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Thread: Beekeeping on the Isle of Lewis

  1. #1

    Default Beekeeping on the Isle of Lewis

    Hi,

    We are thinking of moving to near Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis, and would like to try our hand at beekeeping; even if it appears to be quite challenging there.
    The most recent post I have been able to find relating to the Outer Hebrides is 2012, and I was just wondering whether there are still active beekeepers anywhere on Lewis or the other Isles?

    Hoping there is someone out there we can get advice from Ö

  2. #2

    Default

    Hi and welcome to the forum,

    Last I heard there was still a couple of beekeepers on Lewis or Harris but you've chosen one of the most challenging places to start the hobby. The most important piece of advice would be no matter what you do do not bring bees from the mainland over to the islands. Many of the islands are varroa (serious invasive pest of honeybees) free and bringing bees over from the mainland could be a complete disaster not only for the honeybees already present there but for rare native bees that live there like the great yellow bumble bee. In my opinion if there isn't already a beekeeper there who is willing to help you start up and provide local bees, then it's a non starter.

    Sorry if I've put a bit of a dampener on a potentially exciting move but the movement of bees is a really serious issue and the reason that pests such as varroa and small hive beetle are such serious risks.

    Thanks
    SB

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Orkney (it’s usually cool and windy but somehow the bees survive!)
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    269

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Silvbee View Post
    The most important piece of advice would be no matter what you do do not bring bees from the mainland over to the islands. Many of the islands are varroa (serious invasive pest of honeybees) free and bringing bees over from the mainland could be a complete disaster not only for the honeybees already present there but for rare native bees that live there like the great yellow bumble bee. In my opinion if there isn't already a beekeeper there who is willing to help you start up and provide local bees, then it's a non starter
    Thanks
    SB
    The same can be said for Orkney and Shetland.

  4. #4

    Default

    Hi,

    Thanks for that advice, the last thing I'd want would be to introduce a bee disease by accident.
    We are currently mulling over different potential projects for about 1.5 acres of land and beekeeping was just one option.

    If I can locate and contact beekeepers on the islands we may still pursue the idea, but failing that I think the land may just become a bee-friendly garden.
    At least the local wild species will benefit.

    Thanks again for all replies to my enquiry,

    Rik

  5. #5

    Default

    Hi sounds like a great idea and good luck with the project. The great yellow bumblebee on Lewis needs all the help it can get.

    SB

  6. #6

    Default

    It may not be that bad. You need to do more research first though. Ask around. Checkout local beekeepers & be prepared to have very little in the way of harvested honey.
    The size of your land has very little to do with beekeeping. You only need space for hives, the bees need the land and they donít care who owns it! Do a beekeeping course or even a one day Introduction to beekeeping - get yourself armed with knowledge of what you are letting yourself in for, how to manage & look after honey bees before you plunge. Try the SBA and SCF for courses.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  7. #7

    Default

    When I was in Lewis this summer I noticed beehives on the outskirts of Stornoway at the Laxdale end. They were in a sheltered meadow, surrounded by trees; not many places like that on Lewis!

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