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Basic Beekeepers' Course - 2024/25 

Between July 2024 and the date of the Basic Beekeeper Examination in 2025

(the 2023  examination was held on 10 June. We anticipate the 2024 examination to be held no later than Mid June 2024) 

What Will I Learn?

The management and manipulation of a colony of honey bees over the period of one year. How to use the equipment needed to undertake the work needed including the smoker, the hive tool and feeding equipment. Also, the maintenance and cleaning of the equipment and hive parts. Assembling the frames, fitting the foundation in the frames and spacing the frames in the brood chamber and supers of the hive. Harvesting and processing honey. The life cycle of the bee bee and swarm prevention and management.

Pests and diseases of the honeybee together with their prevention and treatment. How to avoid and treat stings. Health and safety in the apiary.

The topics will be covered in one to one discussions with your mentor and during monthly meetings, forum meetings and other training events.

Can I sit an Examination?

The aim of the course is to provide both the theoretical knowledge and the practical experience to prepare you to keep and manage your own bees.

In addition it will prepare you to sit the Scottish Beekeepers Association  Basic Beekeeping examination - the first step on the SBA examinations system. The oral and practical examination normally takes place in June/July at the association Newbattle teaching apiary.


When Can I Start & What will it Cost?

The 12-month course starts with an induction session with our education lead and meeting your mentor.

The 2024/25 course is now open for members to register their interest. We anticipate that there will be twelve (12) places available. They will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

The fee for 2023/24 was £320. (subject to review for 24/25)     

There are two payment options:

  • Payment in full at the time you register for the course
  • Payment of a deposit - £100 at the time of registration followed by up to five monthly payments of £44. (the first monthly payment is due by 1 August and final payment by 1 December. Any outstanding balance can be paid in full at any time.)

The fee covers the cost of:

  • One to one mentoring for a twelve month period
  • The use of protective clothing to wear whilst undertaking colony manipulations. (excluding footwear)
  • The use of all tools and equipment needed to manage the colony
  • All treatments and feed needed for the bees over a 12 month period
  • Your Membership Fee for the Scottish Beekeepers Association  for a 12 month period from January after the start of the course (worth £40).
  • The Beginner Beekeeper examination fee paid to SBA on your behalf (worth £25)
  • Priority for purchasing association bees at the end of the course.

What is Provided?

  • All Beekeeping Equipment
  • The use of protective clothing with the exception of footwear
  • Access to a colony of bees to manage and look after
  • Access to the Bee Academy library with the opportunity to borrow books, DVDs and other materials.(course books are provided for the duration of the course)
  • All inputs for the management of the bee colony
  • The opportunity to participate in all NBA member activity
  • One to one support from a mentor

What is a mentor?

A member who has achieved their Basic Beekeeper Certificate who will support your learning over the one year duration of the course.

Will I always have the same mentor?

As far as possible, yes. On occasion it might be that you will work with a different mentor, for example during holiday periods. There will always be someone to support you.

What happens if I cannot attend to the bee colony for any reason?

As long as you let your mentor know in good time your visit to the apiary can be re-arranged. If the absence is to be for a considerable time your mentor and the apiary manager will arrange for the colony to be managed during your absence. 

Need More Information? Contact:

The Course Administrator

E:  Click the Link to Send an Email


Click on the books to read the syllabus

I Want to Register my interest in the Course but I am Not a Member

1. Join the Association and become a Member 


Please complete the online Membership Application Form. When you are completing the form please indicate that you are interested in the Basic Beekeeping Course (July - June)

2. We will then give you access to the online course application form as soon as possible.

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