The Southend Division of EBKA aims to provide training and support to our newer members and those interested in learning more of beekeeping. The first step takes the form of an initial training course which covers all the relevant and necessary subject matter to fully consider what the beekeeping demands are, in a classroom setting complemented by practical handling. This allows those who wish to start their beekeeping journey or those who have acquired bees in the late summer/autumn to discuss their ideas and hopes with others at the same stage and with experienced practiced beekeepers in an environment which is non-judgmental. The course will cover equipment needed, skills required, basic understanding and knowledge of bee management and the time and costs involved in keeping your own bees. The Beginners course will also include a number of practical elements for you to gain hands-on exposure. All planned practical sessions are weather permitting and subject to re-arrangement.

The next Beginners’ course will begin in April 2020, for 10 sessions over 8 weeks. Each theory session will be once per week on a Friday evening from 7:30 until 9:30/10pm with practical sessions on a Sunday afternoon (usually 2 to 4). We will hold the theory course at Rayleigh W.I. Hall, where we also hold our monthly meetings. You must be a fully paid member of the Division to take the course, so bear in mind annual membership fees which will be £36.50 for a single member on top of any course cost.

The 2020 Beginners’ Course will run in the following order:
Three weeks of theory April 24, May 1, 15
Practical 1 (weather permitting)
Two weeks of theory May 22, 29
Practical 2 (weather permitting)
Last theory June 5
Practical 3 & 4 (weather permitting)

The cost for 2020 will be £75, which includes the theory and practical aspects and a number of hand-out notes.  We will make recommendations as to pre-course reading – ‘Bees at the Bottom of the Garden’ by Alan Campion is a good choice – and although you will get hand-outs many students like to make their own notes. We recommend not buying any equipment until we have gone through the equipment session (although we realise some people do get hives as presents or obtain equipment ad-hoc).

Please contact us to register your interest at this time (spaces are limited). We will email an application form in due course, to everyone interested, normally around January. The places are allocated in the order that people pay – so get in quickly if you are keen to join!

If you are interested in becoming a member or registering interest in the course, please get in contact with us via our Contact Us page.

Once these courses are taken you may still require some mentoring or coaching throughout the season.