2 Day Bee Improvement: Preston

2 Day Bee Improvement: Preston

10 - 11Jun2017
Since June 2016 you need to have a valid API key enabled to display Google maps, see plugin settings

in conjunction with The Bee Centre, Preston

At The Bee Centre,

Samlesbury hall, Preston PR5 0UP

Rearing your own queens is a cost effective way to ensure the continuity of your hives, grow your stock  and improve the quality and temperament of your bees.

This practical, 2 day workshop covers a range the topics and techniques to suit the “ordinary” beekeeper. It includes a large practical element that is easy to understand and apply without the need for expensive, specialist equipment.

Topics covered will include:

  • Setting the criteria you want in your bees.

  • How to handle, assess and record colonies.

  • Deciding which colonies to use queen cells from and which queens to cull.

  • Using natural queen cells the bees build.

  • Producing “Artificial” queen cell using grafting, cell punching, cell plugs and the Miller method

  • Clipping and marking queens

  • Changing queens in colonies and queen introduction techniques.

  • Drone production

  • Making up queen mating colonies and nuclei.

  • Getting queens mated and mating control.

  • Equipment required – buying, making, improvising or modifying.

  • Dispelling some of the myths

Delegates will leave the course with the confidence and skills to start rearing queens and developing their own bee stocks.

Who is it for?

This course is aimed at beekeepers who:-

  • currently manage several colonies

  • know the “basics” of beekeeping, i.e. the life cycles, swarming procedure of a colony, disease recognition, etc,

  • are able to recognise eggs and young larvae,

  • can handle bees reasonably well

What equipment is needed?

All clothing and equipment that is brought to site should be properly cleaned beforehand to avoid the risk of transferring disease.

You will need to bring:-

  • Your protective clothing

  • Gloves (see note below)

  • Outdoor footwear

  • Magnifying aids, if required, to see eggs and young larvae.

  • We strongly suggest a notebook and/or laptop

  • A camera is useful for practical sessions

Leather (or similar) gloves are not to be worn, firstly to avoid the possibility of spreading foul brood and secondly to be able to handle and “feel” the bees without being clumsy. Gloves should be new and lightweight. We will have a selection of disposable gloves on hand for those who forget to bring some.

The Team

The lead tutor will be Roger Patterson. He will be supported by Kevin Lincoln and Kath Cordingley.

The Venue

The course will be held at "The Bee Centre" on the Samlesbury Hall estate near Preston. We are 5 minutes from J31 of the M6. The facility includes a large indoor visitor centre and classroom area alongside our outdoor apiaries and half acre pollinator garden.

Set in the heart of Lancashire, the location is ideal for those who wish to integrate the course with an extended visit to the North West. We are a short hop from the Lake District, the North Yorks Moors and the beautiful Trough of Bowland. There is also Samlesbury Hall itself; a striking 12th century building  and visitor attraction which now includes an excellent restaurant and wafflery. There is also plenty to do for partners who wish to accompany delegates and/or for those of you who want to take the opportunity for an extended stay.

Accomodation, food, etc.

The course fee includes lunch and refreshments throughout the day.

We will arrange for delegates to meet up for dinner at the end of the first day to share thoughts and expereicnes and to socialise. This is not included in the course price but will be arranged at a local, cost effective location.

There is accommodation available on site (in glamping-style shepherds huts) at additional cost, as well as local hotels, pubs and B&Bs. A selection of links are provided below.



Places are limited and these courses are expected to be popular, therefore early booking is advised. Bookings are taken on a first come first served basis. When full, a waiting list will be created. Our policies regarding refunds and cancellations can be found at the booking page of our online store.

Go to Event List