Study Groups

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, or are available from the Study Group leaders (see below). From the BBKA website home page, log in as a member with your password and email address, then choose “Education & Exams”, “Exams and Assessments”, “written exams” again, then scroll down to find the module you want, click on it and you will have the syllabus.

Each course will consist of about nine sessions, beginning in October 2021 and ending in 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.

Sessions will be held via Zoom, at least initially, with the possibility of in-person meetings if the group decides on this. There is no fee as such, but a small charge may be made to cover any expenses. Contact details for the Tutors are available in the ‘Members Only’ area of this website HERE

Study Group Module 2 – Honey Bee Products and Forage

This study group will be led by Lesley Jacques and will be held via Zoom on the following Thursdays, starting at 7.30 p.m. October 28th, November 11th & 25th, December 9th & 23rd, January 6th & 20th, February 3rd & 17th, and March 3rd.

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 Lesley Jacques

Study Group Module 3 – Honey Bee Diseases

This Study Group will be led by Pete Sutcliffe and will meet via Zoom starting at 7.30 p.m. on the following Wednesdays. October 27th, November 17th, December 1st & 15th, January 5th & 19th, February 2nd & 16th, March 2nd.  

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

Study Group Module 7 – Queen Rearing

This study group will be led by Pam and Stuart Hatton, and will start Thursday October 28th at 7.30pm by zoom. Following dates, all Thursdays, will be: November 11th and 25th, December 9th.  Then 2022 will be January 13th and 27th, February 10th and 24th, and March 10th.

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 Stuart or Pam Hatton


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

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