Advanced Course

Recognising the fact that access to appropriate beekeeping tuition presents difficulties for many aspiring National Diploma candidates, the Board holds Advanced Courses of a five day duration. The course is held at Pershore Horticultural College, part of the Warwickshire College Group. The 60 Hectare site includes start of the art laboratories, along with on-site halls of residence.

Applications will be via out online course booking system (Eventbrite). This has not yet been published for 2018.

Between 1999 and 2015 the course was hosted in the prestigious Defra Central Science Laboratory (CSL) within the first class facilities of the National Bee Unit. The NDB are extremely grateful to the NBU for all their support and assistance over this time.

The course provides the opportunity to bridge the gap between the national Advanced or Senior awards and the requirements for the National Diploma Examination. The visiting lecturers are all leading figures in their particular aspect of apiculture.

The course covers topics such as husbandry, botany, teaching, laboratory techniques, disease recognition and legislation pertaining to beekeeping. Each year the combination of course themes changes to provide variety and continuing interest for students. The 2015 course themes were Anatomy & Dissection, and Honeybee Diseases (both apiary and laboratory diagnosis). In 2016, two of the topic areas were botany for beekeepers and insect identification. The agenda for 2017 is still being finalised, and will be distributed to successful applicants.  The course is always a mix of theory and practical classes, both in the laboratory & the apiary.

 For 2017, the course dates are Sunday (Evening) 18th to Friday 23rd June.

The course venue for 2017 is Pershore College near Evesham (in Worcestershire).  Further details of the college can be found by clicking here. The NDB gratefully acknowledge the support of the college, and particularly Richard and Rhona Toft who made us feel very welcome and provided wonderful assistance.


Students in the laboratory


Laboratory Class

Experience has shown that there is a need for most students to gain experience and confidence in handling bees in depth and with appropriate speed in both their own and other people’s apiaries.

Field Working


Students and tutors are accommodated onsite at Pershore.  A full week immersed in advanced beekeeping techniques and in the company of some excellent beekeepers is certain to invigorate your beekeeping and enhance your skills.

The course fee includes accommodation, all meals, and laboratory/apiary consumables, and represents excellent value.

Priority is given to those applicants wishing to undertake the NDB examination, but anyone who is likely to benefit from training at the highest level may be accepted on to the course.

For further information on the Advanced Course please contact Ken Basterfield NDB using the form below:

To apply for a place on the Advanced Course, please check the website regularly – we will publish the details of how to express your interest on this site, and via our Facebook page. Currently, it is planned that the application process will be open around early Feb 2018

Please ensure you read the cancellation policy before booking read more

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