The Introductory Day

This is an introduction to beekeeping for beginners. During the course of the day, we aim to explain the nature of the honey bee and how it can be kept and managed to the benefit of both the bees and the beekeeper.

The day is divided into two parts. In the morning there are talks, an exhibition of equipment and lunch; then in the afternoon there is a visit to the apiary where people can look inside a hive, suitably equipped with a bee-suit and assisted by an association member. As with most beekeeping, the afternoon is weather dependant, and if it is raining this part of the Introductory Day is postponed to the following weekend.

The morning session (10.00am):

The event starts with registration and housekeeping, together with tea and biscuits. Topics covered during the morning talks usually include:

  • How bees develop (workers, queens and drones), and how they behave.
  • The jobs bees perform in the hive: feeding young, attending queen, processing honey, wax building, hive ventilation, guarding, collecting nectar, pollen, propolis and water.
  • The techniques involved in keeping your bees healthy and how you can look after them safely and in harmony with your family and your neighbours.
  • The benefits of keeping bees, including the importance of pollination and an outline of how to harvest the honey and wax products that your bees will provide.
  • An explanation of the problems that bees and the beekeeper face, together with the way in which they can be overcome.
  • The different types of hives, equipment and protective clothing together with an explanation of their use, availability and cost. Some of these will be on display for examination


Lunch (12.30pm):

A light lunch is provided together with tea and coffee and there is a general discussion with experienced members of the association on any areas that are of concern or need clarification. We do provide a vegetarian option for the lunch that we provide within the cost of the day, but those requiring a special diet will have to bring their own food.

The afternoon session (2.00pm):

Weather permitting, those attending will be loaned protective top/ jacket and veil. You are advised to wear thick denim jeans and bring with you wellington boots and gloves – Marigold washing up gloves are ideal.

Following a short five-minute stroll to our nearby apiary, experienced members will supervise each group in opening up a hive and examining the bees and combs. The members will explain what is being observed and what you can expect to see and why. Attendees will be encouraged to handle the bees and combs themselves if they wish – but it is not compulsory.

The day finishes at 4.00pm with tea and coffee, and invariably proves to be interesting as well as instructive, and new members are also assured of our continued help and support, together with a sociable framework of meetings throughout the year with a mix of lectures, presentations and practical apiary visits.


If you would like to take part in the Introductory Day, enrol for the Beginners Course, or just want to ask questions about the courses please contact:

Terry Payne on 01747 811251 or email or use the form on the Contact page.


North Dorset Beekeepers Association, Shillingstone, Blandford Forum, DT11 0SF

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