The Kent Science Resource Centre (KSRC) on the Kent Science Park has been abuzz recently, as they have started hosting courses on Beekeeping. The courses are aimed at varying levels of experience – from people completely new to beekeeping up to experienced keepers who are looking for practical help and advice.
There are currently around 1,200 beekeepers in Kent with 12 branches of the Kent Beekeepers Association (KBKA), which adheres to the standards of the national British Beekeepers Association (BBKA), operating throughout the county. Because it is so time consuming, there is currently a high annual churn rate of people taking up the hobby. The KBKA is hoping that by offering ongoing training to Kent beekeepers more will avoid the pitfalls associated with this important pastime.
The courses are run primarily on weekends, with some weekday sessions available, and are led by the National Diploma in Beekeeping and KBKA under the banner of Beekeepers@KSRC.
Julie Coleman, Centre Manager of the Kent Science Resource Centre and a keen beekeeper herself, commented:
“I am both professionally and personally excited that the KBKA has selected the KSRC as the ideal place to deliver its training courses. Beekeeping has long been a passion of mine and it is important that we get new people involved. What’s even more essential is that there is adequate support and ongoing training available to help existing beekeepers cope with combating illnesses, infections and pest infestations within the hive.
“Many people say that beekeeping is a ‘thirty year apprenticeship’, as there is so much to learn in order to become an expert. Kent is now leading the way in the beekeeping community by offering ongoing training to people who have been beekeeping for up to five years and would like additional support.”
Bob Smith of the KBKA will be running the courses. He added:
“Our current plan is to establish the KSRC as a Kent-wide beekeeping training centre. The KSRC is an outstanding modern facility, which we will be utilising to run several two-day short courses. I’ve found the KSRC labs to be superb and Sittingbourne is ideally located to be a training centre serving beekeepers throughout Kent. Working within the frameworks of the BBKA, I am sure that we can establish Kent as a model of excellence for the rest of the country.”
James Speck, Site Director at Kent Science Park also commented:
“We are very pleased that the KBKA will be holding its beekeeping training courses in the Kent Science Resource Centre. The KSRC has several specially equipped labs, which are easily capable of accommodating a number of students for all manner of courses. Beekeeping is certainly a new one for us on the park, but it highlights the diverse training that’s on offer here!”
Anyone who would like further details or to book any of the courses on offer can do so by going to the following websites: canterburybeekeepers.org.uk and