beesuitsAlways stuck in front of the computer with work I decided it was time for a change. So, I choose to train to become a beekeeper!

Cockenzie House Heritage Group helped kick-start the community project with funding towards training & buying equipment.

With the weather in Scotland you don’t always get honey and for me 2014 was the first time. East Lothian Courier wrote an article after following my Facebook blog.

Bees and other pollinators have been declining in the last few years with disease and diminishing natural foraging so I wanted to come up with a project in East Lothian to help make a change.

I thought the best way would be to put together an educational and interesting presentation/workshop and take it to primary schools in East Lothian, even taking in live bees in a sealed observation hive. The programme would support the curriculum covering biodiversity.

Phase one has already started with the help of Cockenzie & Port Seton Community Council. In March 2015 their donation of £200 allowed me to buy seven beekeeper suits. Over Easter I did 6 apiary visits, the children and adults found it fun and very interesting, like being a beekeeper for a day! If you are interested in a free visit go here for information.

I’m now on phase two, setting up a social enterprise business, and will be applying for funding to enable me to invest in the tools needed to put together the school education programme, provide volunteering opportunities and offer beekeeping training.

Do get in touch if you would like to help, have land for bees, are interested in volunteering or would like to learn about keeping bees.

Things I’ll need for 2016;observation hive

  • On site observation hive. This will allow visitors to see inside the hive without disturbing the bees making the visit even more fascinating
  • A portable observation hive. I will be able to take the hive into schools when I start the educational visits

I run apiary visits at Easter and during the summer.

Most areas in the UK have a local beekeeper’s association, mine is East Lothian (www.elbka.com). With social media it is now even easier to learn and get helpful advice (BBKA group on Facebook)