Natural Beekeeping Courses in West Oxfordshire

Courses are small and given according to demand.  To put your name down, email me using the contact form here.

“Thanks again for an amazing weekend. It was great to see just how delightful bees are but also how complex, fascinating and deeply connected with everything.”

“I really liked how you structured the two days, and how you were able to deliver a considerable amount of information in a short space of time and in such a thoughtful and non-rushed way. I learned a huge amount and I am beginning the journey of beekeeping from the view point of the Bien.”

“Thank you so much for a fabulously interesting and informative weekend. I really appreciate the huge effort and energy you’ve clearly put into developing and staging this course. “

The Course

The course gives an introduction to the truly amazing creature that constitutes the bee colony or, as it is sometimes called, the Bien.   The insights gained will enable attendees to keep bees in a manner that is mutually beneficial to both the bee and the beekeeper. The resultant approach is low-interference and holistic rather than high-interference and mechanistic.  Honey harvesting comes second to bee welfare.  Groups are small enough to allow plenty of time for questions.

The Tutor

I have kept bees on and off since 1970. I now keep bees in a treatment-free, bee-centric manner. I find that paying close attention to the needs of the bee, rather than the theories of  beekeepers, enables bees to be healthy without treatment for pests such as the varroa mite.  I follow biodynamic principles and house my bee colonies in Warré hives. This is the sort of experience you can expect on one of my courses (most of the folk in the photos have attended one).

Dates

I now operate a wait list system: when enough people contact me, I email them and arrange a convenient date.  It seems to work, so if you are interested, contact me!

Where

The courses are held in West Oxfordshire, at Burford, OX18 4BJ.

Cost

Courses are £125 for the weekend.  This includes an excellent lunch on both days, prepared by my wife, and a £25 donation to the Natural Beekeeping Trust.

Booking & Enquiries

If you would like to put your name down, or ask any questions, please use the contact form at the bottom of this page.

Accommodation

There is plenty of accommodation available locally, including several affordable B&B’s within walking distance.  Please ask me if you would like details.  Bear in mind that Burford is a popular tourist destination, so early booking is essential.

Syllabus

  • the form and physiology of the bee colony
  • the life cycle of the bee colony
  • the development and rhythm of the colony through the year
  • bee reproduction and swarming
  • bee-centred hive design
  • handling bees