120 new beehives established to help boost population numbers

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A HONEY company is setting up 120 new hives across Perthshire to be used for beekeeping workshops.

Kinross-based Webster Honey is taking advantage of the many weeks of warm, settled Spring weather to dramatically increase its beehive placement.

The hives will be  used for a mix of beekeeping workshops in schools & nurseries, including workshops at Webster Honey’s own beekeeping school at Scotlandwell.

Comprising over 200 colonies of bees, the new hives are temporarily housed at the Scotlandwell School, but will soon travel to their new homes.

Webster Honey Beekeeper Meik Molitor explained: “One hundred and twenty packages of bees, which have arrived in stages over several days, is a huge undertaking to manage, involving materials and equipment from several European countries.

““The hive frames have come from Eastern Europe, the wax sheets from England, together with hive parts from Denmark. The bees themselves are from Italy, and I am a German beekeeper looking after them all!”

“I am delighted though that they are finally here, and we will be kept busy in the coming weeks taking them to their new homes, although some will remain here at the school.”

The past few weeks has seen Meik busy checking on various hives that are situated across Fife, Perthshire and the Lothians, including one on the roof of Little Monkeys Nursery in Edinburgh, and one at Dairsie Primary in Fife.

Both have survived the winter, with the bees flourishing.

“Bees are doing well doing the lockdown – that’s one silver lining for us,” added Meik.

“Everyone is at home doing their gardens and planting flowers, less parks and grounds are getting cut, so it’s great for bees to forage, and the air quality is much improved due to lack of traffic.”

“We have had a strong sunny start to the season which has created perfect conditions. Usually you get a warm spell in March, which sets everything off well, but then comes frost again and everything is confused!

“We didn’t have that this year. Everything started to bloom when the bees first came out of hibernation,” he said.

“Obviously, we can’t do any school or nursery engagement at the moment until the schools reopen, which is real shame.

“As soon as it is safe to do so we will be back teaching children about bees.

“They absolutely love the courses, and last term we successfully widened out the areas of Scotland we are covering, by going to schools in Glasgow and the West for the very first time.”

 
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