Beekeeping Courses and Exams

Beekeeping Courses and Exams

Training Beekeepers for the future

Ormskirk Beekeepers provides a range of training courses tailored to suit every level of beekeeping experience. These courses and training sessions range from introductory courses for people interested in beekeeping right through to advanced beekeeping courses for the more experienced of our members. Bees are living creatures and it is the responsibility of beekeepers to manage their colonies in a safe and healthy environment, and above all to be able to enjoy their beekeeping. These training courses enable everyone to get the maximum from their beekeeping and rise to whatever level they choose. By and large the courses offered by the branch follow the BBKA programme of Course in the Case (competency model) and formal examinations, which cover 7 Modules (see below).

2022 programme

Introduction to Beekeeping Course –

The complete introduction to the craft for those with no prior experience. This course comprises

  • Membership of the Branch, Lancashire BKA, and the British Beekeepers Association (BBKA)

  • 2 day theory course including an opportunity to inspect a hive

  • 8 practical training sessions

  • Priority for a new colony of bees.

This course is held once a year – Full details of the next course together with the fees is available here.

In recent years we have introduced hundreds of people to beekeeping through this course and had attendees from as far away as Cumbria, Dorset and Oxfordshire. It also provides the starting point for those whose local association does not run a course, or whose course is fully booked.

Basic Assessment Preparation – Tutor

A way of demonstrating basic competency in beekeeping, members are encouraged to take the BBKA Basic Assessment – a one hour practical assessment of basic beekeeping skills. In order to assist members with the syllabus a short course of 4 evenings is held every spring. The Assessment itself is in 3 parts; firstly you go through the hive with the Assessor pointing out what you see, and what you are doing and why; then you have to make a frame, and finally there is a question and answer session about bee diseases, swarming, feeding bees etc. It lasts for about an hour and it's all covered in the course we do.

Classes will start mid May at a date to be decided based on development of the colonies. The day and time of the classes will be determined after discussion with interested members to ensure maximum attendance. As its a practical assessment the venue will be at Fir Tree Farm and will take 4 sessions.

Module Preparation Groups - Tutors Various

After the Basic Assessment, there are 7 BBKA Modules. Each module has an exam, although you can take a course without taking the exam. Beekeepers normally take several years to cover all the modules.

1 Honeybee Management

2 Products of the Hive

3 Diseases, Pests and Poisoning

5 Honeybee Biology

6 Honeybee Behaviour

7 Selection and Breeding of Honeybees

8 Honeybee Management, Health and History. ( there is no module 4)

Each exam is 90 minutes long and the venue will be somewhere in Lancashire.

The next exam dates will be in March and we are offering:

A Module 1 course is being considered for the March exam, although other Modules may be considered depending on interest. If interest is low then a group correspondence course may be made available.

Both courses will follow the BBKA syllabus but is aimed at anyone wishing to gain more beekeeping knowledge.

In addition to the knowledge the interaction with the other members of the class gives an opportunity to discuss how others do their beekeeping.

To book on the course please e-mail:-

If you are interested , why not have a look at the BBKA website and familiarise yourself with the relevant syllabus.

General Husbandry initiative

The course tutors and dates will be communicated when known. In addition, the BBKA magazine will advertise courses as details are confirmed.

Advanced Husbandry initiative

If you are interested in taking the preparatory advanced husbandry course please contact the BBKA office direct.

Distance learning

The BBKA run a number of correspondence courses for those unable to attend evening courses. Details can be found on the BBKA web site:,

Beekeeping clubs

We are endeavouring to coordinate courses in the Lancashire area, but for those members who are situated close to other regional areas please reference other club web sites. A link can be found on the BBKA web site: