The 2015 courses have now completed - further courses are planned for 2016, so do get in touch now to book your place as availability is limited!

Two courses have to date been offered to those thinking about taking up beekeeping:

1) A Taster Course

The aim of this single session is to get potential beekeepers to think seriously about the implications and responsibilities of taking up beekeeping. It covers the questions that should be addressed by before people embark on keeping bees. Various aspects are covered such as the time and space required, basic equipment needed and costs involved, honey bees, their requirements, pests and diseases and the responsibilities of beekeepers. There will be the opportunity to see some beekeeping equipment including some different beehives and to talk to beekeepers about their experiences.

The session lasts for a morning and is usually held at Ivyland Farm, Netherfield, TN33 9QB. Tea and coffee are served. There are two pubs in the village for anyone wanting lunch after the session.

Travel instructions below.

2) An Introduction to Beekeeping.

This is a more detailed course that is usually given over two whole Saturdays, followed by several practical sessions on Saturday afternoons in the Divisional Apiary, bees and weather permitting. It covers hive structure and function; the purchase, construction and care of equipment; the biology of the honey bee; pests and diseases their recognition, prevention and treatment; how to open hives and handle bees; good beekeeping husbandry; preparing bee colonies for the winter; honey harvesting and preparation; the legal obligations of those who keep bees and/or sell honey.

Participants are given the opportunity to handle bees, inspect a colony and to build hive parts. Protective clothing can be provided in the first instance but participants are urged to buy their own as soon as possible. Further lectures suitable for beginners are given during the Winter Programme of the Division.

We ask that those who wish to go into the Apiary for the practical sessions join the Division and so are covered by the insurance that comes with Divisional Membership. Membership forms can be obtained from Harold Cloutt:

If you wish to join either or both courses please contact the Divisional Training Co-ordinator, Jill Sales at

Location of the Courses

A map giving Ivyland Farm can be found here

Coming from the Battle or Heathfield areas after you turn off the main road in Netherfield, you pass the Netherfield Arms on your left and soon after that is a drive down a sharp turn to the right, just before the traffic calming measure. Coming from the A2100 towards Heathfield, the turning to Ivyland is on the left just after the traffic calming measure and the village hall, which is on the right.

There is parking at the bottom of the drive and the classroom will be clearly marked.