Tutors: Julia and Martin Hoggard


At Brigsteer Bee Reserve

This practical weekend course is intended for those wondering whether to keep honeybees, or complete novices. We shall look at the place of bees in the natural environment and what the hobby of beekeeping has to offer. Most of the weekend will be spent looking at and choosing the equipment required to start keeping honeybees, studying what is happening in the hive and learning how to site, start and care for a small apiary. We shall also discover the basics of processing honey and bees’ wax and taste different honeys.

By the end of the weekend participants should know whether the hobby interests them and have enough knowledge to start keeping a couple of hives. Information on how to develop beekeeping skills and where to obtain help and support as a new beekeeper will be available.

Course details can be downloaded in PDF format by clicking the link (PDF).


Please bring wellies. If you have a bee suit, veil, beekeeper’s gloves and a hive tool please bring them. If you don’t already have beekeeping clothing then we shall lend you whatever you need. We would encourage you to ‘try before you buy’.

Wear clothes that you don’t mind getting a bit dirty: handling beehives and honey is inevitably a slightly sticky business! It gets warm inside a bee suit so light clothing is most comfortable. Please wear trousers made of smooth fabric.

Julia is happy to pass on notes and power point talks etc., please bring a memory stick (minimum 1GB) to save paper.

You may want to bring walking clothes and binoculars; we live in a fantastic place. This is Cumbria, bring waterproofs.


If you want to buy a book on beekeeping, the most commonly recommended text is:

Guide to Bees and Honey by Ted Hooper
ISBN 978 1 904846512

We will show you lots of books, try before you buy.


Google ‘beekeeping’ – infinite information.
www.thorne.co.uk This is Thorne’s catalogue which provides lots of information but there are many other bee equipment suppliers.
www.ibra.org.uk This is an interesting scientific site.
www.fera.defra.gov.uk Has information on honeybee diseases.
www.badbeekeeping.com For all things connected with beekeeping.

You can contact us via Enquiries@BeeEd.org.uk.


Julia and Martin belong to Kendal and South Westmorland Beekeepers’ Association, they have kept honeybees for over 20 years and usually run a dozen hives including a small teaching apiary. They are developing a bee sanctuary beside their home. Julia lectures and teaches nationally and works to interest children and adults in the importance of bees in the environment. There are usually 6-10 people on a course.


£170 per person including supper on Friday and Saturday evenings, lunch on Saturday and Sunday (sample menu) and course notes. Accommodation is not included but is available locally.


Plan to arrive by 6pm for supper at 6.30pm on Friday.


Email: Enquiries@BeeEd.org.uk.