How do we identify native honey bees? This question is fundamental to everything we aim to do at SNHBS and members were invited along to the University of Aberdeen in November to get a handle on just this question. Forty-five attendees had a full day hands-on introduction to the basic features and traits of Apis mellifera mellifera and got to hear about really exciting new developments in DNA analysis that might be available to hobby beekeepers soon.
by Gavin Ramsay
Forty-six beekeepers, mostly SNHBS members, came to Perth for the queen-rearing workshop organised by the Ochils Breeding Group over two days in August. After a classroom session going through the principles of selection, queen rearing, queen mating and subsequent management, the attendees divided into three groups for the three practical sessions occupying much of the day. Jeff took them through the grafting session, showing the right stage of larva to use and the methods employed to move the larvae into cups for cell raising. Participants worked in pairs to ensure that everyone had a chance to try grafting for themselves, many using magnifying headbands to help the careful handling of larvae of the right stage. John took his groups through everything to do with mating nuclei, the types available with their good and less good points, making them up with young bees and their management. I showed finding and handling queens and demonstrated harvesting queens from mating nuclei after the new queens were established. Everyone was encouraged to try their hand at lifting young workers and handling them as if they were queens. The yellow-spotted workers can still be seen in the MiniPluses now! Continue reading “Summer 2017 Queen Rearing Workshop in Perth”
Compiled by Kate Atchley from texts by Ewan Campbell, Em Mackie and Gavin Ramsay. (Article first published in The Scottish Beekeeper, July 2017)
On 1 April at the Lovat Hotel in Perth, almost 80 members of the newly-formed Scottish Native Honey Bee Society (SNHBS) met to launch and help to establish priorities for the society. In this article we offer news of the launch event as well as confirmation of the society’s aims and initial activities. Continue reading “SNHBS – News from launch event”