A hive of interest in Borders bees

Wynne Harlen, Fred Mitchell and Anne Middleditch at the borders beekeeping event
Wynne Harlen, Fred Mitchell and Anne Middleditch at the borders beekeeping event

Diseases that are affecting our local honey bees was top of the agenda at a local beekeeper’s meeting this week.

Over 30 members of the Borders Beekeeping Association gathered at The Royal British Legion hall in Coldstream to hear local beekeeper Anne Middleditch talk about the different bee diseases and how they can be identified.

Anne also introduced members to the Scottish native black bee and its characteristics before the members got to work looking at bees using microscopes kindly provided by Esmond Roney from Longridge Towers School.

Local beekeeper, Norman Jarvis said: “It was the first time many of the members had used a microscope since childhood. They were fascinated by being able to get a closer look at the world of the honey bee.

“It’s really important that beekeepers have a good understanding of what affects bee health and what they can do to support our native bees.”

The group also studied pollen grains under the microscope and honeybee anatomy.

People were fascinated to find out how it was possible to study different races of bee by simply measuring differences in wing structure.

The Borders Beekeepers Association has turned out to be a real success story, with membership growing from a handful of stalwarts a few years ago to over 70 active beekeepers and new enquiries agnill the time. Incidents such as the sighting of the southern cuckoo bee at St Abbs in 2010, which has not been seen in Scotland for half a century, helping to reite interest.

For more information see www.borderbeekeepers.com