These are the courses that have already taken place in 2017.  Don’t try to book them!

Improver Key Skills 2017 (East Kent edition)

A series of 5 sessions on key husbandry skills for beekeepers, running from 10th January - 7th February 2017.

Bob Smith, Julie Coleman and Adrian Davis

The five sessions can be booked together for £25 (non-refundable). Topics that will be covered:

  • Bee & colony life-cycles, reading the colony, translating that into management actions
  • Swarm control – an in-depth understanding of natural swarming, and its prevention
  • Managing varroa – the key to healthy bees; monitoring and treatments, inc. non-chemical.
  • winter management
  • Health and Hygiene

The BeeBarn is the training centre that is part of Bee Equipment's facilities at Highland Court Farm in Bridge, near Canterbury. It has a modern, well-equipped meeting/lecture room, with room for 35 delegates.

Highland Court Farm, Off Coldharbour Lane, Nr Bridge, Canterbury, Kent CT4 5HN, location map here; full instructions to find the BeeBarn will be emailed to delegates

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Reading the Colony, 10 January 2017

 

Tuesday 10th January 2017, 7.30-9.30pm at Highland Court Farm, Off Coldharbour Lane, Nr Bridge, Canterbury, Kent CT4 5HN, location map here; full instructions to find the BeeBarn will be emailed to delegates

Bob Smith and Julie Coleman

Part of the Improver Key Skills series.  Book the series here

Additional DescriptionMore Details

A colony inspection is more than simply observation, it requires an understanding of the typical annual lifecycle of a colony and the translation of what is seen into an understanding of what the colony is doing - so called "reading the bees". However, this is not enough on its own - it needs to be seen in the context of what the beekeeper is trying to achieve and what management actions are indicated to take it forward. This introductory session will tackle these under-pinning aspects of our management of the bees

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Swarm Control, 17 January 2017

Tuesday 17th January 2017, 7.30-9.30pm at Highland Court Farm, Off Coldharbour Lane, Nr Bridge, Canterbury, Kent CT4 5HN, location map here; full instructions to find the BeeBarn will be emailed to delegates

Part of the Improver Key Skills series.  Book on the whole series here

 

Additional DescriptionMore Details

We will explore what happens to "wild"colonies as they reproduce and then examine the basic principles of the ways in which we, as beekeepers, can intervene in this natural process. We will examine several well-known swarm control methods and understand when each may be appropriate. Swarm control is the basic beekeeper skill - this session will provide you with the knowledge to "keep" your bees.

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Managing Varroa, 24 January 2017

Tuesday 24th January 2017, 7.30-9.30pm at Highland Court Farm, Off Coldharbour Lane, Nr Bridge, Canterbury, Kent CT4 5HN, location map here; full instructions to find the BeeBarn will be emailed to delegates

Part of the Improver Key Skills series.  Book on the whole series here

Additional DescriptionMore Details

Since its arrival in 1992, varroa has changed the face of UK beekeeping and its effective management is now mandatory. This session will explore the origins of this exotic pest, the way in which it interacts with Apis mellifera and the options we have, at various times of the beekeeping season, to control this pest. Chemical and non-chemical (husbandry) methods will be examined, looking at the pros and cons of each approach.

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winter management, 31 January 2017

Tuesday 31st January 2017, 7.30-9.30pm at Highland Court Farm, Off Coldharbour Lane, Nr Bridge, Canterbury, Kent CT4 5HN, location map here; full instructions to find the BeeBarn will be emailed to delegates

Part of the Improver Key Skills series.  Book on the whole series here

 

Additional DescriptionMore Details

In Europe, the critical period of the bees' annual cycle is winter - no access to resources for several months and survival hanging on the extent to which we and the bees completed pre-winter preparations. This session will explore the key aspects of preparing our bees for winter and the checks we make during winter, to give our bees the best chance of building up strongly in the following Spring.

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Health and Hygiene, 7 February 2017

Tuesday 7th February 2017, 7.30-9.30pm at Highland Court Farm, Off Coldharbour Lane, Nr Bridge, Canterbury, Kent CT4 5HN, location map here; full instructions to find the BeeBarn will be emailed to delegates

Part of the Improver Key Skills series.  Book on the whole series here

Additional DescriptionMore Details

In this session, we will review bee health and hygiene, emphasising actions the beekeeper can take to maximise the health of their bees. Topics will include comb-changing (how and why), apiary hygiene, and hygienic bees. We will conclude the series with a Q&A session, to address any questions provoked by the 5 sessions.

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