"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 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 and coffee is provided in our kitchen, which of course becomes the hub for friendy conversation between the students and with 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.
Ample free parking is available on-site.
Beginners Theory Course (September & January)
An evening course for those considering beekeeping for the first time. We will teach you, amongst other things, the life-cycle of the bee, elementary management, setting up an apiary, and basic equipment. No previous knowledge or experience of beekeeping is required. The course consists of ten weeks of class-based teaching during the winter season.
Beginners Practical Course (April)
Aspiring beekeepers can gain their first experience handling small colonies in the company of the more knowledgeable. More experienced beekeepers will have the opportunity to review their techniques and to experiment with a range of equipment and management styles. The course consists of ten sessions and runs from April to June. Beginners attending the course will have the opportunity to buy a nucleus of bees especially selected for their easy to manage temperament and at a reduced price.
Further Beekeeping Course (April)
The Further Beekeeping course is aimed at beekeepers in their second or subsequent season who wish to extend their knowledge of the practical basis of beekeeping and improve their management skills. The course will cover the management of bees throughout the season, including transfer onto clean comb, swarm control, feeding, making nuclei, elementary queen rearing, and disease control.
Open Day (August)
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. The open day provides a great opportunity to explore the apiary, see the bees and beekeeping equipment, and discuss beekeeping. Typically on the last Saturday of August, look out for updates here or check our Facebook page (click the Facebook logo at the bottom of this page).