These are the courses that have already taken place in 2014.  Don’t try to book them!

Pollen Identification under the Microscope

Saturday 20th September 2014, 10-4pm at KSRC (location details here)

Bob Smith

£20 registration fee (non-refundable)

Our bees forage around our apiaries and collect many kilograms of pollen each year.  We can get a very rough idea of what they are collecting from the colour of pollen loads but a far better understanding is possible by looking at individual pollen grains under the microscope.  You will learn to do this in the well-equipped labs of KSRC.

 

Additional DescriptionMore Details

This course will show you how to prepare specimen slides of pollen from flowering plants and pollen-loads and will demonstrate the use of Rex Sawyer's "Pollen Identification for Beekeepers" to characterise and recognise the very beautiful pollen grains from common bee-plants.  Set-up and use of the microscopes will also be covered. A further course will look at the analysis of pollen in honey.

15 places max

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Price: £20.00

Microscopy 3 – Brood Diseases, Thur 12th June 2014

Thursday 12th June 2014, 2.15-5pm  at KSRC (location details here)

Bob Smith and Julian Parker

£20 registration fee (non-refundable)

This 3rd course in the microscopy series will look at the causative agents in the brood diseases AFB, EFB and Chalk brood with the aim of being able to identify these very small bacteria and fungal spores.  The course will cover the set-up of the compound microscope with oil-immersion objectives.  At the end of this course, delegates will be able to set up a compound microscope for high magnification work using an oil-immersion objective and be able to recognise the bacteria associated with both AFB and EFB.  They will also recognise the various stages in the sporulation of the Chalk brood fungus, Ascophaera apis.

This course complements the morning session, which emphasises field identification of foul brood diseases.  The two sessions must be booked separately.  Please note that this is an optional extra for the morning course on foulbrood - you must attend the morning course, if you want to join this session.

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Following on from the morning course on the detection of the foul brood diseases in the comb, this fairly advanced session will examine the diagnosis of AFB, EFB and Chalk brood using the microscope. A short lecture will re-cap the general theory of microscopes but then examine in more detail the use and set-up when employing oil-immersion objectives. There will also be a short presentation on the causative agents in the honey bee brood diseases. The laboratory session will demonstrate the slide preparation techniques for these organisms and delegates will have an opportunity to prepare slides and identify the bacteria and spores. Delegates are encouraged to bring their own microscopes if they have them, otherwise there are good quality instruments available at KSRC.

10 places max

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Product not in stock

Price: £20.00

Practical Bee Handling, Wednesday 18th June 2014

Wednesday 18th June 2014, 10am-4pm at Coxheath, near Maidstone

Bob Smith and David Rudland

£25 registration fee (non-refundable)

The aim is to provide coaching in reading the bees, proactive management, apiary hygiene and smooth, confident handling.  You will get plenty of access to hives, working in small groups so that there's practical learning for each delegate.

Students : minimum pass in BBKA Basic, no exceptions to that. Freshly laundered bee suit, clean footwear and disposable gloves essential. Maximum 6 students in the session. Bring packed lunch

We hope to run these multiple times during the season, so look out for additional dates.

Additional DescriptionMore Details

The hives are located on a large fruit farm where the bees are being used for pollination etc. The exact apiary to be used will be dependent on the development of hives in Spring.

Outline of the day - a preliminary talk about the aims of the day (as above); not more than 45 min. In first apiary : each student (work in 3's) to open a hive, say what they see, what they infer the bees are doing, what they would do to manage the colony. General critique on handling.

After lunch, Review am, talk about handling, reinforce message about reading bees, proactive management. Second apiary, students to open 2 or 3 hives each, looking to coach on handling, increasing speed, use of tools etc. Final review, lessons learned, depart.

Quantity
Product not in stock

Price: £25.00

Foulbrood: recognition and control, Thur 12th June 2014

Thursday 12th June 2014, 9.30-1.30 pm at KSRC (location details here)

Julian Parker, Regional Bee Inspector

£10 registration fee (non-refundable)

An introduction to the skills of foulbrood recognition through lectures, discussion and a practical session with infected combs.  A session on the control of foulbrood and a look at the wider practices of apiary and colony hygiene management.

This course complements a more detailed, practical microscopy session in the afternoon - which must be booked separately.

Expected learning:

  • A better knowledge of the symptoms of brood disease
  • An increase in the skills of brood disease recognition
  • A wider knowledge of how to reduce the risks of disease and how to apply them in everyday beekeeping
  • An awareness of the benefits of biosecurity in dealing with foulbrood
Additional DescriptionMore Details

A half day workshop concentrating on the skills necessary to find and control foulbrood in a bee colony by a combination of lectures and a hands on session with infected combs. The first part of the workshop will be a lecture dealing with the pathology of both American and European foulbrood and a session on Health and Hygiene detailing how a beekeeper might reduce the risks of infection in colonies. After a short break the workshop reconvenes with a practical session where attendees have the chance to goes ‘hands on’ with combs suffering a range of brood diseases and maybe try out a lateral flow device for disease confirmation. This is followed by a 2 short talks: the first giving comprehensive information regarding the control of EFB in colonies and the second a discussion regarding the use of ‘barrier management’ in controlling an outbreak of foulbrood in your beekeeping set-up. A heavy mornings work with plenty of interaction expected from the attendees.

