our offer to you
We are passionate about supporting bees in their work, pollenating crops and providing honey.
We want to help protect them from the changing environment – insecticides, diseases such as Varroa mite, and new predators such as the Asian Hornet. The best way to achieve this is to help more people become bee keepers and guiding you until you feel comfortable to look after your bees the whole year around.
This is not something that you enter lightly, and so we offer both taster experiences and training sessions to enable you to ‘have a go’ to see if you would like to take it further.
Stage 1: Bee Taster Experience
Come and see how a hive is put together, wear a bee suit and help an experienced apiarist inspect a hive full of bees – about 60,000 bees! This is great for people who ‘just want to see bees close up’ with no expectations of going further, or giving you confidence that beekeeping might be for you.
This can be a party experience, a gift for someone or the first stage in finding out more about Bees. Minimum 5 people. Price £50 per person. For further details and available dates please contact us.
Stage 2: Training for Beginners
For those who have completed the Bee Taster Experience and wish to go further, we offer 3 x training sessions of 2.5 hours for a total of £100 per person.
At this stage you will need to purchase a bee suit and come with rubber gloves. We will discuss what you need to buy at the Taster Experience. Don’t buy leather gloves as for disease reasons we don’t allow their use in Branch apiaries.
WORDS OF ADVICE – beware of buying equipment without chatting to us – there are people out there selling all sorts of things you don’t need or of poor quality. And PLEASE don’t invest in bees that have been imported – they are a disease risk and we aim to find you colonies that are suitable for Kent – we hope to help you make a new colony of your own.
BACK GROUND READING – If you would like to do a bit of this we would recommend Haynes Bee Manual (particularly good) and Green Guides ‘Keeping Bees’
Aims of the Training:
- To give a basic understanding of the bee year, what happens when and why.
- Basic understanding of how to inspect hives – why are you doing the inspection, handling of frames, identifying workers, drones, queens, larvae and eggs. This gives you the confidence to open a hive of your own and know what you are looking for
- Awareness of bee disease and which are notifiable
- Awareness and implications of Anaphalaxis from stings – sorry but we all get stung from time to time
- The Bee Inspectors ask you to join Bee Base which is free and you will alerts on disease, starvation etc.