Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award
Beginners Beekeeping Residential Course

Courses now available for 2024 starting on:
16th July 2024 - Book Now
22nd July 2024 - Book Now

You can complete your DofE residential in beautiful rural West Dorset, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty right on the Jurassic Coast.
We are natural beekeepers and will teach you about our approach to bees, beekeeping and how to interact with honeybees while still protecting them and their habitat.
Our team have combined our skills and passions of beekeeping, teaching, environmentalism and cooking to provide a magical hosting experience for all our guests. Our beekeeping team have a wealth of beekeeping experience to share with you and a desire to bring you into the astonishing world of honeybees.

We never stop learning. We are always reading, we take courses and keep up to date with research to better understand and spread the word as to how we can all help improve the habitat for all pollinators. Once you understand a little about bees you begin to understand what else we can be doing to help the conservation of our fragile and depleted ecosystems.
This course has a strong practical element, as we believe you need to 'do it' to truly grasp it. We are there by your side to advise and assist, and you will leave our course with confidence in your new knowledge and skills.

Take a look at the details, pictures and reviews below to find out what a special course this is.

DofE Approved Activity Providers

As approved activity providers, our residential course will enable you to learn all about honeybees and complete your DofE residential. Our courses are a winning combination with small numbers and our lovely friendly, fun and knowledgeable tutors. Your aims will be established at the start of the residential to ensure we give you the best experience.

Our course ethos is teamwork, empathy, facing challenges and realising your potential by working together and supporting each other.

The course is ideal for DofE GOLD RESIDENTIAL with participants aged between 16 and 24. As an Approved Activity Provider for the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme, we will act as your assessor to submit a report to your eDofE page on completion of the course. Our maximum is only 12 students per course.

What’s included?

Tuition - 5 days of practical and theory sessions using a well planned syllabus to give you maximum enjoyment whilst learning this beautiful craft.

Accommodation - 4 nights accommodation at our beautiful private campsite in the heart of the Dorset countryside. You’ll be accommodated in a simple glamping style in one of our lovely bell tents, complete with a comfy bed and pillow.

Food & drink - All included and you’ll be fully catered. In the evenings we will prepare the meals together around the campfire, using either the BBQ or pizza oven, as well as our on-site kitchen. Sometimes we cook on the beach and enjoy the sunset. We can cater for most dietary requirements.

Equipment - Beekeeping suits and all that you need for hands on tuition in our apiaries.

DofE - We are an Approved Activity Provider and will submit our assessors report to your eDofE page.

Transport - if you are arriving by train, we will collect you and drop you back on arrival and departure days at either Axminster or Crewkerne stations. We provide transport while you’re with us for trips to the beach and other apiaries we may visit.

All for £949 - book your place with a £250 deposit and then pay the balance 8 weeks before the course starts.

Where you’ll be and what you’ll do

We have a private glamping campsite at Coppet Hill, a 600 acre farm in gorgeous West Dorset. We provide spacious bell tents complete with beds and pillows. There is a hot shower and an outdoor compost toilet nearby the tents. Just away from the tents we also have a kitchen, an indoor toilet and indoor common room/teaching space with Wifi.

The campsite also features a large games room in the barn, sunflower maze, owl and bat walks, deer, badger and foxes as well as Exmoor ponies, pigs, chickens, and longhorn cattle. See some of the Coppet Hill wildlife here. Away from the campsite, we will also arrange trips to the beach which is only a 10 minute drive.
We have our main teaching apiary at the campsite and this is where you will learn about honeybee behaviours and the life of the colony through observation and handling. We have a further 4 apiaries all within a 15 minute drive, and we may visit a couple of these to see different types of hives.

We will prepare the evening meals together, some around the campfire with the pizza oven or BBQ, and some in the kitchen. Most dietary requirements can be accommodated and we generally eat outside to enjoy sunsets and shooting stars around the campfire. Breakfast is available as a self-service option in the mornings before our sessions commence, and we have salad or sandwich type lunches depending on which apiary we are at. Drinks and snacks are provided throughout the day.

West Dorset has some of the darkest skies in England, so it's great to look out for some shooting stars while we toast marshmallows. We will also set the wildlife cameras each evening to see what visitors we’ve had.

We like to arrange an optional afternoon activity half way through the week, and the local high rope course is very popular and good value at £20 per person. If you would rather keep your feet on the ground, there’s a lovely walk to the wildflower meadow and goat farm just next to the high ropes.

The courses for 2024 are available to book. Select your preferred date to book now.

The residential courses are for 4 nights and 5 days.

The total cost is £949. You can book your place with a £250 deposit and then pay the balance 8 weeks before the course starts.

Please download the application form, complete it and send it to us at dofe@thedorsetbee.co.uk so that we can confirm your booking.

You will also need to download and read the terms & conditions.