Training & Assessment

Improve Your Beekeeping Skills

Brighton and Lewes Division beekeepers are keen to help our members to improve their knowledge and skills in a number of ways.

  • We offer practical training in the Divisional apiaries in the summer. The first hour of the summer meetings is for beginners to see and handle bees.  See Events page for further details and dates.
  • Winter talks on a variety of bee related topics. See Events page for details of talks.
  • Beekeeping courses, see below.
  • The British Beekeepers’ Association also offers theoretical module examinations and practical assessments at Basic stages, General Husbandry and more advanced, Brighton and Lewes Division offers help and advice for those wishing to pursue the exam route. Full details of these examinations and assessments can be found on the BBKA Website

Beekeeping courses for 2020

A number of courses will be available for 2020. The Tutors are Heather McNiven (Chair, Brighton & Lewes Beekeepers) and Amanda Millar (past President of Sussex Beekeepers’ Association and President of Brighton and Lewes Beekeepers, who has achieved module theory examinations 1-7, General Husbandry qualifications and has sixteen years of experience running up to 25 colonies).


Heather McNiven is offering to teach new prospective beekeepers what they will need to know to get started with this lovely hobby.
Stonecroft, Lower Station Road, Newick, East Sussex BN8 4HU. For further information contact her by email.
Dates available:
March: Monday 23rd, Tues 24th, Thurs 26th, Sat 28th or Sunday 29th. Each class is usually restricted to six students, unless a combined group of friends are more than six then we have to be a little understanding about cosying up!
Course structure:
Bee biology; types of hive; basic equipment needed; COFFEE; a year in the hive; swarm collecting; LUNCH; diseases; plants for bees; frame making; smoker lighting. This leads a hands-on session with bees (weather permitting). Tea/Coffee available during Question Time.
Cost: £60; time 9am-4pm, and please bring your own lunch.

Amanda: Two day courses 9.30-4.30 pm held at Mantel Farm, near Battle, East Sussex

1.     The Honeybee, the bee colony, biology and life cycle

2.     Equipment and costs, equipment, frames, wax, tools, personal protection

3.     The Apiary, layout, siting the hives, responsibilities and safety

4.     Managing Honeybee colonies, Inspections, swarm control, uniting, moving colonies

5.     Bee Health and Diseases, Bee parasites, diseases, pests and other problems, how to recognize and treat them

6.     The importance of Plants, requirements of honeybees and other pollinators

7.     Honey Harvest and Winter preparation, honey extraction and handling, equipment and preparing for winter

8.     Information, help and support, Resources, books, magazines, local organisations, obtaining bees.

Weather permitting we shall also inspect a colony.

Course includes refreshments and lunch and comprehensive booklet. Further details and booking go to

Courses run on 16/17th March, 27/28th April, 11/12th May, 15/16th June, 14/15th September, 5/6th October 2019

Contact:  Amanda Millar