A beekeeper’s year always starts with their fingers crossed, hoping that winter will be kind and their many honeybees will have survived the cold, wet days. The good news is this year the weather wasn’t as bad as last, so many colonies have survived and can now thrive in the spring sunshine.

Whilst the bees were hibernating, our beekeepers were out and about spreading the word about bees, honeybees, pollinators and beekeeping, and their important roles in supporting Scotland’s diverse range of plants, crops and foods.

Given their school’s motto, we couldn’t refuse and invite from Fenwick Primary School in Ayrshire to come along and chat to all the pupils there! The local honey went down a treat too!

At the turn of the year, we were delighted to hear that one of Scotland’s most humble beekeepers, Charlie Irwin, was honoured with an ‘M Bee E’. Charlie has devoted many, many decades to supporting beekeepers and beekeeping in the Glasgow area and beyond. And if you’ve ever visited Kelvingrove Art Gallery in Glasgow it’s Charlie’s bees you’ll see flying in and out!

We run many training courses and workshops aimed not only at newbees, but at more experienced beekeepers too. So far this year we have been delighted to host a wax workshop in Fife; a skep making course in Livingstone and a microscopy course in St. Andrews. Our main aims in doing so are to help support and educate beekeepers across Scotland on the science and health issues of keeping honeybees, and to keep the heritage and craft of beekeeping alive for future generations to come.        

Next month we look forward to celebrating World Bee Day on the 20th May and can’t wait to share details of all the Scottish celebrations!