Oxleas Wood Apiary
Beekeeping & Apiary
Beekeeping Course - Queen Raising - Apiary Days
The Introduction to Beekeeping course provides the essential first steps enabling the would-be beekeeper to safely and responsibly move on to acquiring his or her first colony of honeybees for the following year's beekeeping season. The course includes both fully illustrated theoretical, practical and hands-on elements, covering the basic theory and equipment required, the life cycle of the honeybee, and the work involved over the beekeeping season, including at least two additional sessions working with the hives in the Oxleas Wood Apiary. The 8 week evening course, which includes 2 separate weekend Apiary Days in the Oxleas Wood Apiary, costs £180.00 inclusive and commences with the first session on the third Wednesday evening of April, weekly thereafter until the first week of June. It is also possible for students to install their own bee colony and hive in the Apiary, keeping it at the Apiary under close supervision while the colony develops to full strength over its first season - at the end of the season, the colony and hive is moved off the Apiary to its new and permanent location (garden or allotment) - the Apiary will help and advise in purchasing the bee colony and essential hive and equipment from a reliable bee supplier.
Honeybee Queen Raising is a short course comprising 3 classroom sessions and, coordinated to these, three practical sessions in the Apiary that draw together the techniques and timing for the small-scale raising of selected Queen bees. The classroom aspects of the course introduce the timing and phasing of Queen production, the natural virgin Queen raising cycle, and genetic selection - in the Apiary, the practical sessions explore several methods of Queen generation and raising, including 'artificial swarming' and 1 day old larva grafting, and then the preparation and stocking of mating nukes readying for the final stages of bringing and introducing the mated virgin Queens into working colonies. This short course, commencing Tuesday 8 May 2018 with Apiary sessions on Saturdays or Sundays, runs for three successive weeks and aims to see through the raising of new fertile Queens for introduction into the existing bee stocks of Oxleas Wood Apiary - it is a specialised course in which participants would benefit from previous beekeeping experience.
Apiary Taster Days provide ‘hands-on’ experience with bee stocks in the Oxleas Wood Apiary. Under the close supervision of an experienced apiarist, a small group of would-be beekeepers, or those simply inquisitive to experience first hand the wonderful world of honeybees, will open up hives and examine the bee colonies at first hand. Working afternoon sessions (weekends 1.00 to 5.00pm) are available at three distinctive times of the beekeeping season to cover the preparations for swarming and Queen raising, colony management and the honey harvest - protective bee suits and gloves are provided within the inclusive cost of £50.00 per Apiary Day.
Traditional Skep Making Workshop supervises you through the traditional processes of making a straw skep. Later in the beekeeping season you can return to the Apiary with your skep to receive a fresh colony of honeybees complete with their own fertile Queen and, whatsmore, you can keep any surplus honey at the end of that year's beekeeping season.