Beekeeping courses and workshops – Beginners


If you are purchasing a course/workshop we will get in touch and organise a time and get any other information we may need.

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We regret that due to the current restrictions imposed by the Biosecurity (Varroa mite) Emergency Order we are not able to offer beekeeping workshops at the moment.  All of our hives and our extracting shed are in the Coffs Harbour red zone which significantly limits our beekeeping activities. 

This one-day beekeeping course covers the basics of how to get started in beekeeping and is closely aligned with the core elements of the nationally recognised Certificate III in Beekeeping.

(NOTE:  Mt. Coramba Apiculture is NOT a registered training organisation and we do NOT offer the Certificate III in Beekeeping)

The following topics are covered:

Using a beekeeper’s smoker.

The ability to effectively use a smoker is one of the most critical skills in the beekeeper’s toolkit.  We will show you how to select the appropriate fuel to use in your smoker then demonstrate the best way to light a beekeeper’s smoker in a way that results in a flow of steady, dense, cool smoke.  Our trainer can pass on the secrets to applying smoke so that your bees remain calm and workable.

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Open and reassemble a beehive.

Opening a live beehive can be daunting without some necessary skills.  Our trainer will take you through the process of assessing weather conditions, applying smoke, and opening the hive.  Emphasis is placed on demonstrating how to disassemble the hive and lift frames out correctly using your hive tool.

We can show you the skills that will ensure the inspection process is safe for you and less stressful for your bees.  Our style of non-adversarial beekeeping will help you to avoid bee stings.

We focus on teaching the skills to recognise good and undesirable bee behaviour and what you can do as a beekeeper to minimise disturbance to the hive.  By following our methods, you can learn to work your bees confidently without gloves and minimal protective gear.

Manipulating brood combs

Beekeepers manage honeybee brood combs for many reasons.  During spring frames of brood are removed and placed above the queen excluder to make space in the brood box for the queen to lay.  Brood combs are cycled out every year to reduce the incidence of disease.  Brood can be removed from strong hives and placed into weaker hives to even them up.  We can take you through various scenarios in our production and queen raising colonies.

Managing honeybee pests and diseases.

Our trainer can demonstrate how a healthy beehive looks.  It is crucial that new beekeepers can carry out thorough brood inspections and recognise signs of disease such as American Foulbrood, European Foulbrood and Chalkbrood.  During inspections, we will discuss methods for minimising the impact of Small Hive Beetle.

Selecting and establishing an apiary site.

The success of your hives can depend a lot on where they are situated.  Numerous factors come into play, particularly in an urban beekeeping situation.  Our trainer can discuss and demonstrate good hive locations with emphasis placed on the aspect, water availability and adequate flora.

Constructing beehives.

New beekeepers can choose between buying equipment unassembled or fully assembled.  Beekeepers and make significant savings by assembling their equipment. Our trainer can show you how to make bee boxes and other hive parts.  We can demonstrate how to construct and wire a beehive frame in a fast and easy way.

Removing a honey crop from your hive.

The availability of pure, fresh honey is one of the main reasons people want to learn about beekeeping.  It is essential that beekeepers can determine when honey is ripe enough to be harvested.  We can demonstrate popular methods of removing your honey crop from the hive and transferring them for extraction.

Extracting honey.

The process of getting honey from your frames into a jar is a relatively simple process.  Our trainer can show you how to uncap frames and extract honey quickly and just with a minimum of equipment.

Requeening your beehive.

Requeening of hives should be carried out on a regular basis to ensure that you maintain docile, productive bees.  Our instructor will show you the signs that you should look for to indicate that your queen may be absent or failing.  We will demonstrate how to correctly place a queen cage into a hive to maximise acceptance of the new queen.

Cost $200.00 per person per day.  Children must be 16 years and over and accompanied by an adult.  Course times 9 am to 4 pm.

Contact us about beekeeper training – Beginners

Learn how to light a beekeeper's smoker

Learn how to light a beekeeper’s smoker.




What makes our beekeeping courses and workshops different?

Mt. Coramba Apiculture’s beekeeping classes are hands-on and practical.  As a participant, you have the full attention of our trainer.  We run our courses with one to 5 participants.

