Backyard Beekeeping - Northern Beaches Community College

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Backyard Beekeeping

Course Outline

Would you like to harvest your own honey? It’s easy to have a few hives and then let the bees do most of the work for you. Learn everything you need to know about bees, the equipment needed and how much honey you can expect. Find out what other products you can make such as beer, candles, soap and cosmetic creams. Honey tasting and comprehensive notes are provided and places are limited.


  • Introduction to the Course
  • What is honey?
  • History of beekeeping
  • Honey flora – the importance of bees
  • Legislation – locating the hive
  • How to get the bees
  • Honey bees – castes, lifecycles, re-queening
  • Swarming
  • Catching a swarm
  • Collecting the pollen and nectar
  • Bee hive – hive management
  • Splitting a hive
  • Re-locating a hive
  • Harvesting the honey – types of honey
  • Honey bee products – honeycomb, beer, etc.
  • Australian native bees
  • Bee stings
  • Bee health
  • Harvesting the wax
  • Beeswax uses – candles, cosmetics, soap, etc.
  • Flow Hive
  • Top-bar hive
  • Practical demonstration – extracting the honey from the honeycomb
  • Course review

About the tutor

Judith Sleijpen graduated from Ryde School of Horticulture with distinction in Urban Horticulture and gained experience in the retail nursery industry for several years. As a Member of the Horticultural Media Association, Judith writes a monthly gardening column for “Peninsula Living” and has also published articles in “Landscape Contractor and Manager”, “Better Homes and Gardens”, ”Gardens and Outdoor Living” and “The Garden Gurus”.Passionate about plants, gardens and bees, she is a Member of the Australian Institute of Horticulture, a former Committee Member of the Sydney Executive Committee of Open Gardens Australia and a former member of the Speakers’ Bureau of the Royal Botanic Gardens. Apart from conducting her garden design and horticultural consultancy business, “Gardens, Balconies and Beyond”, Judith is a tour leader for the David Jones Flower Show and judges garden competitions in Ryde, Camden, Campbelltown, Bayside and Randwick.

This course has no current classes. Please the waiting list.

Course testimonials:

  • I enjoyed the information received. Good presenter
  • The facilitator, Judith Sleijpen, was fabulous. She was full of information and so generous with her knowledge. I had a great day.
  • Judith was an amazingly engaging and passionate trainer which came through in the course and made for a fantastic experience
  • A very comprehensive and in depth course. Judith was informative and interesting, a very enjoyable day.
  • Judith is an excellent instructor and obviously very passionate about her subject.
  • It was incredibly informative.
  • The Beekeeping course was extremely informative and well presented. Judith is an excellent Tutor!
  • I did Judith's course back in April this year. Sorry about the late feedback. I found it it very informative and inspiring and Judith's enthusiasm encouraged me to pursue my beekeeping goal. As a result of this course I have just installed bees into my first hive, very exciting!
  • The course material was detailed and meticulously prepared and presented in a systematic and logical order. The presenter had an in depth knowledge of her topic and had the class’s attention for the entire six hours. Timelines were strictly kept to. A thoroughly enjoyable and worthwhile day.
  • Great information Judith was very happy to answer all questions Small group allowed everyone to exchange ideas which Judith encouraged