn More
If you then think beekeeping is for you we suggest you get some formal training. There are local organizations that offer beekeeping courses and these include:
- Berkshire College of Agriculture who run both theory and practical beekeeping courses every year. Many of our beekeepers learnt with them.
- Reading & District Beekeepers’ Association who run a Beginners Theory Course every January.
- The Association also provides a members only Beginner’s Theory Course which is currently conducted on Zoom. The course is run over 8 weeks and the next course is scheduled for January 2022. Once dates and details are confirmed this will be posted on our website home page. Please keep checking our website if you are interested.
- The BBKA have a Guidance for Schools page which can be accessed via this link: Guidance for Schools Membership.
You will need to book early with all of these, as places are limited.
Join a Beekeeping Association
The nature of beekeeping is that a lot of learning is self-guided. This is partly because associations cannot offer to be on call to work with people’s bees: members have other commitments and their own bees to work with. However by joining an association before you have any bees, you have the opportunity to network and:
- learn more about honeybees
- find out about the beekeeping year
- work with bees at regular inspections (if like us the association has an apiary) and
- gain an insight into the time and money involved.
Beekeeping can be satisfying and rewarding:
- we believe you will enjoy it
- we want you to be confident and prepared before you get your own bees, and
- we could be part of your preparation, if you are in our area.
By joining Wokingham and District Beekeepers Association (W&DBKA) as an Association Friend or Full Member you can get involved and work with OUR bees until you are ready for your own. Click here to find out more about joining.
PLEASE NOTE: Anyone who is interested in becoming a beekeeper should first find out if they are allergic to bee stings. You can still go ahead and learn about beekeeping if you are allergic, but of course you are going to have to take special precautions and be much more careful when you are dealing with the bees.