East of Scotland Beekeepers Association - Beginners' Classes

Tue 23 Feb, 19:00 - Tue 16 Mar, 21:00 (GMT)

The East of Scotland Beekeepers Association has about 120 members spread over our area of the Carse of Gowrie, Strathmore, Dundee and Angus. We offer our members winter talks, summer apiary visits, displays at shows and help with beekeeping education particularly our annually held beginners classes. Our beginners classes are presented by experts in their field who are also accomplished and enthusiastic educators. The classes are pitched at a level to allow the complete novice to gain an appreciation of what is necessary to enter the craft and to understand the commitment, skills and investment required.

Online sessions

The course will, in 2021, have an online component covering 4 evenings using Zoom. These four two-hour sessions (23rd Feb, 2nd Mar, 9th Mar, 16th Mar, 19:00-21:00) will take you through the full range of topics required to get started in beekeeping and introduce you to a few members of the association. Sessions will be recorded and made available should you wish to revise or if you are unable to make the live session. Last year’s in-person evenings were kept interesting by breaking up each evening into different topics and introducing practical and small group sessions. We will try to repeat this informal approach online in 2021.

A second part of the course will continue at an apiary local to you in the main beekeeping season. This will take place in very small groups, possibly ones and twos, with a local volunteer member of the association. Here you can expect to see and take part in the basic handling of bee colonies, assess the colonies and take part in manipulations to control swarming. The timing of these apiary visits will depend on the state of the pandemic and on government advice at the time.

Around the time of these dispersed apiary visits we will also offer informal online meetings in the evening for the class to discuss together what they experienced and to clarify and reinforce messages during these visits.

Finally we will offer assistance contacting a beekeeper in your area to be a long-term buddy to help to get you through any difficulties.

The four evening sessions will cover:

Week 1: Tues 23rd Feb 2021 - 19:00

Why beekeep? Highs and lows, rewards and difficulties, commitments
Equipment, sources, setting up an apiary
Personal risks, Equipment assembly

Week 2: Tues 2nd Mar 2021 - 19:00

The beekeeping year
Beekeeping philosphies
Honey bee biology
A beginner’s experiences

Week 3: Tues 9th Mar 2021 - 19:00

How to approach, open and examine a hive
Three different beekeepers
Discussion on beekeeping issues
Swarming and swarm control

Week 4: Tues 16th Mar 2021 - 19:00

Pests, diseases, medicines, the Law
Honey harvesting and processing
Introduction to apiary visits.

Apiary visits

Two weekend afternoons 14:00 - 16:00
Possibly May and Jun but to be confirmed

Summer online discussion meetings after each target date for apiary meetings. We also intend to offer live online visits to apiaries to illustrate particular issues and techniques, technology permitting!

Course coordinator :
Gavin Ramsay – gavinramsay@btinternet.com – 07751 142155

Children are welcome to attend if accompanied by a parent or carer.
Cost of full course: £35 plus £10 for those not already ESBA members. Book your place here and please pay direct to the ESBA bank or contact treasurer@eastofscotlandbeekeepers.org.uk. We are not collecting payment via Corzisio. People who paid for and attended the 2020 course may register and join again free of charge.

Please pay direct:
Sort code: 80 73 31
A/C: 00607327
Reference: Your surname

Bill Hunter

Colin Smith

ESBA President

Gavin Ramsay

plus other ESBA members

Age Groups