Natural Beekeeping Courses

Upcoming course with John Haverson (Hants).  John was one of the instructors on the Natural Beekeeping Trust course that helped me make sense of the volume of new information when I first started beekeeping. 

The Fascinating World of the Honeybee

An Introduction to Natural Beekeeping

We will examine how a colony lives throughout the year and learn how thousands of individual bees work in harmony for the good of the colony. The amazing intelligence of the Bee becomes apparent as it maintains optimum nest conditions and manages a complex swarming process to reproduce, find and build a new home.  This course will help to understand the nature and needs of the Bee as well as how to care for her.  

When:  Saturday 5th April and Sunday 6th April 2014

 Venue: The Over Wallop Church Hall (The Church of St Peter); SO20. UK.  Over Wallop is between Andover and Salisbury on the A343

 Please bring a dish to share for lunch. Tea and coffee will be provided.

 Cost: £80 per person.

 Day 1:


  • Biology and life cycles of individual bees and the colony super-organism.
  • The nest; its construction, enclosed environment and colony management.
  • Swarming and its importance
  • How Bees maintain health and vitality.
  • Nutrition and the importance of diet
  • Visit a Warré apiary


Day 2:

  • Bees’ part in the wider environment and ecosystem
  • Habitat and forage
  • Visit an apiarywithin a wild flower meadow.
  • Challenges of caring for Bees.
  • Introduction to different hive systems and their merits.
  • Responsibilitiesof the Beekeeper



 The tutors will be John Haverson supported by Jan Jenkins.

Contact Chris on 01264 781607 or e-mail at for a booking form.



1. The course will comprise lectures, film clips, working group discussions and practical hive observation as well as appropriate manipulation sessions.

2. Discussion will involve bee-specific language and students are strongly recommended to have completed some reading; I suggest ‘Bees and Honey from the Flower to the Jar’ by Michael Weiler.


3. Numbers will be limited to a maximum of 10 to allowmeaningful participation and to ensure individuals receive optimum attention.

4. Complete beginners will be given advice on how to start beekeeping; where to get advice and practicalexperience with bees, relevant literature and the planning and preparationneeded beforeactually accommodating a colony of bees.

5. Apiary visits are scheduled on both days(weather permitting).Please wear suitable clothing; trousers and long sleeves of smooth fabric.  Bring a protective hat and veil, or a beekeeping suit if you prefer.  Beekeeping clothing should be freshly laundered.

The Tutors


John Haverson has enjoyed a lifelong interest in nature and the environment.  He started his own apiary 10 years ago and has carried out swarm liaison in Andover for 7 years.  Six years ago he began to study the nature of the bee and scientific research into bee health.  This led him to adopt Demeter ‘organic’ beekeeping standards; starting in National hives. He has used Warré hives, with no chemical treatments, for 5 years and has progressively adopted bee-centric husbandry. Thriving colonies are showing adaptation to varroa and improved temperament as well as providing a modest harvest.


Jan Jenkins is a longstanding organic gardener with an extensive knowledge of plants.  She trained as a conventional beekeeper but was uncomfortable with the intrusive methods from the start.  Jan is relatively new to beekeeping but has used Warré hives for 3/4 years and understands the challenges facing new beekeepers.  Jan reads widely about the Bee world and is passionate about caring for bees, putting the welfare of her colonies before all else. 



6 Responses to “Natural Beekeeping Courses”

  1. admin on

    Heather Moore posted the following message on FB:

    ‘ Want to learn about natural beekeeping?’

    Come on our two-day course this Spring! Join us for a weekend of exploration into the beautiful world of the honeybee. This course will be a holistic approach to sustainable beekeeping and will include:

    Natural history of the honeybee
    Culture of the bee and history of beekeeping
    Beekeeping around the world (emphasis on Tree-Beekeeping)
    Sustainable beekeeping practices
    How to collect a swarm
    How to work with varroa (and not against it)
    Medicinal properties and uses of honey, propolis, wax
    The pollination crisis and how to help

    March the 12th – 13th 2016 / 10am – 4pm both days.
    Blaise Community Garden, Bristol.
    £85 or £75 for concessions or beehive adoptees!

    If that does not suit, John Haverson may be running a weekend course in the Wallops at the end of Sep 2016.

  2. mandy haynes on

    me and my husband would like to learn the art of natural bee keeping when is your next workshop

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