Join St Albans & District Beekeepers Association

For further information, and to request a membership application form, please contact

Your first steps towards beekeeping...

If you are interested in taking up beekeeping you can find out more by attending our beekeeping courses. We usually run two courses throughout the year  — our Bee Awareness Session takes place in the autumn and the Beginners Course every spring.

Take a look below to find out more about these courses. There is no requirement to join St Albans & District Beekeepers Association in order to attend these courses.

Startup costs for beekeeping begin at around a few hundred pounds but can very easily be much more. Plenty of merchants offer starter kits which include a hive and some basic equipment and clothing (but remember, cheaper is not always better). Before committing to such expense it is advised that you observe other beekeepers for a year, maybe more. Do your research first or ask an experienced beekeeper’s advice. 

You may also choose to enrol on our Hives for All scheme which allows the newbie to experience and learn the craft of beekeeping without large initial outlay.

Important:  Please do not turn up to our apiaries without first making an appointment. For safety and insurance reasons we only allow non-members on site with prior consent.

We provide displays and exhibitions about beekeeping at a number of events through the year where you are very welcome to talk to us.  Please visit our events page for more details.


Bee Awareness Session

The Bee Awareness Session is usually held in the Autumn and gives a brief overview of honey bees and beekeeping. It is a taster of what is involved in becoming a beekeeper and a primer for the more comprehensive Beginners Course the following Spring.

There is no charge for this session and attendance is not required in order to attend the Beginners Course.

Beginners Course

The Beginners Course is held in the Spring, generally in March. Spread over four sessions, the course provides an introduction to various aspects of beekeeping and is designed for those who are looking to start keeping bees in the near future. It also gives an insight into the fascinating world of the honey bee for anyone wanting to expand their knowledge.

There will be many opportunities to ask questions and meet other beekeepers, both novice and experienced.

A practical apiary session will be arranged for April (some flexibility may be required in the event of inclement weather)

The course will include a copy of the “BBKA Guide To Beekeeping” written by Ivor Davis and Roger Cullum-Kenyon.

Beginners Course topics include:

  • Equipment, cost and time commitment needed
  • The lifecycle of the Honey Bee
  • Colony management
  • Swarm control
  • Honey extraction
  • Pests & diseases
  • What you can expect during your first year of beekeeping
  • Advice on hive location and obtaining your first colony of bees

The next Beginners Course will be held in Spring 2024. Please contact for more information.

Hives for All Scheme

One you have completed the Beginners Course you can take the next step towards managing a live colony. We offer a hive rental and mentorship scheme, Hives for All, to all prospective beekeeper.

In your first year we provide a mentor and some bees and you will be allocated a spot at one of our teaching apiaries. At the end of the year you can choose to purchase the bees and their hive, or walk away with not so much as a few stings, some basic equipment and Country Membership to our association (optional, of course).

This scheme is offered to those who have attended our beginners course (recommended for anyone wishing to start beekeeping). The course is held around the beginning of spring.

All you will need in your first year is a beekeeping suit, boots (preferably wellies) and gloves (washing up gloves will suffice) and a commitment to attend the apiary every Saturday (give or take) through the summer.