Where are our workshops held?

Each session is run in the field at our apiaries and our property at Nana Glen.  We don’t soak up hours of the day sitting in a classroom.

When are we running our next course?

Our beekeeping classes can be run at any time of the year and on any day that is mutually suitable to our trainer and yourself.  Naturally, it is easier to run our classes in the warmer months as the days are longer and more conducive to beekeeping.  A general rule of thumb would be from the start of August to the end of April.

Are the courses flexible regarding subject matter?

Yes most definitely. We can tailor your course (if you attend on an individual basis) to suit what you want to learn.  For instance, if you have some experience and are comfortable with lighting a smoker and opening a hive, we can spend less time on those activities and more time on others such as splitting and merging beehives or managing small hive beetle.

What is included in our beekeeping courses?

Mt. Coramba Apiculture will supply personal protective equipment such as a beekeeping veil and gloves.  Morning and afternoon tea are included (tea, coffee and a slice of fruitcake or a few biscuits).  We will also supply cold water.  You will need to bring your lunch. We can keep your food cold in our car fridge.

How much do your beekeeping courses and workshops cost?

Our one-day workshops are $200.00 per person.

Our half day workshops are $100.00 per person.

We require a 10% deposit prior to accepting your booking.  This deposit is non-refundable.  

We regret having to ask for a deposit however we are consistently let down by people who change their mind, cancel at short notice or simply don’t turn up.

Can I bring my children?

Yes, no problems at all. They must be at least 16 years of age & pay the full adult price.

Can I bring a friend or relative along?

Yes, observers are welcome provided they pay the full price of $100 for the half-day taster or $200 for the full day beginners workshop.

What do participants need to bring?

Participants at our beekeeping courses and workshops will need to wear covered footwear & long pants.  A hat and sunscreen are essential as we will be outdoors most of the time.  Bring your lunch if you are doing a one day workshop.  Please don’t use too much deodorant or strong perfume before you attend as it gives the bees the gripes!

What fitness level do I need?

Beekeeping requires a moderate level of fitness. While our trainer is happy to assist with lifting bee boxes you should be able to lift 35 to 40-kilo honey supers. Inspecting hives involves lots of bending over and you will be on your feet and in the sun for most of the day. We often work on uneven ground and you should be able to get into and out of a 4wd vehicle. Think hard about committing to a one day workshop if you have mobility issues or a bad back.

Are our courses suitable for a person with a Flow hive?

Yes.  We have a functioning Flow hive in our apiary and we are happy to structure our beekeeping classes with an emphasis on Flow hive management.

What qualifications does our trainer have?

The owner of Mt. Coramba Apiculture, Glenn Locke started beekeeping in the early 1980’s as a 14-year-old.  This lead to a lifelong interest in bees and apiculture.  After a career in the food industry, Glenn took up beekeeping again in 2009.  Glenn has formal qualifications in pests and diseases of honey bees and queen bee breeding.  Glenn also has a certificate IV in training and assessment.  He also volunteers in the NSW Rural Fire Service and regularly assists with training and assessment of other volunteers in the Mid North Coast district.  Glenn is a qualified first aider.

Is there any accommodation nearby?

If you are travelling to Nana Glen from a more distant location you may choose to stay in the Coffs Harbour area the night before the workshop.  The Coffs and Mid North Coast area is a popular tourist area so there is no shortage of accommodation.  We are close to Woolgoolga and there are numerous resorts and camping areas between there and Coffs Harbour.

If you have a caravan, camper or tent you may choose to stay at the Nana Glen Sport, Recreation & Equestrian Centre.  This very popular facility is a couple of kilometres down the road from us.  They have powered sites and hot showers.  Cost is $15.00 per night.

Matilda’s Bedsit/Studio is located on the Orara Way between Nana Glen & Coramba. Our hives are on their property.

Is Mt. Coramba Apiculture a registered training organisation?

No. Mt. Coramba Apiculture is NOT a registered training organisation and we do NOT offer the Certificate III in Beekeeping.

Is Mt. Coramba Apiculture insured?

Yes.  We are always insured for public liability and products liability to a total of $20 000 000.

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