natural beekeeping classes
"Not just a different beehive, but a whole new way
of looking at beekeeping"
visit the natural beekeeping forum
learn how to start keeping bees
learn how to build a beehive - for free
learn about natural beekeeping
listen to the Barefoot Beekeeper podcast
free articles on natural beekeeping
beekeeping in the news
watch natural beekeeping videos

The Art and Craft of
Natural Beekeeping

for novices/beginners

Tutor - Phil Chandler

Learn about 'balanced beekeeping' in top bar hives: a simple, practical way to have healthy and happy bees in your garden, with the possibility of your own honey harvest, but without the cost and complications associated with conventional beekeeping.

This weekend beginners' course is intended for people with no previous knowledge of bees or beekeeping, and will provide you with all the information you need to decide if, when and how you will become a beekeeper.

We will discuss:

  • The nature of honeybees and their relationship with flowering plants
  • The history of our relationship with bees
  • Principles of balanced beekeeping
  • Planning and preparation
  • The top bar hive: construction and use
  • Keeping healthy bees
  • Your first beekeeping year

If possible - weather permitting - we will spend some time with bees in a top bar hive, so please bring suitable clothing; at least a hat and veil, or a beekeeping suit if you prefer.

Please refer to the host site for this event for further information and booking procedures.

novices/beginners 2014 events

TBC= to be confirmed Notes

* Alternative weekday event (Mon-Tues)

Other dates for 2014 are booked but not yet confirmed. If you wish to host an event in your venue, please get in touch.

Balanced Beekeeping:
Managing the Top Bar Hive

for improvers/converters

Tutor - Phil Chandler

This 2-day 'improvers/converters' course is intended for people who have - as a minimum - read a book to familiarize themselves with bee anatomy and behaviour. Some expeience of practical beekeeping will help, but is not essential. We will spend less time on the basics and more on the practical and theoretical aspects of working with bees in a more natural way, ranging across all aspects of beekeeping. You are encouraged to contribute your own experiences to our discussions, which are likely to include:

  • The philosophy of 'balanced beekeeping'
  • Hive design from the bees' point of view
  • The top bar hive: construction and use
  • Swarming and swarm management
  • Making splits and rearing queens
  • Keeping healthy bees

The content of the programme will be adapted as far as possible to suit the needs of people attending. Weather permitting, we will spend some time with bees, so please bring suitable ptotective clothing - at least a hat and veil, or a beekeeping suit if you prefer.

Please refer to the host sites for these events for further information and booking procedures (click the link for the venue).

improvers/converters 2014 events

TBC= to be confirmed Notes

* This weekend will major on 'Swarming and Swarm management'.


Your chance to be part of a unique natural beekeeping courses held at Close Farm, Highgrove House, the home of HRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall.

I hope to be able to offer this course again in 2014, most likely as four one-day sessions spread over the season. If you think you may be interested, please let me know via the contact page.

Profits from products and events at Highgrove are donated to The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Foundation, a grant-making charity which supports a wide range of causes and projects.

Natural Beekeeping for Gardeners

Phil Chandler

International Natural Beekeeping online interactive course

A four-week course in Natural Beekeeping from the #1 online gardening school, with audio-visual teaching and marked assignments.

© 2014 P Chandler    Friends of the Bees
natural beekeeping classes