The branch is very keen to encourage the craft of beekeeping and welcomes newcomers. As well as informal and ad hoc support from more experienced members we also organise a more formal training programme for inexperienced beekeepers, but don't worry, we aim to make it fun and informative!

Basic course for beginners – 2018

In 2018 the branch will be running a course for members who are new to beekeeping. The aim of the 10 week theory part of the course is to give those attending the basic theory of beekeeping as laid down in the British Beekeepers Association (BBKA) Basic Assessment in Beekeeping. For details see the BBKA examinations website.

The theory course will be followed, in the spring and summer, by practical sessions at the branch apiary. After the theory course and practical sessions those attending will be encouraged to take the BBKA Basic Assessment in Beekeeping

The course will only run if there are enough people who sign up.
The committee reserve the right to cancel the course - all monies will be refunded in full.

Course details


For ten Wednesday evenings from 7.00 - 9.00pm, starting on Wednesday 28 February 2018.


'The Stables', Chilsworthy Methodist Church, EX22 7BH (map)

Who will be teaching on the course?

Christopher Smith and Graham Jones will be teaching on the course. They are both branch members who have many years of beekeeping experience between them.


The cost of the course is £110. This includes one year's Registered membership of the branch and Devon Beekeepers Association (DBKA). For more details of membership see the membership page.

Note that if two people living at the same address join the course the second need only pay £90 and be a Partner member.

In order to benefit from branch membership the course fee should be paid as soon as possible, otherwise it is payable on the first night.

Who can attend?

The course is open to all members of Holsworthy Beekeepers, with or without beekeeping experience. For 2018, the course fees include Registered or Partner membership of Holsworthy Beekeepers

For further details and to reserve a space on the course

Send full details of your full name, address, telephone number and email to Graham Jones at, or Linda Davis at or tel: 01598 710107.

How to apply – either by:

Practical sessions

These are a follow up to the winter beginners course and start in the spring at our branch apiary, near Holsworthy. The full schedule for these meetings will be discussed with the course members later in the spring.

Basic Assessment in Beekeeping

The branch encourages all its members to take the BBKA Basic Assessment in Beekeeping. This is a short practical assessment of a beekeeper's basic skills and forms the starting point of all the examinations (both written and practical) that BBKA operate. Further details of the assessments that BBKA operate are on the examination section of their website.

The BBKA Basic Assessment is a basic oral and practical assessment of a beekeeper's basic knowledge and practical skills that is usually carried out in the branch apiary by qualified assessors
The Holsworthy branch committee recommend all beekeepers do it whether experienced or not and we offer some revision sessions before the assessment. The only requirement is that candidates must have managed a colony for at least 12 months. Anyone who has done the beginners course we run will have easily covered all the topics that will be assessed.
Doing the Basic is very satisfying and gives you more confidence when opening up a colony. It is also the requirement for anyone who wishes to develop their knowledge and take either the modules leading to the Intermediate and Senior Theoretical certificate or the practical General or Advanced certificate in Beekeeping Husbandry.

More information about the assessment, including the syllabus can be found on the BBKA website: BBKA Basic Assessment Holsworthy has arranged for a qualified local BBKA assessor to examine our members later this season. For more details of both the assessment and the support we are offering contact Linda Davis:
It really is a non-threatening experience, not much more than a chat with a friendly, experienced beekeeper as you open a hive up and explain what you see. Surely your bees deserve to know that you have shown that you have a basic knowledge and set of skills necessary to look after them?

Holsworthy Beekeepers

Branch Logo

Holsworthy Beekeepers is a branch of
Devon Beekeepers Association

Registered Charity Number 270675

Page last updated on
4 November 2017