Handling Skills 1 Short Course

A two-day intensive course for beekeepers covering practical techniques for efficient and effective colony management.

The course has been developed by the National Diploma in Beekeeping Board as part of its series of Train-the-Trainer courses. It is part-funded by Fera as part of the Defra Healthy Bees Plan.

Course Content

This course aims to improve the confidence and competence of colony manipulation by beekeepers with 2-3 years or more of practical beekeeping experience. This is not recipe beekeeping – we will not be teaching specific manipulations – but we will practice a number of underlying skills such as

  • Queen finding, handling, and introduction
  • Working efficiently with large colonies
  • Dealing with difficult colonies
  • Making nucleus colonies
  • Colony destruction

Hands-on activities are key to the course, as is discussion of planning, options, and contingencies.

We assume that students are already familiar with the principles and basic-level practice of annual colony management techniques such as routine inspections, artificial swarms, and uniting of colonies.

This course will be of great interest to anyone considering the BBKA General Husbandry or Advanced Husbandry assessments.



Target Audience

The Short Courses are aimed at those beekeepers with some experience of the craft; they are not aimed at novices. We can provide guidance to applicants as to the appropriateness of our Short Courses to their stage of beekeeping. We do ask that students respect this policy. Students are welcome to apply on a first come, first served basis.

The NDB Short Courses can provide valuable discussion, learning, and hands-on experience for those planning to take the BBKA Assessments above Basic level.

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