The Apiary

Durham Beekeeping Association has its own apiary which is run by a group of members. It can be visited, and the best way to find out when and how is to attend one of the monthly meetings, or send an email using our contact page. At different times of the year there are different jobs to do, so if it’s something you’d like to be involved with then get in touch.

Thinking of setting up an apiary? – If you are please first have a read of this handy guide published by the British Beekeepers Association: Bees, Neighbours, and Siting an Apiary

We are offering both a beginners (begins 27 April: now fully booked) and an intermediate beekeeping course (begins 1 May: a few places left) this year. Details for both courses follow below.

Beginners beekeeping course

(2019 course is now fully booked)

The aim of this course is to give beginners and newcomers, wishing to understand more about bees and beekeeping, the knowledge, confidence, and support, to commence themselves.

Course outline

The course will last 6 weeks and will cover the following topics:

·         Bees and their value

·         The colony

·         The hive

·         Bee history

·         The beekeeping year

·         Queens

·         Swarms and swarm control

·         Pests and disease

·         Plants and hive products

·         Getting started

There will be 6 classroom sessions of approximately 2 hours each, some of which will have practical sessions or demonstrations, each followed by a hands-on class in the association apiary.


·         All sessions – East Durham College, Houghall Campus (Small Animal Centre)

·         Post Code DH1 3SG

We aim to begin the course on Saturday 27th April

Start time for classroom sessions is 9am. Please be prompt. (Room details to follow)

Participants may wish to bring writing materials for the classroom sessions to make notes.

Please bring a clean (washed) bee suit if you have one. If you do not have one Durham Beekeeping Association can provide a basic veil at a cost of £10. You will need wellingtons or similar boots that cover the ankle. Loose fitting trousers, rather than tight fitting ones will provide better protection against stings if only wearing a smock-type veil.

Please do NOT bring your own leather gloves or hive tools as these can transfer disease to our bees.

Ian Laws

Durham Beekeepers Association or mobile 07415147322

Intermediate beekeeping course

The course will cover the BBKA syllabus for the Basic Assessment. there will be 4 classroom sessions and 2 practical sessions; each session will last about an hour. The final session will cover some aspects of the assessment. There is a charge of £30 per person, to be paid at the first session.

Session 1: Wednesday 1 May (7 p.m.) in the Kepier Room at Belmont Community Centre

Session 2: Thursday 9 May (7 p.m.) in the Grange Room at Belmont Community Centre

Practical session 1: Saturday 11 May (2 p.m.) at the DBKA Apiary at East Durham College, Houghall

Session 3: Wednesday 15 May (7 p.m.) in the Kepier Room at Belmont Community Centre

Session 4: Wednesday 22 May (7 p.m.) in the Kepier Room at Belmont Community Centre

Practical session 2: Saturday 25 May (2 p.m.) at the DBKA Apiary at East Durham College, Houghall

You will be required to bring boots and a CLEAN bee-suit/veil for the practical sessions. Please do NOT being you own gloves or hive tool.

There are only a few places on the course left and these are offered on a first come first served basis.

To register, and for more details about the course please contact the tutor Ian Laws or mobile 07415147322.