Gavin has kept bees from the mid-1990s and since then he has managed to make most of the possible beekeeping mistakes! He chairs SNHBS, helps his local association and presents regularly on bee topics across Scotland and beyond. He used to be the Bee Health and Science Officer for the SBA until May 2020. He has also given up being a plant geneticist, and is starting to find out that running a beekeeping business is not for the easily distracted or the disorganised!
John has been beekeeping 40 years. Searching for good native type bees that are well adapted to their locality has been his main motivation for many years. Latterly he has become more interested in looking at a more sustainable and ethical approach to our beekeeping practices. John is currently vice-president of his local beekeeping association and a SBA member. He spends his spare time looking at nature and photography and can still manage reasonable hill walks.
Sandy joined SNHBS at its inaugural meeting. He has been beekeeping since 2014 and is a member of the SBA and a committee member of the ESBA. He runs the ESBA apiary, with mentoring classes for beginners. Sandy is also a presenter on Beekeeping at the RHET’s schools open days at Kinnordy Estate.
Alastair took up beekeeping in 2018, having spent a lifetime in law in England and wishing to pursue his long-held but unfulfilled interest in bees in the Highlands, where he now spends much of his time. He is involved in the community being, amongst other things, a Trustee of the Tomintoul and Glenlivet Development Trust. He is developing a small apiary in Glenlivet where he hopes to preserve an exclusion zone to maintain the strain. He is also involved with the North East Breeding Group whose apiary is nearby at the Cabrach.
Sarah started keeping bees in 2013. What started out as a hobby to get her away from work at the computer has become a bit of an obsession. She is on the steering committee for Tarland Bee Group, in Aberdeenshire, where she helps with the beginners’ classes, mentoring and arranging the winter talks. Sarah is quite happy to spend all day beekeeping at her various apiaries across Royal Deeside, but equally is delighted when one of her four lads comes along to help.
Jim has been keeping bees since 2014. After retiring from the NHS he became a member of Edinburgh and Midlothian Beekeepers Association and managed the EMBA apiary where he started a queen rearing programme. Having moved to the Borders he has now about twenty colonies in various locations including the Dawyck Botanic Garden, and an isolation apiary for the breeding of Apis mellifera mellifera . For him getting to know bees – and beekeepers- has been a wonderful experience.
I have been keeping bees for about seven years and currently have around 30 colonies. I am a past Secretary of Helensburgh & District Beekeepers Association and I’m keen to get a local breeding group off the ground. I am also interested in looking for wild bees in the Argyle & Bute area, much of which is sparsely populated. In 2023 I attended an Instrumental Insemination course to understand if it could be a way to increase native bee stocks in the future.
I have been keeping bees since 2013 in East Lothian. I currently run six colonies invthe North Berwick area and aim to increase this to ten. Purely by chance, the first colony I acquired was near-native, originating as a swarm from the Lammermuirs, and since then I have taken a keen interest in AMM. I am a member of East Lothian Beekeeping Association and would love to be able to work with fellow beekeepers in future to establish a breeding group to promote native and near native bees in my local area.