20 places max

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Price: £10.00

Products of the Hive, Sat 31st May 2014

Saturday 31st May 2014, 10am-4pm  at KSRC (location details here)

Jennifer Dinsmore

£28 registration fee (non-refundable)

The course will touch on recent changes in cosmetic legislation and will cover the production of face creams and other beeswax based cosmetics, and furniture cream. It would be suited to people who took Jennifer's course at KSRC in 2013, or have other relevant experience.

Additional DescriptionMore Details

We will discuss some basic chemistry to enable participants to adapt recipes or develop their own. We will also talk about labelling, health and safety and the types of equipment and materials needed. Participants will make their own products to take home with them and handouts will be provided.

10 places max

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Price: £28.00

Practical Bee Handling, Wed 28th May 2014

Wednesday, 28th May 2014, 10am-4pm at Bridge, near Canterbury (location details here)

Bob Smith and Patrick Murfet

£25 registration fee (non-refundable)

The aim is to provide coaching in reading the bees, proactive management, apiary hygiene and smooth, confident handling.  You will get plenty of access to hives, working in small groups so that there's practical learning for each delegate.

Students : minimum pass in BBKA Basic, no exceptions to that. Freshly laundered bee suit, clean footwear and disposable gloves essential. Maximum 6 students in the session. Bring packed lunch

We hope to run these multiple times during the season, so look out for additional dates.

Additional DescriptionMore Details

Outline of the day - a preliminary talk about the aims of the day (as above); not more than 45 min. In first apiary : each student (work in 3's) to open a hive, say what they see, what they infer the bees are doing, what they would do to manage the colony. General critique on handling.

After lunch, Review am, talk about handling, reinforce message about reading bees, proactive management. Second apiary, students to open 2 or 3 hives each, looking to coach on handling, increasing speed, use of tools etc. Final review, lessons learned, depart.

Quantity
Product not in stock

Price: £25.00

Can beekeeping be a career? Tues 13th May

Tue, 13th May 2014, 10am-4pm at KSRC (location details here)

Patrick Murfet

£15 registration fee (non-refundable)

This short course examines some of the key aspects of making an income from beekeeping, and its related activities.

Additional DescriptionMore Details

We will cover set up costs, types of equipment, the importance of healthy bees, how to find locations for paid pollination services, what other revenue streams can be developed and how may we be able to deal with the marketing for your products and services. All this will be an aid to help you run a good sound operation. The caveat should be that this is my method, the way I work the situations that I use to my advantage. I hope that you use the information in conjunction with your current experience, this is not meant to be a one stop shop business plan. 35 places max

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Price: £15.00

Apiary Managers Meeting – registration form

The whole idea of this meeting is to bring together all 16 of the Kent Branches and Associations in order to share experiences when it comes to one of the critical resources available to many groups – their Association Apiary.  We will tackle this by considering the issues under three broad headings, to do with the physical site itself, the way we might use the apiary and the ways in which we organise the team or teams of members who do the work.

For each of these areas we will follow a similar format – there will be short presentation suggesting the main issues before we break into 4 groups and spend around 30 minutes discussing the issues and sharing experiences.  Designated facilitators will lead these breakouts.  Finally, we will all re-assemble in the large classroom to receive feedback from the 4 groups.

The purpose of this post is to allow you to confirm registration,  and contribute to the costs of the meeting, as previously outlined.  We're asking for £10 per association to cover drinks and food.  You can use the paypal option offered, or send a cheque to Bob Smith.  Postal details provided during registration.

Please note, this meeting is not for "all-comers".  Associations have already nominated their attendees.

Quantity
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Price: £10.00

Practical Bee Handling, Sunday 11th May 2014

Sunday 11th May 2014, 10am-4pm at Coxheath, near Maidstone

Bob Smith and David Rudland

£25 registration fee (non-refundable)

The aim is to provide coaching in reading the bees, proactive management, apiary hygiene and smooth, confident handling.  You will get plenty of access to hives, working in small groups so that there's practical learning for each delegate.

Students : minimum pass in BBKA Basic, no exceptions to that. Freshly laundered bee suit, clean footwear and disposable gloves essential. Maximum 6 students in the session. Bring packed lunch

We hope to run these multiple times during the season, so look out for additional dates.

