Philip Chandler

Natural Beekeeping

  • $75

    Learn in an online classroom with no more than 20 classmates. More

Course Description

Philip Chandler, author of 'The Barefoot Beekeeper' introduces you to natural beekeeping, including the theory and practical techniques for a sustainable, organic approach to cultivating Bee bee colonies.

The course focuses on keeping bees for their own sake, rather than simply for the products of their labour. (Although if there is a surplus of honey, we will be pleased to have some for ourselves!)

A revolutionary beekeeping course about sustainable, chemical-free, 'natural' beekeeping, with no heavy lifting. Philip shows you how you can make everything you need, using recycled materials and simple tools.

If you are already a keen gardener, you may have considered the idea of having a beehive or two in your garden, but been put off by the cost and complications of conventional beekeeping equipment. Philip will show you how keeping bees can be much easier than you think, while costing much less than you think, especially if you can do simple woodwork yourself.

You'll learn:

  • about the role of bees and impact of agriculture
  • how to make and use a top bar hive
  • about the lifecycle of honeybees
  • nurturing your bee colony

The course includes:

  • 4 on-demand video lessons - presented by Philip Chandler
  • lifetime access to the videos, notes and interactive class
  • flexible classes - join and learn when and where you like
  • downloadable lesson notes
  • practical beekeeping projects
  • access on your mobile, PC, Mac or laptop
  • small interactive online classroom - chat online to students from around the world and share your creative ideas

Time to complete the natural beekeeping course:

Every student is different but in general we think the whole course will take around 12 hours 20 minutes to complete including:

  • Video lessons: 1 hour 20 minutes in total
  • Course notes: 30 minutes per lesson
  • Your planting design projects: at least 2 hours per lesson
  • Interactive classroom time: 15 minutes per lesson

You'll need:

Philip will teach you how to make a home for your bees using recycled materials and your tool box - you will need some basic woodwork skills.

This course is suitable for all levels - including gardeners interested in attracting bees into their garden and experienced beekeepers looking to learn sustainable beekeeping techniques.

Ready to get started?

Just add the course to your basket above. If you know someone who'd love this course then give it as a gift - just tick "This is a gift" at the checkout.

Any questions? Contact us by clicking on the orange speech symbol - we'd love to hear from you.

Course outline

  • The Nature of Honeybees

    Before considering 'keeping' bees, we take a look at their world, their life-cycle and how we can work with them to achieve a mutually beneficial relationship.

  • Bees, Flowers and Natural Beekeeping

    We consider the relationship between bees and flowering plants and their importance for pollination. We will also look at the type of beehives recommended for 'natural beekeeping', and consider ways in which you can take sensible precautions when locating hives and handling bees.

  • Starting with a Top Bar Hive

    We will examine how a top bar beehive works, and how best to use it to supervise bees, while minimizing our interference in their lives. We will also consider how to obtain bees and persuade them to live in the hives we provide them.

  • Establishing a healthy colony

    Having introduced bees to their new home, we look at hive management and how to provide optimum conditions in which they can thrive, while learning as much as possible about their natural behaviour with a view to improving our understanding of them.

Buy now and start whenever you like

  • Peer

    Discover the benefits of group learning in an online interactive classroom of no more than 20 people. Get the most from shared knowledge and community study

    • Start course whenever you like
    • Practise what you learn with your peers
    • Online classroom with up to 20 classmates
    • 4 lessons with expert videos & notes
    • 4 course assignments
    • Group chat & direct message classmates
    • Lifetime access to videos, notes & classroom
    Learn more
    $75

Gardening classroom - how it works

  • Start anytime

    Watch video tutorials led by expert tutors

    Watch video tutorials led by expert tutors
  • Test yourself

    Practice what you learn with inspiring assignments

    Practice what you learn with inspiring assignments
  • Personal tuition

    Get assignment feedback from expert tutors

    Get assignment feedback from expert tutors
  • Share ideas

    Collaborate and chat directly to classmates

    Collaborate and chat directly to classmates

Meet Philip Chandler

Philip Chandler - Gardening

The Barefoot Beekeeper is an agent provocateur: he has challenged just about every long-held belief, technique and method practised by modern beekeepers.

Jean Vernon, The Telegraph
Hello I'm Philip Chandler. My early working life was spent mainly in printing, publishing, marketing and training.

I took up beekeeping at the turn of the century, having campaigned against GM crops for several years and concluding that bees were a lot more important than most people realized.

Conventional beekeeping seemed too mechanistic and bound up in Victorian attitudes towards nature, so I developed my own system based on top bar hives. A year spent working in commercial beekeeping at Buckfast Abbey convinced me that 'natural' beekeeping was the way to go.

In 2005 I was awarded Advanced Certification by the National Diploma of Beekeeping Board.

Having further developed my hive and techniques, I wrote The Barefoot Beekeeper in 2007 as a challenge to conventional beekeeping, and to put my case for reform.

Since then, around 10,000 people have bought my book and many of them have adopted top bar hives and natural beekeeping methods.

Nowadays I spend my time studying, teaching and writing. My aim is to teach others to observe for themselves and to learn from the bees, rather than from me.

Learning about beekeeping from books or distance learning can give us a broad understanding of their nature and behaviour, but of course there is a need to deepen that theoretical knowledge by practical, hands-on bee-handling.

Many local beekeepers' associations provide open sessions for beginners to experience bees at first hand, and may also provide training courses. These tend to focus on the conventional, commercially-derived approach to beekeeping, and while attitudes are beginning to change in some places, you are unlikely to find a great deal of sympathy for top bar hives or natural beekeeping.

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Awards & Accreditations

  • Good Web Guide
  • Red Herring Winner
  • Royal Horticultural Society
  • Education Investor Awards 2021 - Finalist
  • CPD Accredited (provider 50276)