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Roe Valley BKA - Preliminary Beekeeping Course

An excellent course for anyone starting their beekeeping journey or looking for a certificate in beekeeping

Delivered by Roe Valley Beekeepers Association's Education Officer Sam Laverty
Classes are held at our apiary, off Seacoast Road, starting mid-February 2024.

Practical sessions are held in small groups, by experienced beekeepers, at their apiaries.


A practical and informative course providing the necessary knowledge and skills to get established in beekeeping. This course has theoretical and practical sessions and provides the opportunity of achieving a Preliminary Certificate in Beekeeping.


The course covers the basics of beekeeping, setting up an apiary, acquiring bees, hive management, swarm control, disease control and honey production.

Beekeeper at Work

Modules and Structure

RVBKA offers a comprehensive introductory course covering all

necessary topics to get started in beekeeping - begins in February each year. (Order of modules may change)

Module 1: Natural History 1

Anatomy, lifecycle, queens,  workers & drones.          

Module 2: Natural History 2

Behaviour, communication, forage.    Module 3: Equipment

Hives and hive components, tools and  clothing.  

Module 4: Working with Honeybees

How to care for your bees, detailed hive  inspection, working with colonies and  queens.

Module 5: Apiary

Setting up an apiary, beekeeping year,  pollination.

Module 6: Swarming

Understand swarm behaviour, catching a swarm, artificial swarming, prevention.

Module 7: Honeybee Health

Adult bee and brood diseases, detection and treatment.

Module 8: Varroa

Mite lifecycle, monitoring and treatment.

Module 9: Harvesting

Honey extraction process & labelling  guidance. 

3 practical sessions, multiple choice & a short practical exam completes the


How To Become A Beekeeper

  1. Join your local beekeeping association to get valuable information about all aspects of beekeeping, practical advice from experienced beekeepers and from novices about starting up and to find a mentor.

  2. Attend meetings and talk with other members.

  3. Most bee clubs run a beginner's or preliminary course covering everything you need to know and including several practical sessions around beekeeping activities.

  4. The bee club will have insurance for its members.

  5. Know if you are allergic to stings.

  6. Obtain your equipment, asuming 2 hives, 2 feeders,  frames and foundation, beesuit, hive tool, smoker and gloves as minimum.

  7. Decide where to site your apiary.

  8. Plan to start in the spring/summer by buying 2 nucleus colonies from the bee club.

  9. Make use of Knowledge resources, books and other online reading

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