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Beginners' Course 

Registration is now available for our 2024 course. Please see details below:

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 2024 course are:

Start date: Wednesday February 21st

Time:  6.30pm - 8.30pm

Length of Course: 10 weeks

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

Cost: (For 2024) £125 (Single) or £225 (Joint) - which includes a 10 week theory course, followed by 2 exclusive practical sessions in the Society Apiary, located at Llys Nini Animal Rescue, Penllergaer. The sessions take place on a weekend and are initially restricted to the beginner's class to ensure attendees get the benefit of close tuition from the experienced members of the Apiary team. The Society Apiary is opened up every weekend through the beekeeping season, usually April to September. Membership also includes other benefits such as Bee Disease Insurance for up to 3 colonies and Public Liability Insurance. To register for the class please contact our Membership Secretary.

If you would like further information about either the joining the Society, the Beginner's Course or any other aspects related to beekeeping please contact us.

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 NDB 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 a 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: TBA

Finish time: TBA

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 our Master Beekeeper: Stephen Davies.

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