Additional DescriptionMore Details

The hives are located on a large fruit farm where the bees are being used for pollination etc. The exact apiary to be used will be dependent on the development of hives in Spring.

Outline of the day - a preliminary talk about the aims of the day (as above); not more than 45 min. In first apiary : each student (work in 3's) to open a hive, say what they see, what they infer the bees are doing, what they would do to manage the colony. General critique on handling.

After lunch, Review am, talk about handling, reinforce message about reading bees, proactive management. Second apiary, students to open 2 or 3 hives each, looking to coach on handling, increasing speed, use of tools etc. Final review, lessons learned, depart.

Quantity
Product not in stock

Price: £25.00

Practical Bee Handling, Mon 28th April 2014

Monday, 28th April 2014, 10am-4pm at Bridge, near Canterbury (location details here)

Bob Smith and Patrick Murfet

£25 registration fee (non-refundable)

The aim is to provide coaching in reading the bees, proactive management, apiary hygiene and smooth, confident handling.  You will get plenty of access to hives, working in small groups so that there's practical learning for each delegate.

Students : minimum pass in BBKA Basic, no exceptions to that. Freshly laundered bee suit, clean footwear and disposable gloves essential. Maximum 6 students in the session. Bring packed lunch

We hope to run these multiple times during the season, so look out for additional dates.

Additional DescriptionMore Details

Outline of the day - a preliminary talk about the aims of the day (as above); not more than 45 min. In first apiary : each student (work in 3's) to open a hive, say what they see, what they infer the bees are doing, what they would do to manage the colony. General critique on handling.

After lunch, Review am, talk about handling, reinforce message about reading bees, proactive management. Second apiary, students to open 2 or 3 hives each, looking to coach on handling, increasing speed, use of tools etc. Final review, lessons learned, depart.

Quantity
Product not in stock

Price: £25.00

Preparation for BBKA general husbandry assessment, Fri 25th April

Fri 25th April 2014, 10-4pm at KSRC (location details here)

John Hendrie

£15 registration fee (non-refundable)

The practical tasks which may be required will be discussed as will the general requirements for the BBKA general husbandry assessment.  There will be tips on all parts of the syllabus and thoughts on how to impress the Assessors.

Additional DescriptionMore Details

18 places max

Quantity
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Price: £15.00

Advanced Queen Rearing – Thur 24th April

Thursday 24th April 2014,10am-4pm at KSRC (location details here)

Terry Clare

£15 registration fee (non-refundable)

This workshop extends the scope of the workshop held on 10th April. By the end of the day, participants will have been introduced to the practical application of three grafting methods and the deployment and testing of the resultant queens.  Ideal for anyone intending to take the Husbandry and Module examinations of the BBKA.

Additional DescriptionMore Details

18 places max

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Price: £15.00

How to pass the Basic, Sat 12th April

Saturday 12th April 2014, 10am-4pm at KSRC (location details here)

Mary Hill

£15 registration fee (non-refundable)

The course will cover your personal approach to and conduct during the assessment, management aspects of the syllabus, pests and diseases.  It is only open to beekeepers who have kept bees for at least two summers and the winter in-between.

Please study the syllabus (link here).  Also, you should make up a frame beforehand.  Bring both frame and syllabus with you!

Additional DescriptionMore Details

There is not time to cover the whole syllabus so the emphasis will be on those aspects which are not easy to find in books. Although we cannot use live bees the opening of the hive and your equipment will be included using the virtual hive. Some of the natural history will be covered but not in detail. The major activities of the beekeeping year will be discussed with an emphasis on dealing with all aspects of swarms. Pest and diseases will be covered in detail. Students should bring a copy of the syllabus with them, it can be downloaded from the BBKA website. If you are serious about this assessment you should have already studied the syllabus. Also bring a frame which you have made. You have to make one at the assessment and this is one way your method can be checked.

15 places max

Quantity
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Price: £15.00

Starting Queen Rearing – Thur 10th April

Thursday, 10th April 2014, 10am-4pm  at KSRC (location details here)

Terry Clare

£15 registration fee (non-refundable)

A foundation workshop especially for beekeepers with a limited number of colonies.  An ideal introduction to anyone with a few hives who wishes to produce replacement queens for themselves and friends.

Additional DescriptionMore Details

The emphasis will be on queen rearing within normal husbandry methods. This course can provide the foundation to more advanced and larger scale queen rearing (see details for course on 24th April). Hand-outs will be available. Bring your own lunch - coffee etc. will be provided.

18 places max

Quantity
Product not in stock

Price: £15.00

Microscopy 2 – Adult Bee Diseases, Mon 24th March

Monday 24th March 2014, 10am-1pm  at KSRC (location details here)

Mike Hill and Bob Smith

£25 registration fee (non-refundable)

A half day course concentrating on the use of the microscope in diagnosing nosema and acarine infection in your bees. By the end of the session you should be able to identify nosema spores (easy) and dissect a honey bee looking for the tracheal mite (easy with practice).

