The decision has been taken, by both of our committees, to hold an online course. Please note that, due to the Covid restrictions, this will be theory only and unless there is a drastic change to the rules by the Government there will not be any practical hands on tuition.
The purpose of the theory online course is to educate and make one realise that there is a lot of work involved with looking after honeybees. Honeybees are wild animals and it is important to learn how to handle them, when to open a colony and how to go about this properly. We will try to address these issues in the course but they are best explained and understood during practical sessions which unfortunately due to the Covid 19 restrictions we are unable to hold, at the moment. Not all honeybee colonies are good tempered and to open a hive with no experience can lead to all sorts of trouble. I have known inexperienced people get numerous stings because they do not know how to control and look after the colony. The colony is then abandoned and that leads to further trouble with neighbours and the public in general.
The country is not short of honeybees and a lot of the media publicity given to the shortage of bees relates to bumblebees and other solitary bees. In fact, in some areas there are too many honeybees, resulting in a shortage of forage for all pollinators, which can cause stress in the colony and that can lead to an ecological imbalance.
If you are concerned with the plight of bees the best thing to do is to plant lots of bee friendly plants and put up wild bee boxes. By providing nesting sites and forage you will encourage many more bees and other pollinators to your garden/area.
Having said all that beekeeping can be a fascinating hobby but one has to be dedicated and be prepared to learn. In fact one never stops learning about bees and beekeeping.
There will be a limited number of places on the course so it is important to register by 31st December, 2020. If the number of applicants exceeds the restricted number then their names will be entered on a waiting list.
Enid Brown. President of Fife Beekeepers Association and Dunfermline and West Fife Beekeepers Association.