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Thread: Avid Beekeeper Visiting Scotland

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    Junior Member brushwoodnursery's Avatar
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    Default Avid Beekeeper Visiting Scotland

    Hello and thank you for letting me participate! My daughter and I will be visiting Edinburgh and Fife from 6 July to 13 July of 2018. I am an avid beekeeper and may even have my Georgia Master Beekeepers Certificate completed by then (must pass exam in May!). I would like very much to learn about beekeeping in Scotland. Certainly, there are interesting differences in hardware, climate and forage. I have already reached out to the Edinburgh Beekeepers and have a positive response for a visit with a member. I also hope to see more and possibly write an article for a magazine back here in the United States. The current schedule puts us near St Andrews in Fife with a free afternoon and evening on 12 July. There are some other free times in our schedule as well. Yes, that's quite far in the future but worth mentioning in case we're lucky enough to be there when an event is taking place.
    Also, I am an experienced lecturer and would be happy to share about beekeeping in the southeastern United States with a PowerPoint presentation and honey samples (I'm allowed to bring up to 2kg!). Public service is part of our mandate; even when it's on the other side of the Atlantic!

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    Administrator gavin's Avatar
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    Hello! There are active beekeeping associations in both Edinburgh and Fife so I'm sure that you'll get to meet up with some of them. I have bees in Fife and would be delighted to see you but July is my main bee shifting season (to the hills for the two types of heather honey) so I'll not make a firm promise until nearer the time.

    It would be worthwhile asking Janice at the Fife Beekeepers Association. Her contact details are at the main Scottish Beekeepers Association site:
    http://www.scottishbeekeepers.org.uk/

    Go to 'About' then 'Affiliated Beekeeping Organisations', bring up the map and you'll find her details when you click the pin near St Andrews.

    Over the winter months most associations, including Fife, have evening indoor meetings once a month. In the summer we get together mostly on Saturdays for occasional apiary visits and displaying at shows. Fife Beekeepers Association and its sister organisation Dunfermline and West Fife Beekeepers Association do tend to have a fairly full summer programme.

    Hope that helps!

    G.

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    Junior Member brushwoodnursery's Avatar
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    Thank you. I will reach out to her! I was wondering if there was shifting done in Scotland. I move some hives to the mountains in July for Sourwood; famous for delicious flavor and a terrible name.

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    Those who are migratory usually move from home to OSR (cannola) then to an intermediate site for summer then in mid to late July to the moors for heather.

    I am too far south for your purposes but I hope you have a lovely visit. Please be aware that it is not distance in Scotland it is the time taken to travel that distance.

    PH

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    Junior Member brushwoodnursery's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poly Hive View Post
    Those who are migratory usually move from home to OSR (cannola) then to an intermediate site for summer then in mid to late July to the moors for heather.

    I am too far south for your purposes but I hope you have a lovely visit. Please be aware that it is not distance in Scotland it is the time taken to travel that distance.

    PH
    Thanks, PH. We've never been to Scotland and are sure we will enjoy it! I was raised in a small state (Maryland) and am still surprised by the size and distances here in Georgia (about twice the size of Scotland). This isn't even one of the really big states.
    For most of our journey, we will be with a group (International Clematis Society) on a bus so I don't have to worry about tiny roads or driving on the wrong side by mistake!

    I'm curious: Is there paid pollination in Scotland like we have for Almonds and other crops here? Or, is migration strictly for varietal honey?

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    Basically no there is not. There was word some years ago about some payments being made for field strawberries but I personally have never spoken to anyone who got it.

    There is some paid pollination in the South of England for commercial orchards in particular apples but nothing like there used to be 30 years ago as so many orchards were grubbed out.

    Effectively migration is mainly for as you say varieties and especially Heather is it is highly sought after and carries a nice price premium.

    PH

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    Junior Member brushwoodnursery's Avatar
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    Looks as though I will be sharing about beekeeping with one of your groups! Please tell me, do you have much issue with small hive beetles? Wax moth? What are your other pressures and concerns? I'd like to be able to compare and want to have interesting information to share.

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    Senior Member Jon's Avatar
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    No small hive beetle in the UK yet

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    Administrator gavin's Avatar
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    The top two issues are poor queen mating (we can go weeks without the right weather in summer) and Varroa. Yes, chalkbrood is an issue but we just tolerate it and change queens when we can. Foulbroods (both of them) are an issue and cause local concern from time to time. We're watching carefully to see how the Asian hornet invasion will go but it seems possible that both it and small hive beetle may be a lesser problem in our climate. Occasional viruses too including CBPV.

    Don't let any of that put you off telling us about your problems and your beekeeping - we'd be really interested to hear! I'll be there at your talk in July more than likely. As long as I'm on top of my move to the heather and am not struggling to deal with the massive honey flow that month .

    In Scotland, as in Ireland, there's more of an ethos of using local bees than elsewhere. Some of us are taking that to the point of trying to ensure the survival of the native type, the dark European honey bee. There has been a lot of mixing with other types over the years and, in recent decades, less of an effort to improve what we have here already.

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