Bring your own compound and dissecting microscopes or use the good quality instruments provided. You are encouraged to bring a sample of about thirty of your own bees.

The course will be followed by an informal discussion over lunch (not provided) for those who wish to join in.

Additional DescriptionMore Details

Nosema infection is widespread in the honey bee population and is thought to adversely affect the bees’ performance. Acarine infection is not common now in the UK but beekeepers should be able to recognise it. The session will start with a powerpoint presentation describing the natural history of these parasites and ways in which beekeepers can deal with them. Attendees are encouraged to bring along a sample of about thirty of their own bees for the practical session when you will be shown how to identify nosema from a bee soup, and how to dissect a bee to expose the thoracic trachea where the acarine mite can be found. For those unfamiliar with the use of the microscope, a short instruction session can be provided.

12 places max

Quantity
Product not in stock

Price: £25.00

Practical Husbandry, Fri 14th March

Friday 14th March 2014, 9.30am-1pm  at KSRC (location details here)

Julie Coleman and Rowena Pearce

£10 registration fee (non-refundable)

This will be an intensive morning with two topics being covered followed by an informal discussion over lunch (not provided) for those who wish to join in.

We will start off looking at the many uses small size hives or nucleus boxes may be put to during the active season.  'Nucs' can be an important asset in the overall management of colonies and queens and their many roles will be elaborated.

We will then investigate the reasons why beekeepers should change the brood comb in their hives regularly and examine why we so often fail to do so.  Methods of brood comb changing will be elaborated and we will examine the advantages and disadvantages of each one.

Additional DescriptionMore Details

Many uses of Nucs

At the end of this course delegates will have a knowledge and understanding of the diverse applications of nucleus hives and their role in apiary management. This course will look at the construction of nucleus boxes -both commercial and 'home made' - and the diverse applications that these five or six frame hives can have. Nucs can play an important part in the beekeeper's stock equipment and can be used to start off a small colony for a beginner, used for swarm control, swarm collection, queen holding and many more applications. This will be an informal talk where participants are welcome to discuss the uses of nucs and to bring their own ideas to share. We will look briefly at the Apidea mini nucs for queen rearing but anyone particularly interested in this topic should attend the queen rearing course being offered later in the season at KSRC.

Brood Comb Changing

By the end of the course delegates will understand the reasons for changing comb with regard to disease and pests as well as its benefits in relation to the day to day management of the hive. They will also understand the practical methods available to replace all or part of the comb in the brood chamber and be able to choose a strategy suitable for their own needs. Several methods for comb changing will be explained, including the shook swarm method, Bailey Comb change, and piecemeal changing. The advantages and any difficulties in the use of these systems will be examined. The reasons beekeepers too often put off changing comb will be discussed so that thought can be given by participants on the course about the choice of a suitable strategy for themselves and their own apiaries. Disposal of old comb will also be looked at.

20 places max

Quantity
Product not in stock

Price: £10.00

Microscopy 1: Introduction to Microscopy for Beekeepers, Fri 14th February

Friday, 14th February 2014, 10-4pm at KSRC (location details here)

Bob Smith and Michael Hill

£25 registration fee (non-refundable)

This course will introduce microscopes and their uses in beekeeping; the major part of the practical sessions will be on honey bee anatomy & dissection.

If you possess a microscope (dissecting or compound), you are encouraged to bring it (them) along.  There are also plenty of microscopes available for use in the KSRC lab.

Additional DescriptionMore Details

This course will be a mixture of lectures on the basic theory of the stereo microscope and practical sessions, setting microscopes up correctly and using them to perform careful dissection of honey bees. The acarine dissection technique will be covered as will dissection of the digestive and respiratory systems, the flight muscles and some of the important glands. Performing these dissections provides a clearer understanding of the ways bees work, linking form and function. It will be helpful to revise such standard texts as Dade, Snodgrass and the very useful anatomy plates available from the IBRA shop.

12 places max

Quantity
Product not in stock

Price: £25.00

Beekeeping for Improvers Tues 4th February

Tue, 4th February 2014, 10am-1pm  at KSRC (location details here)

Bob Smith

£10 registration fee (non-refundable)

This morning session will examine some of the critical issues in becoming a better beekeeper; the importance of observation, understanding and managing the bees. This session will introduce many of the concepts and practices that will be dealt with in the practical sessions that will be available later in the year.

Additional DescriptionMore Details

Reading the bees is an important skill that needs to be developed if beekeepers are to exercise their responsibilities as livestock managers. We will examine ways to acquire this skill and also deal in some detail with some of the issues that contribute to smooth, confident handling.

35 places max

Quantity
Product not in stock

Price: £10.00

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