Penrith Beekeepers News

The PBKA ‘Introducing Beekeeping Course’ Review


The PBKA ‘Introducing Beekeeping Course’ run by Julia Pigott and Martin Hoggard was an intensive two day programme based at Greystoke Village Hall.  As well as detailed information about bees and beekeeping techniques it included a practical session inspecting the beehives at the apiary on the Greystoke Castle Estate.  The Feedback Summary below shows the extent to which the twelve participants appreciated the training that they had received.


The next PBKA ‘Introducing Beekeeping Course’ will take place in June/ July 2023 – date to be arranged.


Introducing Beekeeping

Feedback Summary

Course at Greystoke Village Hall : July 2022



Key: % of responses of 12 participants


1=not at all    5=very well 1 2 3 4 5
How well has the course met your learning needs? 100%

-Extremely well, very well to understand everything.

-Provided a good and detailed overview of how to start beekeeping.

-As a beginner and now to bees- this has been fantastic.

-All information very relevant.

-Huge amount covered, but realistic about our memory- so a memory stick was very useful.

-Broad range of essential topics covered in good presentations and practical sessions.

Very practical hands on course, Julia and Martin are very knowledgeable, but also very humble trainers- excellent advice overall.

Incredibly useful overview with lots of detail too


Was the information presented well and clearly? 100%

-Yes, very clearly, presented well.

-A lot of great information – the memory stick is greatly appreciated and will be well used in the future.

Yes, and it’s great to have the presentation on a memory stick too-thank you!

-Really good pace, informative and opportunity for discussion and questions.


-Very professional- confidence provided by Julia’s professional role + their joint experience.

-Excellent teaching at a slow, steady pace with repetition that helps.

-Mixture of theory and practical training was very effective- slides as pictures vs lots of werds very effective.

-Great pace of information & reinforcement through practice.

Do you feel the weekend provided value for money? 100%

Yes, very much so, I have been given so much advice.


-Yes very much so- I have been to Acorn Bank a few times , but this course has brought it all together.

We feel that we are trying to give you the foundations on which to build your beekeeping hobby, do you feel you have made a good start? 100%

-Yes I feel much more confident to get started now and know what to look out for.

Yes, very much indeed- have thoroughly enjoyed my weekend.

-I feel  a lot less overwhelmed at what I need to do to be a successful beekeeper.

-A good start definitely, however, I think I need a refresher next year before I get bees.

-Excellent start, (Plenty to learn!)

-It helped to cement information previously gained from reading.

-Hopefully that will be provided in practise next year.

-Loves see extraction.

-Really thorough varroa management.


Follow up required:

-Gain confidence to get some bees and get going.

Not sure yet, some bees (ha ha) – may be a refresher course?

-A starter kit list.

-Revision session.

-How many hives supers/ brood boxes etc is it sensible to start with. I know it is an open ended question!

-I need to begin – get a hive and some bees!

– A refresher course next spring.

-Equipment and mentor/ buddy

I think ongoing training like this, with like minded beekeepers is very effective, so indeed March 12th Course is of interest to me- let me know the details. (A.Dorset)

-Mentor would be useful.

-Another course in a year or two.


Most enjoyable aspects:

-The year overview.

-The practical visit to the apiary- you can’t beat seeing it all for real. Overall even though the theory was pitched at the right level.

-Good mix of presentation and practical- it really helps having ‘hands on’.

Probably the practical as I remember that better than the theory, but obviously we needed the theory.  Which was excellent too.

-The practical sessions.  

-Practical and hands on activity.

-All been very good (Great opportunity to handle bees.)

-Meeting some real bees- the bit you can’t get from books or videos.

-Practical visit to the hives.

-The last session in the apiary.

-Not afraid to share sources e.g. brands that have worked or not preferences and why; personal errors that you have shared.

-Mixture of theory and practical tasks – well balanced


Source of information about the course:

PBKA (85%)


Additional comments:

-No, thank you, other than I have absolutely thoroughly enjoyed the whole weekend and was so looking forward to it.

-Thanks to Julia, Martin and Margaret

-Many thanks!

-Looking forward to future courses!

-Thanks for the USB- great to be able to look back.

-Thank you so much for a fabulous weekend- very interesting, accessible and fun learning.

-Just a huge thank you to Julia and Martin for giving us their time and knowledge in this fascinating area- highly effective trainers, and has built my confidence to keep bees now!