Backyard Beekeeping Course

Where and when

Course: Backyard beekeeping
Cost: $260.00 per person
Date: 6 February 2021 (SOLD OUT), Saturday 20th February 2021, Saturday 6th March 2021 and Saturday 20th March 2021.
Duration: 7 hours (hands on plus 1 hour lunch)
Start time: 9.00am
Finish time: 5.00pm
Location: Strathnairn Arts Association, 90 Stockdill Dr, Holt ACT

What to bring: water and a hat.
What to wear: long pants and long sleeve shirt are recommended, covered shoes.
What is supplied: beekeeping suit, beekeeping gloves, suncream, smoker, hive tool and course notes. (Participants can bring their own beekeeping suit, gloves and smoker if they wish)

Please note: This is a beekeeping course if you are allergic to bees or bee related products it is recommended that you do not attend this course.


Come and join the Honeysmith for a unique experience learning about keeping honey bees in your backyard. This 7 hour, one day course will teach you all you need to know to begin your adventures in beekeeping. 

You will learn the do’s and don’ts of beekeeping in an urban environment, what your responsibilities are as a beekeeper and what is required by law in the ACT. You will suit up and undertake hive inspections to determine hive health, check for the presence of disease and pests and check for honey and pollen stores. Most importantly you will learn how fascinating and fun beekeeping is for the hobbyist at home.

This course is aimed at the beginner with no beekeeping experience who wants to start keeping bees at home, it is also suitable for current beekeepers who want to build confidence in their beekeeping skills. Remember you can never learn too much about bees.

Class numbers are limited to 6 participants. This is to ensure each attendee gets plenty of one on one time with the Honeysmith. Each participant will have their own hive on the day to inspect and put into practice what was learned in the morning theory session.

Morning tea and lunch will be provided by the Stepping Stone Cafe. Stepping Stone Canberra provides inclusive employment and practical training opportunities for migrant and refugee women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds through an innovative and sustainable vegetarian cafe located in the beautiful gallery space at Strathnairn Arts.

So come along and start your beekeeping journey.

Course Outline

Rules and regulations (ACT)

  • Registering as a beekeeper
  • Being a responsible beekeeper
  • Labeling hives
  • How many hives can I have in my yard?
  • Biosecurity code of practice
  • Water for bees
  • Smokers and fire

The honeybee colony

  • Queens, Drones and Workers
  • Life-cycle of bee
  • Roles of the different castes
  • Pheromones
  • Seasonal changes in the hive

The hive and its components

  • Different types of hives
  • The Langstroth hive
  • Protecting components and Maintenance
  • Making Frames
  • Hive location in the yard
  • Secondhand hive components and equipment

Protective clothing and equipment

  • Personal protective clothing
  • Beekeeping equipment and tools
  • Lighting a smoker and safe operation

Handling bees and hive inspections

  • Examining the hive
    • How to handle frames and combs
    • What to look for
    • Ideal conditions for examining the hive
  • Moving bees/hives
  • Managing swarming

Obtaining bees and splitting colonies

  • Getting bees
    • Nucleus hive
    • Swarms
    • Splitting colonies

Honey production and harvesting and beeswax

  • Adding a super for honey production
  • Harvesting honey
    • Removal of bees from honey combs
    • Extracting honey
    • Uncapping the comb
  • Honey extractors
  • Processing the honey crop
  • Beeswax

Common Brood diseases of bees in Canberra

  • American foulbrood (AFB)
  • European foulbrood disease (EFB)
  • Chalkbrood

Common pests and enemies of bees in Canberra

  • Wax moth
    • Damage and control
  • Small hive beetle
    • Damage and control
  • Ants
  • European Wasp
  • Varroa mite (not here yet)

Re-queening colonies

  • When to re-queen a colony
  • Introducing queens in mailing cages
  • Introducing a queen by uniting colonies

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