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Phil Chandler top bar hive top bar hive


Balanced Beekeeping Events 2018


at Furzeleigh Farm, Ashburton, Devon
with Phil Chandler


Are you an absolute beginner, or do you just want to explore different methods? Are you still thinking about how you can best approach this subject, or do you want to try your hand at raising queens and improving your bees' temperament? Do you want to have a jolly good natter with other like-minded beekeepers, or get some help with your trickiest problems? Then our Balanced Beekeeping weekends are for you!

Balanced Beekeeping for Beginners

August 31-September 2 2018

Places are limited, as we prefer to have a relatively small number of people on the course, so everyone has a chance to have their questions answered and their problems addressed.

Starting at 7pm on Friday; 9:30-4:30 Saturday and Sunday with breaks for lunch and refreshments (included).

Fee: £135.00 single, £230 for two people, add £115 per additional person.

Price includes meals on Friday evening and Saturday and Sunday lunchtimes, and all teas, coffees, etc. And cake!

Camping on site is free: please ask for details of local accommodation if needed.

To book your place, call Jo on 07914 922 554 or 01364 643524

While this weekend is mainly intended for beginners, we also welcome people with some experience of conventional beekeepng and who want to learn about alternatives. We have working top bar hives on site, as well as other types, and we will be doing practical demonstrations (weather permitting) so pring your bee suit if you have one (we have some spares).

"Balanced beekeeping" is a continuous quest for the improvement of our relationship with bees. It recognises that keeping bees is not natural, because in nature, only bees keep bees. It acknowledges that our desire for honey may not be matched by the bees' willingness to give it up. It recognises that the bees have their own lives and they would probably prefer that we left them alone, however much we are kindly disposed towards them. It is a search for the best ways to be with bees.

Balanced Beekeeping courses comprise a mixture of illustrated talks, practical demonstrations and discussion. Questions are encouraged throughout. Teaching materials and methods are adapted to meet the needs of students as much as possible.

What you can expect to learn

Learn about 'balanced beekeeping' in top bar and frame hives: a simple, practical way to have healthy and happy bees in your garden, with the possibility of your own honey harvest, but without the costs and complications associated with conventional beekeeping.

This course is intended for people with no previous knowledge of bees or beekeeping, and will provide you with all the information you need to decide if, when and how you will become a beekeeper.

  • Why do we keep bees?
  • What do you need to get started?
  • The lifecycle of a colony
  • The nature of honeybees and flowering plants
  • Principles and philosophy of balanced beekeeping
  • Principles into practice: how to get started
  • Hive design from the bees' point of view
  • Comparing vertical and horizontal hives
  • How to attract free swarms
  • How to take a swarm from a tree
  • Your first year: what to look out for
  • How to recognise common pests and diseases and what to do about them
  • Feeding: what, when and how
  • How and when to take honey and other hive products
  • Your first winter: how to prepare and what to do
  • Your second year: getting to know your bees

Suggested reading: An Introduction to Balanced Beekeeping


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© 2018 Phil Chandler    Friends of the Bees
Balanced Beekeeping at Furzeleigh Farm