Update on our beekeeping courses!
We’ve been thrilled to see the excitement around our free monthly beekeeping courses, held on our home base of Willowdale Farm. We’ve hosted five courses already, training over 50 visitors in the basics of beekeeping—from safety and equipment to hive care and honey extraction.
Our courses are free and we encourage everyone of all ages to come join us, whether you’re interested in going into beekeeping professionally, as a hobbyist in your backyard, or even if you just want to learn more about these incredible creatures and spend some time out in nature.
We love hosting these courses because it’s the best way to give back to you, our Honeybee Heroes. We know that bringing conservation into your everyday lives can be difficult, especially if you’re working in the city and busy with family, full-time jobs, and social commitments. But these courses are intended to help you recognise the small, ordinary things that we all can do—even in the grocery store—to play an active role in caring for this beautiful country we call home and the vulnerable species we share it with.
It’s also a great way for us to share the love with our little village of Stanford and the many small businesses that bring life to its streets. We encourage you to stick around after the course and enjoy Stanford’s shops, markets, local produce, and accommodation. We also have accommodation on the farm if you’d like to stay with us for the weekend. Learn more about our cottages here.
Here’s the basic itinerary for one of our beekeeping courses:
A little after sunrise, we’ll all meet up under our big oak for a welcome and brief safety training with the Honeybee Heroes team, while sipping on hot coffee and tea. Once you’re briefed in the basics of keeping safe near the hives, the whole group will suit up in our Honeybee Heroes beekeeping suits, and we’ll walk you through the equipment you’ll need for hive care: a bee brush, smoker, hive tool, propolis for swarming, and more.
On the way out to the fields, you’ll greet our resident Dorper sheep, and if you’re lucky, you may even meet old Gogo, our matriarch sheep and one of the oldest sheep in the country.
Now for our favorite part—working with the hives! We’ll show you all the steps in caring for a hive: baiting a colony, opening a hive, checking on the bees, extracting supers ready for honey extraction, checking for diseases, spotting the queen, and more. You’ll have the chance to get hands-on experience with all the equipment, helping us start fires for our smokers and pulling out supers ready for honey extraction. If there’s honey to be extracted, we’ll take it back to the honey house where you’ll help us extract and bottle the honey.
Once we’re all done, we’ll head to our sculpture garden, where we’ll enjoy a full breakfast spread including fresh bread and cheeses from our pals over at Lomond Wine Estate and Stonehouse Cheese Estate, and of course—lots of honey! We’ll show you how the colors, taste and textures of honey differ based on whether the bees have visited eucalyptus, lavender, fynbos, canola and more. We’ll eat, drink, and enjoy sharing honey with each other the way we share our land with the bees—joyfully, and with a whole lot of gratitude!
We have a maximum capacity of 12 people per course, and our courses are filled up on a first come, first serve basis. We notify our Instagram followers when registration is open, so make sure you give us a follow so you don’t miss your chance to sign up! We’re taking a brief hiatus with the Level 4 lockdown, but we’ll be back up and running as soon as we can.
We also host private group courses. If you’re interested in hosting a beekeeping event for your company team, or as a private party, get in touch here.
Looking forward to seeing you all on the farm soon!