Native bee breeders and would-be breeders from the Lothians and Borders met in March to discuss how they might help one another through the coming season.
Between them they have three mating areas apparently secure from hybrid bees, nearly 20 Amm colonies, some drone colonies headed by Amm daughters, locally mated, and a range of expertise. They discussed how they might develop their queen rearing skills; maintain genetic diversity by sharing breeding material; and achieve successful mating by offering space in mating apiaries. It was an encouraging start to what promises to be an ongoing dialogue and cooperation.
Another meeting will be held soon.
Photo, from left: Dave Stokes (West Linton), Linda Haldane (Peebles), Deborah Mackay (East Lothian), Kate Atchley (Cheviot Project), Jim Lindsay (Edinburgh & Innerleithen), Justine Swinney (Cheviot Project), David Ferguson (Peebles), Sheila Tyldesley (Ettrick), Clive Baker (East Lothian) and Ken Owen (Ettrick)