Book a beekeeping experience and be a beekeeper for the day. Visit the hives, learn all about the Queen bee and her colony of busy worker bees as you literally lift the lid on the art of keeping bees and making honey. Beekeeping FAQs...
• Urban beekeeping & beer tasting in Kennington Park • Get kitted up as a beekeeper & inspect a working hive • Taste the beer that uses the honey from local hives • This is a hands-on workshop suitable 18yrs+
If you’ve ever wondered how honey is made a beekeeping experience is for you. If you’re thinking of keeping bees yourself, these courses give you an excellent insight into what being a beekeeper involves. If you like honey you’ll love it!
Who it's not for
If you are allergic to bee stings this might not be the activity for you, as they are very much hands-on beekeeping experiences at our beekeeping centres and honey farms around the country.
The best way to learn about beekeeping is to go on a course. An expert beekeeper will teach you all the basics of keeping happy bees. It’s a great way to find out what’s involved in keeping bees before you go ahead and invest in all the gear and the resident bees.
Will I get stung?
If you get hands-on during a beekeeping experience, you’ll be kitted out with all the protective gear. Having said that, a full bee suit is not a guarantee that you will never get stung as a beekeeper. The main thing to remember is that honey bees are naturally gentle creatures, only feeling threatened when they feel their queen bee or their hive is under attack. Also, make sure there are no bees clinging on to your suit when you take it off - that’s a classic way of getting stung!
How much honey does a hive produce in a year?
Between 9 and 30kgs of honey year. But this all depends on where your hive is, how many bees you have in your colony, the weather, the pollen and so on.
Can I keep bees in my own garden?
In theory yes. In the UK there is currently no legislation on where you can or cannot keep bees. There are things to take into consideration before plonking a beehive in your garden, such as local habitat and your skills to be able to look after a beehive. That’s why we highly recommend a beekeeping course before you launch straight in there!
Are there different types of beehives?
Yes - from top-bars and nationals, to warre beehives there are lots! It can get really quite technical quite quickly when it comes to different types of beehives available and their pros and cons. Our experiences will touch on types of beehives during your course.
Are these beekeeping experiences hands-on?
Yes. On some of the shorter taster courses you may not spend so much time investigating the hive, but you will in general get up close to the bees and watch them at work. On the full-day courses you will be all kitted out like a beekeeper for the day.
Beekeepers talk about colonies - what are they?
A colony is the bee ‘family’ that sticks together. It’ll be made up of the Queen bee leader and her workers bees. So if you’re a beekeeper with beehives (also known as apiaries) you’ll have one colony of bees living in each hive.
What is swarming?
Swarming is literally when a Queen bee and a group of her workers leave a hive en-masse in search of a new home. A swarm can consist of something like 30,000 bees, so swarming can be quite scary and unnerving, but it’s all part of the natural cycle of bee life. Having said that, some beekeepers ensure there are never any new Queen bees born in a hive, which is what starts the swarming process.
Is this urban beekeeping?
Urban beekeeping is keeping bees in urban areas. In recent years, putting beehives in in places like rooftops of buildings in towns and cities has grown massively in popularity, with urban beekeeping becoming a great hobby for city dwellers. In essence though, the method of beekeeping is the same wherever your hives are!
What should I wear for a beekeeping course?
Most hosts will include all the protective gear for guests, that’s to say the beekeeper suit, the hat and gloves. Most will recommend that you wear wellies for the experience.
Can kids go beekeeping?
The minimum age for beekeeping experiences will vary from location to location, so please read the requirements listed for each location. Some of the shorter taster experiences are suitable for children as young as three years old, so beekeeping can be a great day out for all the family.
Are these beekeeper workshops suitable for beginners?
Yes. Totally. Many of our suppliers specialise in beekeeping training and these workshops and courses give you a great introduction to it. It’s a really good way of dipping your toe in if you’re thinking of keeping bees, or if you’ve just always wondered how honey is made.
Is beekeeping good for the environment?
There are arguments on both sides for this. Some say farmed honey bees are preventing wild bees doing their job. Others say having hives is good for farming and the eco-system. It’s a great question to ask your beekeeper host when you meet them!
What do I need to start keeping my own bees?
A hive, a colony of bees (including your Queen), a smoker and lots of protective gear. Obviously, there’s a lot, lot more to successful beekeeping than this, which is why it’s important to get some beekeeping training!
Will I get to see the Queen bee?
Yes! The Queen can be pretty tricky to spot in amongst tens of thousands of busy worker bees, but your expert beekeeper host will show you the tips and tricks to find your Queen.
Will I be harvesting honey?
There are specific seasons for honey harvesting. In general, a new hive will take around four to six months to be ready for harvest and many keepers prefer to harvest in late summer/early autumn for the continuity of the colony. So whether you get to help out depends on where the bees are in their cycle.
Where can I go on a beekeeping course near me?
You can go on a beekeeping course near you with our beekeeping partners in: