Introduction to Sustainable Beekeeping

Would you like to know how to keep bees sustainably, on a small scale? Have you always wondered what goes on inside a hive? Perhaps you’re worried about how our bees are declining and want to know how to help them. Many people would like a colony of honeybees in their garden, and on this course I will show you how a hive works, and how to keep your bees happy and healthy with minimal intervention. This course is suitable for complete novices with no previous experience, or those who have decided to pursue a less invasive way of beekeeping compared to more traditional methods.

This is a broad course designed to enable you to get going straight away with beekeeping, or to gain sufficient insight in to whether or not having a hive is for you. I have been teaching sustainable beekeeping since 2010, and run many conservation and community beekeeping projects, championing sympathetic methods to promote healthy, resilient and productive bees. Beekeeping is a constant learning curve, and follow-up support is available from me direct or via my Patreon. Attendee numbers are limited to 4 to allow for questions and involvement, and I run the courses by arrangement to allow for flexibility and to tie in with people’s schedules and travel times, and it allows me to deliver personalised tuition. Short notice welcome!

As we discuss the care and management of the honeybee colony rather than purely beekeeping techniques, the information can be utilised for any hive type in any situation, anywhere in the world. It is also suitable for those requiring more information than they might get from books or the internet: authors, food stylists, natural health practitioners, nutritionists, and PhD students are among those who have attended the courses to gain a greater understanding of these fascinating insects and the products we can use from the hive.

Topics covered include:

  • How the bee colony works
  • Different types of hive
  • Overview of sustainable management
  • Swarming
  • Equipment needed
  • Costs involved
  • Harvesting honey and beeswax sustainably
  • Plants for your bees

There will also be a chance to ask questions and discuss how we can all help our pollinators, irrespective of whether we want to keep bees or not. Tea, coffee, fresh herb tea and homemade cake are provided, and an information handout of the notes will be emailed to you before the class.

Please note that we don’t open up a hive on this occasion (you will learn why on the course!) so there is no need for equipment but we visit the hives and I will point out different behaviours and show you what to look for as we watch the bees. Do bring your bee suit if you have one, and I have veils for you to borrow.

£85 per person for the 3 hour session, or £150 for two booked at the same time. Courses run on days and times by mutual agreement to take account of any restrictions, weather, and working hours, and to allow for individual tuition so please contact me to discuss availability. Gift vouchers area available if you’d like to give this course to someone as a present, and payment is via PayPal, direct transfer, or cash.

Please see main course page or email me at to book.

If you are interested in taking beekeeping further, please see my Patreon where there is both the maintenance level and tiers for more specific advice and guidance. I offer ongoing mentoring and visits to help set up hives, conduct a first check, or help with any problems.

I also run bespoke courses for up to 6 people – great for family groups, businesses, and homeschoolers. Please contact me for details.

Introduction to Sustainable Beekeeping (1 person)

Please say the date you would like to attend when you book.


Introduction to Sustainable Beekeeping (2 persons)

Please say the date you would like to attend when you book.



“Really enjoyable, well presented – I like Jennifer’s approach to bee-keeping. Left me motivated and keen to start. I really should mention the excellent cake too!!”

Lizzie Hopkins

I would definitely recommend this course. It is relaxed and informal; Jennifer explains everything you need to know with the emphasis on what is good for the bees rather than the beekeeper. Jennifer has a lot of experience and a wealth of knowledge – and makes a lovely cake!

Annette Lee

Jennifer is so knowledgeable, and conveys that knowledge in an engaging way. Would thoroughly recommend. Great cake too!


I thoroughly enjoyed this course – it was so interesting and informative. I love Jennifer’s approach to keeping bees, with the care and wellbeing of the bees being paramount. I cannot believe how much I learnt in two hours, which flew by! Jennifer is clearly passionate about bees, and this comes across when she’s teaching. The accompanying course notes (with lots of useful links to a wealth of resources) are really helpful, so I can follow up on more reading etc. I can highly recommend this course, and am looking forward to progressing to Intermediate level very soon. Thank you Jennifer!


As someone who was interested in keeping bees I signed up for the beginners course and thought it would be interesting for my youngest child, who is in fact a teen, to join us. I wasn’t wrong. This course expelled some common misconceptions and is extremely informative. It certainly gave me clarity about the comittment involved. I highly recommend this course if you are considering keeping bees.

Mia-Louise Connor

Jennifer is a natural teacher with great communication skills. There is plenty of detail in this course so that you can actually go an “do” things to start your colony afterwards, but Jennifer also explains sustainable beekeeping holistically, so it also becomes a way of thinking rather than a tick box exercise. It means that if you do decide to read books on the subject afterwards, you have a really solid framework in which to put all your newly acquired knowledge. It’s a great course which I’d recommend without hesitation to anyone starting out with beekeeping. (The cake is also amazing.)

Alex Tamlyn