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Product Details

Bees are not only essential to the environment (60% of food plants depend on honey bees for pollination) but these highly sophisticated insects are also a real pleasure to keep. 

This one day course is a complete introduction, giving you a taste of what is involved and helping you to understand the whole beekeeping process, before you fully commit to keeping bees yourself.


Tractor ride down to the farm

Meet your hosts and tutors over a morning tea or coffee and tasty River Cottage treats.

Session one
: We will begin in the farmhouse where our tutor will go through the fundamental facts around beekeeping, from recognising the honey bee, through to equipment needed and why we should keep bees. 

Session two:
This is the first of our two practical sessions.  We aim to give you a chance to examine a bee hive and learn about safety and beekeeping etiquette.  In the first session, we take you to a local apiary, which have small colonies of bees, to ease you in!

We return to RCHQ for lunch.  At River Cottage food is very much the focus and you will have a sumptuous two course lunch of local seasonal fare prepared by the River Cottage team.

Session three:
Here we walk up to the River Cottage apiary for more hands on practical experience.

Session four:
We return to the farmhouse, where we'll show you the numerous products you can make out of a hive (floor wax, facial cream, etc) and how to get started on the road to beekeeping, with lots of useful advice and tips.
Everyone will go home with a set of course notes.

This is a guide to the activities that will make up your course at River Cottage. This is by no means set in stone, as we may need to change the order of the day or the length of the practical if the weather is poor.


Location: This course is run from River Cottage HQ on the Dorset/Devon borders. Full address details of HQ will be provided once you have booked.

We are a licensed venue. We have a wide selection of the finest organic wines available to purchase.

If you need local accommodation please click here.

We would advise that this course is only really suitable for 12 years of age and upwards. Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult. We put these guidelines in place for the safety, comfort
and enjoyment of all our guests.

10.00am - 5.00pm

On occasion cookery schools will use equipment that includes induction hobs. It is recommended that people with pace makers should not work on these units. If you are concerned or would like to check whether or not induction hobs will be used on the school you are interested in, please call us on 01297 630302.

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doze off to hum of bees
Rating: 0/5

The topic of bee keeping (the hum of buzzing bees) bring back childhood memories of swinging languidly in a hammock (to escape the extreme heat) in the shade under the house, as is common in the tropics. Right next to my ear hung 2 boxes, from which bees flew in and out to collect pollen. It was actually my brother, who removed the swarm that settled outside an office building - out of curiosity. My mother (bless her brave heart) used very basic tools to collect the juicy, golden honeycombs. Armed, simply with a wicker hat, over which she put a fishing net that she secured round her waist; and helped by smoke from a fire close by, to drive the bees out, she casually put her gloved hands into the boxes. Just like that! :-)

Added on by user761950