This course will introduce you to the wonderful topic of keeping bees in both conventional frame hives and also in top bar hives. The aim is to keep bees in a simple, low cost, natural and enjoyable way.
You will learn about conventional frame hive beekeeping. You will also learn about top bar beekeeping and why you should consider keeping your bees in a top bar hive.
You will learn about bees. You will learn how to make your own hive, where to source bees and how to manage the bees in the hive.
You will learn how to harvest and extract the delicious honey and package and label your honey for sale.
You will learn about beeswax. You will learn how to render wax combs into wax blocks. You will learn how to filter your wax and use it to make simple candles and beeswax polish.
The course will take you right through the whole process from the timber in your shed to building the hive. Then on to getting bees, managing then bees to harvesting and packing the honey and using the beeswax.
By the end of this course and associated assignments you will be a beekeeper!
The course contains over 11.5 hours of video lectures and practical demonstrations and is organised into the following sections:
In Section One we introduce this course and beekeeping. We considered issues such as how to get the most from the course, who can become a beekeeper, the benefits of bees and beekeeping and the challenges in starting any new project.
In Section Two we look at the broad approaches to beekeeping and help you identify which approach might interest you.
Section Three look at the bee colony and the occupants of the hive. We also looked at the life cycle of the honeybee and the beekeeping year.
Section Four looks at types of bee hives and other beekeeping equipment. There were a number of activities such as to choose the type of hive you want to start with and identify local bee equipment suppliers. We also have an optional activity to make a simple top bar hive.
Section Five is a pivotal section to establish an apiary site and to acquire basic equipment and bees. Getting your first colony of bees is a game changer. The bees themselves become your teacher! This is the point where you became a beekeeper.
Section Six looks at basic bee management. We look at issues such as the principles of bee management, how to inspect a colony of bees, bee health, swarm control and feeding bees.
Section Seven looks at bee products and in particular honey and beeswax. In section seven you will produce some wonderful bee products to share with friends and family.