General Husbandry Training
At Dallinghoo on Saturday, 28th April and
at Easton College on Saturday 12th May, 2018

While this training is aimed at those intending shortly to take their General Husbandry Assessment, all do not need to be of that standard to join the course. You will learn from the day and from the others attending. The more you know, the better your beekeeping will be. If in any doubt at all, do come.

In this training there will be no attempt made to cover all you need to know to be successful in the BBKA’s General Husbandry Assessment but we will be focussing on those subjects that usually give the most difficulty. It will be led by Paul Metcalf, NDB, assisted by Jeremy Quinlan, Master Beekeeper

The current General Husbandry guidelines and syllabus are on the BBKA website please read them! That is best done now - it should certainly be done BEFORE joining us for the first day of the course! We will send you a copy of the BBKA’s check list guide to what you need to know as this seems to be no longer available.


Saturday 28th April - This will be all in the classroom.

09:15 - 09:45

Dallinghoo Village Hall, IP13 0JX open for coffee, etc.

09:45 - 10:15

The General Husbandry Assessment - requirements, help. Paul Metcalf & Jeremy Quinlan

10:15- 11:15

Disease recognition and control

Jeremy Quinlan

11:15 - 12:15

Colony natural history in relation to colony management.

Paul Metcalf

12:15- 12:45



13:00 - 14:00

Queen rearing There is also a queen rearing course in Dallinghoo: May 14, 21 & 28, 10:00-12:00.)

Jeremy Quinlan

14:00 - 15:00

Swarming and methods of swarm control.

Paul Metcalf

15:00 - 16:00

Honey handling.

Jeremy Quinlan

16:00 - 16:15

Discussion. Tea/coffee and cake.



Saturday 12th May - This will be all in the apiary - bee suits, etc. are needed.

Easton College apiary; this is just north-east of the College - see map. It will be signposted from the College. For satnav, please use NR9 5EA (junction of Bawburgh Rd and Hall Rd, not NR9 5DX).

09:15 - 09:45

Apiary open for coffee, etc.

The nearest toilets are in the College
about 200 yards away.

09:45 - 10:15

Overview of the day.
Students’ questions.
Sources of information.

Jeremy Quinlan

10:15 - 11:15

  • Use of hive tool and smoker
  • Colony handling techniques
  • Reading individual combs
  • Reading colonies
  • Collecting samples of bees for testing
  • Apiary hygiene

Paul Metcalf

11:15 - 12:15

  • Clipping and marking queens
  • Records
  • Preparing colonies for move
  • Uniting two or more colonies
  • Bailey frame change for weak colony
  • Bailey frame change for strong colony
  • Making up a nucleus to introduce a queen
  • Making up a nucleus for sale
  • Making up a mating mini-nuc

Jeremy Quinlan

12:15 - 12:45

If it is fine we will be in the apiary and we can eat our sandwiches there. If it is so wet that we have to use a classroom, the College authorities stipulate ‘no food’ so we will have to eat our sandwiches outside in our cars or the refectory may be open.
Tea & coffee will be available.

12:45 - 15:15

  • General Husbandry mock assessment: a dummy run through what happens and what to expect
  • Brood disease inspection
  • Clipping and marking queens
  • Artificial swarm
  • Making up a nucleus
  • Shook swarm
Students split into groups of 4, one “Candidate” and 3 “Assessors”. Each group takes one task. Students discuss best practice. If time permits, there will be an additional task.

15:00 - 15:30


Tea/coffee and cake.


The cost is £20.00 for the two days.

If there are enough takers for the course, we will provide a light lunch - we’ll tell you a few days beforehand.

Any questions email Jeremy Quinlan ( or call 01473 737700.

To book please complete the form below:

Application to attend the General Husbandry Training
Title and Name
Address Line 1:
Address Line 2:

Number of

Additional names:

@ £20 each

Total: £  

Once you agree with the information please submit the form. An email copy of this submission will sent to the email address supplied in the form.

Payment - Bank payment to Ipswich & E Suffolk BKA with your surname as reference (bank details: sort code 20-44-51 a/c 10570028) or make a cheque payable to: I&ESBKA and send to the Treasurer Jackie McQueen, 643 Foxhall Road, Ipswich, IP3 8NE