Meet the Bees

Next course date: The date will be during the active beekeeping season at a time when the weather is suitable.  Your tutor will contact you to arrange an appropriate time.
Time:  The course will take between 1 and 1.5 hours.
Venue:  East Riddlesden Hall apiary
Prerequisites:  None

Course Content

After you have completed ABKA’s Introduction to Beekeeping course then you will be able to Meet the Bees  – the next logical step after the Bees and Beekeeping Course.  Here you will have the opportunity to actually handle the bees at our Association apiary.  We’ll organise a small group session where you will be led by a couple of very experienced beekeepers.  This will be in April or May and is entirely weather dependent.  If the weather changes we may need to cancel at short notice, this is for both your safety and enjoyment of the experience.

On the day

Safety first

ABKA will provide you with a full bee suit.  You must bring clean wellies, marigold type washing up gloves, your specs for close up work if you need them and something to tie long hair back (if you still have any).  We will get suited up and you will be checked over to ensure you don’t get any unwanted visitors inside your suit.

Seeing the inside of a hive for the first time

We will talk a little about beekeeper and bee hygiene, demonstrate how to open a hive, where best to stand, use of a smoker and hive tool and how to remove a frame with bees on and inspect it.  You will get a chance to hold the frame and we will describe what’s happening on that frame and answer your questions.  You will be able to hear the noises the bees make, watch their busy little bodies and feel the warmth they exude.  You’ll smell the pollens and honeys.  You will see the worker bees, the cell types and the queen hopefully.  You’ll see tiny eggs (this is why you’ll need your specs), healthy larvae, capped brood and even the odd baby bee emerging from its cell.  There may even be the odd drone.  Then we will carefully reassemble the hive.  It will probably take an hour.  It’s engrossing and marvellous and always takes longer than you think.

There will then be a 20 minute question and answer session to discuss anything arising from the day’s activity.

What to bring along

  1. Clean wellies or boots suitable for tucking in a bee suit.
  2. Snug fitting Marigold type washing up gloves and bands to hold them closed at the wrist.
  3. Something to tie back long hair if appropriate.
  4. Glasses if you need them for close up work.

Next Steps:  If you have already attended Bees and Beekeeping you are qualified to apply for our Beekeeper Training Programme.

If you would like to Meet the Bees, please register your interest with our Education Officer.  Email: