"There are no viable feral honeybees left in the UK; the future of our honeybees is in the hands of beekeepers. Blackhorse Apiaries exists for the sole purpose of ensuring we have those beekeepers."
Located near Woking, Blackhorse Apiaries' dedicated purpose is the provision of beekeeping courses in Surrey to ensure the continued education, guidance and support of contemporary, suburban beekeepers. We were founded in 1999 by well-known local beekeeping educator John Hamer. John has been keeping bees for over 45 years and in that time has been:
- A seasonal bee diseases inspector;
- Surrey County Bee Instructor;
- A commercial bee farmer, active in both honey production and polination services;
- An advisor in Kosovo and Albania on behalf of the Transrural Trust.
Today John dedicates his time to teaching at Blackhorse, the Apiary he founded and built. Courses at Blackhorse are held in our very own, purpose built classroom within our own apiary grounds. Complementary tea, coffee and biscuits are provided in our kitchen, the hub for friendy conversation between students, John and his volunteers.
We are proud to be home to colonies of quiet bees which allow beginners to gain experience and confidence - in fact we continue to breed beginner-friendly bees every year.
Ample free parking is available on-site.
Beginner's Theory Course (September & January)
An evening course for those considering beekeeping for the first time – no previous knowledge or experience is necessary. Held in September, and repeated in January, this course will teach you, amongst other things, the life-cycle of the honeybee, elementary colony management, setting up your own apiary, and guide you through what equipment and clothing you will need. The course consists of 10 sessions of classroom-based teaching, held during the winter season at our apiary. Read more about this course and see dates.
Beginner's Practical Course (April)
Aspiring beekeepers will gain their first experience handling a colony of our beginner-friendly bees. Held on a Wednesday evening or Thursday morning (and you are welcome to do a mix of both), this practical course is planned to be 14 sessions and will be held outside (when weather allows!) in our apiary. In wet weather, we will relocate to our classroom and cover other interesting and useful topics. Beginners attending the course will have the opportunity to buy their own nucleus of bees at a reduced rate. These bees are specially selected for their easy to manage temperament. Read more about this course and see dates.
Blackhorse Open Day
Whether you are interested in becoming a beekeeper, are an experienced keeper, or just want to learn more about bees, then come along to our free, family-friendly open day. It's wonderful opportunity to explore the apiary, see the bees and beekeeping equipment, and discuss beekeeping. Read more about our open day.