Learn Beekeeping

Each year, particularly during the spring and summer when we see bees going about their daily duties, several of you think about taking up beekeeping. 

The IOM Beekeepers Federation saw that many folk would like a bit of guidance as to how to start beekeeping. 

About 15 years ago a course was set up using the ‘British Beekeepers Association’ guide lines. 

The idea was to give seven evenings of theory and then carry on with practical sessions throughout the beekeeping year. 

This has worked well and the number of attendees has remained high. 

The Course will run on a Wednesday each week during March and April. 

You will learn about: 

  • What a honey bee looks like, plus a small amount of anatomy. 
  • What happens inside and outside the hive during the year. 
  • The role of each member of the honey bee family. 
  • Swarm prevention. 
  • Pests and diseases of honey bees. 
  • Some history of bees and beekeeping. 
  • What to look for when setting up your own Apiary. 
  • Mistakes made by new and experienced beekeepers and how to avoid them.

After attending the theory course you will be invited to attend practical sessions /apiary visits arranged by your local beekeeping association. 

These practical sessions usually include, 

  • How to open a hive of bees. 
  • What you are seeing inside the hive. Things that you should look for. 
  • Understanding of swarming and how to look out for it, and control it. 
  • Harvesting your honey crop. Taking care of bees before and during the winter. 
  • Understanding that if you keep bees, taking a holiday during May and June are off the agenda, at least until you have made your artificial swarms!

Bee suits can usually be provided for apiary visits but please check with your association secretary or whoever is organising the visit to avoid disappointment and stings! 

There will always be an experienced beekeeper on hand to assist and instruct. 

Please remember that it is illegal to import bees and used equipment to the Island. 

You can sign up for the course between the beginning of October and the end of November using the application form that will be available here on our web site. 

The details you supply will be held on a spread sheet for the year of the course, and on a mailing list just for the course. 

Your details will also be passed on to your nearest Beekeeping Association of which you will be made an Associate member for one year. 

At the end of your course year, your details will be erased except with the Association Secretaries. 

The whole course will cost £70, payable by the end of November. 

This course is prepared and run by dedicated unpaid volunteers.