Microscopy for Beekeepers

Harrogate and Ripon Beekeepers have been running this very successful course for many years. It has raised interest and awareness in the natural history of the honey bee at the microscopic level.

This course is designed for beekeepers who expect to take the BBKA Microscopy Module in the Autumn of 2020, but may also be of general interest to those who wish to broaden their knowledge of beekeeping.

Students are taught about the theory and practice of using microscopes as well as learning how to dissect bees to check for disease and to learn about their anatomy.

Disease and pest recognition is part of the course. This will enable participants to assist their associations with potential problems and be an information source for new beekeepers.

Pollen recognition and the analysis of honey is a key part of the course, and requires pollen to be collected through the year.

The making of stained, permanent and temporary microscope slides allows the beekeeper to build up a collection of anatomical and pollen slides for future reference.

A number of slides must be presented for inspection to the assessors and students are required to carry out various dissections and other procedures during the assessment.

This course will be held in the Hives and Honey Pavilion at the Great Yorkshire Showground. There will be four all day meetings (09.30 – 16.30) held on Sundays 20th January, 16th February and 8th March, with a final session in late August or early September. Tea/coffee and toilet facilities are available in the building and extensive parking very close by. Participants should bring a packed lunch. The Microscopy assessment usually takes place in November, and applications must be made before August 31st.

A pre-course meeting will be held on Sunday 10th November 2019 at 10am when course members will be given advice on obtaining microscopes, and other pertinent information. A list of essential equipment and books will also be provided together with information on where this may be obtained.

Please download the Microscopy for Beekeepers 2020 Application Form to apply for a place on the course.