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Education & Courses

Taster Days   

These are normally held once a month on a Saturday (weather permitting) from 10am to 4pm, during the summer season. The cost is £25 per person.

The morning session (10am - 12noon) is classroom based and looks at the life cycle of the bee.

Lunch is 12noon - 1pm and you will need to bring your own lunch.

The afternoon session (1pm - 4pm) is in the Society Apiary; we will supply you with a beesuit and gloves but you will need to bring your own Wellington boots. After demonstrating how to go through a hive, you will have an opportunity to go through hives yourself, under supervision of course.

Beginners' Course 

We run courses  each year for people wishing to become beekeepers, providing you with a basic knowledge and understanding of bees and beekeeping. Details of our next course are:

Start date: 20th February, 2019 and then each Wednesday

Time:  7pm - 9pm

Length of Course: 10 weeks

Location: Pontarddulais Comprehensive School (Caecerrig Road, Pontarddulais, SA4 8PD)

Cost: (For 2019) £90 (Single) or £160 (Joint) - which includes a 10 week theory course, practical sessions in the Society Apiary at Llys Nini, Penllergaer every weekend through the beekeeping season and full membership of the Society. Membership of the Society also includes other benefits.

We are very pleased to announce that in 2019 we have included four places on the Beginners' Course which are being sponsored by one of our members. These places are  for 16-25 year olds and the sponsorship covers 50% of the 'single' course cost - participants will only have to pay £45. These places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis and anyone interested should initially (and before submitting a Registration Form) contact our Chair.

If you would like further information about either the Taster Days or the Beginners' Course please contact us. However, should you wish to register for the next Beginners' Course please download either the Registration Form and complete it electronically or the Registration Form (pdf version). Full details of how to pay and where to send the completed form can be found on the 'notes' page of the form.

We also welcome children under 16 on the Beginners' Course and on Taster Days. However, they must be accompanied by a parent or other responsible adult but the respective fee will only need to be paid for the child.

Basic Assessment Study Group

Once you have managed at least one colony of bees for a minimum of 12 months you are eligible to take your Basic Assessment in beekeeping. This is a practical assessment of your basic beekeeping skills and a discussion on various aspects of the beekeeping year. We run annual study groups for people who would like to take their assessment (or people who would just like to study more), and spend a weekend in the apiary practising for the assessment. Any one interested should contact the Education Officer (Nicola Oulton) or if you would like more information or details of the syllabus please take a look at the WBKA (Welsh Beekeeping Association).

[Details of when and where these will be held will be posted once interest has been established and details agreed.]

Module Study Groups

There are 7 modular exams that can be taken after gaining the Basic Assessment. Each module looks at a different aspect of beekeeping. We will put together study groups or tutorial groups for people interested in any of the modular exams. If you are interested in sitting any of these modules, please contact the Education Officer (Nicola Oulton). If you need any further information about the modular exams system have a look at the BBKA information.

[Details of when and where these will be held will be posted once interest has been established and details agreed.] 

Microscopy Workshop

The Society will put on one day Microscopy Workshops if there is sufficient interest. For these to be cost effective a minimum of four people will need to express an interest. Places on each session will be limited by the number of dissecting microscopes available - there are currently four that the Society can use and two people can share a microscope – but anyone attending will be very welcome to bring their own.

For any sessions that are arranged the following will apply:

Location: Pontarddulais Comprehensive School (Caecerrig Road, Pontarddulais, SA4 8PD)

Start time: 11.30 am

Finish time: 3 pm (approx)

Cost: £15.00 per person (SDBKS Members) and £25.00 per person (Non-members) to cover consumables - chemicals, slides etc - and room hire.

The workshop will include how to set up and manipulate a microscope as well as preparing a honey bee for dissection and dissecting a honey bee with the aim of looking at the alimentary tract (and maybe other parts of the bee too). It will also include an Acarine and Nosema study.

Participants will need to bring about 20 freshly killed bees and, if you have them, a dissecting microscope and dissecting tools. Participants will also need to bring their own lunch.

If you are interested in microscopy and would like to take part in one of these workshops, or if you have any questions regarding these, please contact Stephen Davies.

Once there is sufficient interest, dates will be set and any workshop that is not fully subscribed will, of course, be advertised.