Discover all you need to know about safe and successful beekeeping, with a flying visit to the River Cottage Cookery School.
Did you know, 60 per cent of food plants depend on honey bees for pollination? But bees are not only essential to the environment – these sophisticated insects are also a real pleasure to look after. Our one-day Beekeeping course offers a complete introduction to the craft, helping you to understand the whole process and all its parts before you commit to keeping bees yourself.
Your day will see you getting hands-on at the beehive, learning how to care for bees and make wonderful products from their wax and honey. You’ll be treated to plenty of our famous River Cottage hospitality, and hopefully leave buzzing with enthusiasm for your new hobby.
09:30 - 17:00
Arrive at River Cottage
You’ll be met at the top of the hill and transported to River Cottage HQ by tractor and trailer.
Make yourself at home
You will meet your hosts and start the day with tea, coffee and treats fresh from the kitchen.
Your course will begin in the farmhouse, where we'll go through the fundamentals of beekeeping – from the reasons for keeping bees to recognising the honey bee, and all the equipment you will need.
Next you’ll walk up to the River Cottage apiary for some hands-on practical experience with colonies of bees.
Food is always the focus at River Cottage, and a two-course lunch of local, seasonal fare will be one of the highlights of your day.
In the second of two practical sessions, you will visit a local apiary and have the chance to examine a beehive, with lessons on safety and beekeeping etiquette.
We’ll return to the farmhouse, where David will show you all the products you can make from a hive, such as floor wax and face cream. He’ll also share useful advice and tips to help you on the road to beekeeping.
There will be time to chat to your fellow scholars and the River Cottage team before being whisked back up the hill by our tractor and trailer, course notes in hand.
Please note: This is a guide to the activities that will make up your course at River Cottage. This is by no means set in stone and will depend on seasonal availability.
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 course you are interested in, please call us on 01297 630302.
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 we have a full list available.
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.
- Sustainable Restaurant Association
- Food Reader Awards 2014
- The British Cookery School Awards 2014
- Visit Devon Tourism Awards 2015 Gold