Introduction to Sustainable Beekeeping

please see main course page for cv-19 update

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.

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. Refreshments and an information handout are provided (notes emailed to you the day 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.

£60 per person for the 2 hour session, or £100 for two booked at the same time. Gift vouchers area available if you’d like to give this course to someone as a present.

If you are interested in taking beekeeping further, please see my Patreon where there is both the maintenance level and a tier for more specific advice and guidance.

I also run bespoke courses for up to 5 people from the same household. Please contact me for details.

2020 dates:

  • 5th September
  • 19th September [FULLY BOOKED]
  • 3rd October [1 PLACE REMAINING]
  • 17th October
  • 7th November
  • 21st November

2021 dates:

  • 23rd January
  • 6th February
  • 20th February
  • 6th March
  • 20th March
  • 3rd April
  • 17th April
  • 15th May
  • 12th June
  • 17th July
  • 18th September
  • 16th October

Please email waywardbeecourses@gmail.com for more details, or to book.

This course was perfect. Jennifer has an art to imparting her passionate knowledge of bee keeping in such a way that beginners feel inspired and equipped to start immediately. Jennifer is clearly incredibly knowledgeable about the subject and her sustainable approach should be admired. She teaches in such a way that you leave the course with confidence. The added extra is that you get to taste the product of her incredible baking skills. A wonderfully relaxed but truly informative course. I will certainly be attending an intermediate course in the near future 🐝 “

Lee Tomlinson February 2019

A very informative day – I learnt more about bee keeping in 2 hours with Jennifer than from all the literature that I had been reading. Jennifer is very knowledgeable and explains the subject in a clear and understandable manner at a pace that everyone could keep up with. Well worth doing if you are thinking of keeping bees in a sustainable way.

Frank Donnachie April 2019