SNHBS member, Martin Leahy, becomes International Young Beekeeper 2019

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.

Team Scotland – Martin Leahy (centre) with Jaimee Kirk (left) and Emily Oakes (right), flanked by SBA Trustees Bron Wright (far left) and Michelle Berry ( far right) at Edinburgh Airport.

He is also a member of the North East of Scotland SNHBS Queen Rearing Group. He will tell you certain of the older members take full advantage of his young eyesight and happily encourage him to do the grafting of their AMM stocks.  They also delegate all responsibility for marking flighty young Queens and clipping wings to Martin.

Before heading off to Slovakia, Martin had attended one of the Queen Rearing Workshops organised by the Ochil Hills Bee Breeding Group.   After the course had finished he was very kindly offered the opportunity to graft from AMM stock.  The queens, which were successfully mated at a remote site, are now back in hives and nucs in Martin’s garden.

Travelling across Scotland to graft from AMM stock is tricky (especially when you are 15 and don’t drive), so Martin is now helping with experiments to see if sending grafts from AMM stock through the post, is a viable way of disseminating AMM throughout Scotland.  The first batch didn’t have a huge success rate, but lessons were learnt, and improvements will be made for the next attempt. 

By Sarah Leahy