Beekeeping taster day 13th April 2024

Get a taste of beekeeping from our expert team at Martineau Gardens.  

Saturday 13 April 2024 9.45am – 4pm

£85 (no concessions)
Advance booking and payment is essential 

For anyone interested in learning about bees and what keeping them involves, our taster course is the perfect way to discover more about bees. The course is taught by Sam Walker and Valli Cawte. The course runs from 9.45am with an approximate finish of 4pm (it may overrun a little), with a half-hour break for lunch, and costs £85 (no concessions).   

You will need to bring a packed lunch since there is no cafe (no bananas! – all will be explained on the course), but hot and cold drinks are provided. All protective clothing will be provided and laundered in between each use, but you will need to bring a pair of wellies which will stop bees getting up your trouser leg (you won’t need to wear them all day) and a note pad.  It’s helpful to bring a cap, (and a hairband if you have long hair). 

The practical element of the course (‘hands-on with bees’) will take place at Martineau Gardens, part of the day will take place indoors, with a classroom session next door at the Edgbaston Priory Club, which is approximately 5 minutes walk. Please call the gardens if you need to know more about this. 

Advance booking is essential. 

Course Aim

Honeybees need your help. The course will take you through various stages including: 

  • The difference between the three most common striped stinging insects 
  • What does it cost 
  • Beekeeping organisations, insurance 
  • Equipment- to buy or assemble your own 
  • Types of hive 
  • Siting hives 
  • Tools 
  • Clothing 
  • The bee colony 
  • Life cycle 
  • Role of the beekeeper 
  • What bees make 
  • Pests 
  • How to obtain bees 
  • Swarms 
  • Honey 
  • Honey shows 
  • LIVE BEE DEMO – with live bees! (weather permitting) 

About your tutors

Samantha Walker is our volunteer beekeeper and Vice President of Birmingham and District Beekeepers Association (B&DBKA). Interested and inspired by all things related to nature, Sam became interested in honey bees in 2013 and joined B&DBKA. Sam rapidly became a mentor to other beekeepers and has been teaching beekeeping courses for the last four years. 

Valli Cawte has been a member of Solihull British Beekeepers Association (BBKA) since 2015. She has prepared, assisted and presented live bee displays for the BBKA at Blenheim Palace for Country File Live, and Chatsworth for The RHS Chatsworth Flower Show over several years. Valli also uses computer skills and graphics to design honey bee images for fabrics, labels, displays, and anything bee related.

£85 per place – advance booking and payment is essential. 

To book your place, please telephone Martineau Gardens on 0121 440 7430 to check availability and then arrange your payment. Payment by BACS transfer (use the reference Bees + surname) or in-person with card or cash (sorry, no American Express or cheques). 

Refunds: In the event that you have booked and paid but cannot attend, the booking can be transferred to another person, but you need to let us have the details of the new attendee. Alternatively, we can try to resell your place, if successful then a refund will be given, otherwise no refund. We do not accept liability for your travel costs if you have paid fares in advance. 


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