Cheshire Beekeepers’ Association Education Programme

Winter Study Groups 2021 – 2022

These Study Groups are loosely based on the Syllabuses for the Module Examinations of the BBKA. These syllabuses can be found on the BBKA website. Follow the trail from “Services” at the top of the page, then “Courses and Education”, click on “Please log into Members’ Area….” then scroll down to the Module you want.

Each course will consist of about nine sessions, beginning in October/November 2021 and ending in February/March 2022 in time for people to prepare to sit the examination if they so wish. Please note there is absolutely no pressure on people to take the exam, nor any expectation that they should do so. 

The Study Groups are open to any member of Cheshire Beekeepers’ Association who has at least three years’ experience of keeping bees and has passed the BBKA Basic Assessment, preferably with Credit.

There may be a small charge to cover venue hire and refreshments. Some sessions may be held via Zoom if the group decide on this or if the situation demands it.

Study Group Module 2 – Honey Bee Products and Forage 

This study group will be led by Lesley Jacques and will probably meet somewhere in the Northwich area – at roughly fortnightly intervals. 

The group will be looking at:

  • Current UK statutory regulations effecting honey for sale
  • Methods of uncapping honey, extractors, preparation and bottling of honey for sale and storage
  • Moisture content and spoilage of honey
  • Preparation of beeswax
  • Bee products
  • Major nectar and pollen producing plants and flowering periods
  • Pollination and fertilisation
  • Extra-floral nectaries
  • Composition of nectar
  • Factors affecting nectar secretion
  • Honeydew Honey
  • Process of converting nectar to honey
  • Analysis of pollen content of honey

For further details, contact Pete Sutcliffe at sutcliffe.pete@gmail.com or 01477 532171. 

Study Group Module 3 – Honey Bee Diseases 

This Study Group will be led by Pete Sutcliffe and will probably meet somewhere around Holmes Chapel, roughly at fortnightly intervals. A small charge may need to be made for venue, refreshments, materials etc. 

This course will cover –

  • The various diseases of honeybee brood and adults, their signs and diagnosis
  • Treatments available, their methods of use and efficacy
  • Methods of treatment and control of Varroa, including Integrated Pest Management.
  • Viruses affecting honeybees.
  • Signs of poisoning in honeybees and action to be taken. 
  • The steps that can and should be taken by a beekeeper to prevent disease  and its spread
  • Knowledge of legally notifiable diseases and pests
  • Legislation regarding the importation of honeybees
  • The biology of the honeybee with relation to disease
  • Damage caused to colonies and equipment by mice, woodpeckers and other pests, including wax moth, and how to prevent this. 

For further details, contact Pete Sutcliffe at sutcliffe.pete@gmail.com or 01477 532171. 

Study Group Module 7 – Queen Rearing 

This study group will be led by Pam and Stuart Hatton, and will start end of October/beginning of November, at Hatton or Frodsham. Charge probably around £15. 

This course will cover –

  • Genetics and the principles of breeding
  • Selecting colonies for breeding
  • Various practical methods of queen rearing
  • How to organise a queen rearing programme
  • How to harness bee behaviour in order to produce colonies with desired traits.

For further details, contact Pete Sutcliffe at sutcliffe.pete@gmail.com or 01477 532171. 

If you have any questions about any of the above courses – or if you have suggestions for other training that CBKA could organise – please feel free to contact Pete Sutcliffe (sutcliffe.pete@gmail.com or 01477 532171)


If you have any questions about any of the above courses – or if you have suggestions for other training that CBKA could organise – please feel free to contact Pete Sutcliffe (sutcliffe.pete@gmail.com or 01477 532171)