Recent reports in the media of threatened imports into Ireland of non-native honey bees has Irish beekeepers up in arms. The Scottish Native Honey Bee Society share the concerns of beekeepers in Ireland who have worked tirelessly and devoted a lifetime of beekeeping in bringing the native honey bee to the unique position it now occupies. To find out more please follow this link to the Native Irish Honey Bee Society ……. http://nihbs.org/
(Apis mellifera mellifera) in the Hebrides, Scotland
By Andrew Abrahams
We are grateful to the author Andrew Abrahams and the editor of the American Bee Journal for permission to use this article.
Readers might ask, why on earth spend much of a lifetime conserving what most beekeepers perceive as an aggressive, unproductive race of honey bee — a race perhaps left behind by history? I was fortunate, often by chance rather than grand design, to gather up some pure remnants of Scotland’s native honey bee (Apis mellifera mellifera) in the late 1970s and since then I have managed over decades to improve this population in the isolation of the remote island of Colonsay, which lies 16 miles off the west coast of Scotland (see https://colonsay.org.uk).Continue reading “Conserving Black Bees”
Loch Leven Community Campus, Muir, Kinross – 14 March 2020
By Justine Swinney
Thanks to everyone who attended our Annual meeting on 14 March at the Loch Leven Community Campus in Muir, Kinross. Considering the uncertain situation we were in just nine days before the full Covid-19 lockdown, we had an impressive turnout; and thank you to everyone for following the guidance at that time in terms of vigilant handwashing etc.
Jo Widdicombe, President of BIBBA (Bee Improvement and Bee Breeders Association) valiantly journeyed up from Cornwall and gave us two inspiring talks on bee improvement (read more about Jo’s presentation here).Continue reading “SNHBS 4th Annual Meeting”
[Article from the August 2019 newsletter]
World leading honeybee researcher Professor Tom Seeley from Cornell University, Mass. U.S.A. recently honoured Colonsay’s Black Bee Reserve with a two-day visit to study at first-hand the behaviour of our native honeybee, Apis mellifera mellifera, and also to learn about the conservation work, breeding and management systems being carried out by the island beekeeper, Andrew Abrahams.
Many of you will know by now that Martin Leahy, a member of Tarland Bee Group, won the title of International Young Beekeeper 2019 at the competition held recently in Slovakia. Martin is a member of SNHBS and believes at least some of his success at the International Meeting of Young Beekeepers (IMYB) is attributable to his attendance at SNHBS events. Continue reading “SNHBS member, Martin Leahy, becomes International Young Beekeeper 2019”
SNHBS now has a fund to provide financial support for members’ breeding groups and some other activities.
The money came from the winding-up of Arnamurchan’s Amm project and the Sunart, Ardnamurchan, Moidart & Morvern Beekeepers Association. Hence, we call it The SAMMBA Fund. Continue reading “SAMMBA Fund – open for applications”
Queen rearing for SNHBS was initiated in May and interested people formed a very loose group in the North East of Scotland, with a good percentage of SNHBS members responding to a request to help out.
The Ardnamurchan Native Bee Project was wound down last year, partly due to my imminent move to the Scottish Borders and because of heavy colony losses. These losses were due largely to the scarcity of forage in an area which suffered two successive Summers so wet that the bees were hindered from foraging adequately.
Do you have dark native honey bees?
Do you think that you may have Scottish native honey bees? Are you interested in helping their recovery in Scotland? Would you like a chance to have them DNA tested?
We are seeking input from all beekeepers in Scotland to help find – and ultimately propagate – examples of the native honey bee. If your bees, or the bees of other local beekeepers you collaborate with, are dark brown without significant banding, then please consider submitting photos for our crack team of assessors to investigate. Scotland is divided into six regions with a local contact point (or Local Curator) who will guide you through the process. Click here for instructions on how to participate in the SNHBS Conservation Project.
Our annual meeting this year, held on the 17th March, saw 61 of our 181 strong membership join us at Kinross Community Campus to listen to speakers Per Kryger, Jon Getty and Ian Lennox and to participate in the afternoon’s business meeting of the Society. Thank you to all of you who managed to attend despite the dire weather forecast, and also to those of you who got in touch with well wishes for the day.