The FBA and DWFBA encourage any beekeepers to think about taking the Basic Beekeeping Certificate. The entry requirements for taking the certificate is to attend a Beginners Class and look after a colony of bees for at least one season. The examination is a practical / oral “over the hive” assessment and has 3 pass grades: Pass (60%), Credit (70%) and Distinction (80%).
It is a really worthwhile way to ensure you have all of the necessary skills and knowledge to help you become a really proficient beekeeper.
Information about the certificate can be found on the SBA website. Please do think about taking the examination, you might surprise yourself and get a distinction!
Here are some beekeepers taking their exam in Summer 2021
The continuing Covid 19 restrictions are making it very difficult for us all to meet at a local apiary to get some hands on experience of beekeeping. With this in mind we thought you would enjoy a little beekeeping quiz to see if you can identify some features of a hive. The photographs and quiz where made for the children at St Leonard’s School apiary by an FBA member, Jo Goodburn
Which part of the hive can you see here?
How many frames do you think the bees are living on based on this photograph?
What can you tell about the outside frames?
How many varroa can you see?
What else can you spot?
Which part of the hive are these bees on?
What would you be able to tell about this hive if you opened it and saw this?
What might you be thinking about as options to do for the following weeks?
This photograph is from the same hive, which part of the hive are we looking at?
Seeing this photograph, how would you change your answer to the third part of the photograph 2 question?
What are these bees doing, what type of comb have they made?
There were a large number of varroa present in the hive in the autumn, which we treated. Looking at this photograph would you say the bees were healthy?
I did a quick feed check on all hives in between Christmas and New Year. It was good to see that in most hives the bees were quite far down, which is good. I placed a block of fondant directly on top of the brood frames as a safety precaution. The end of January into February and March is the crucial time. The queen will gradually increase her laying and more food will be consumed to increase the temperature in the hive. This is often the time of year when colonies starve. This whole operation took less than 1 minute. It is important to be quick and not let the bees chill.
As lockdown eased, a team of beekeepers (Enid Brown, Margaret Thomas and Jo Ramsay) removed a massive colony of bees from a cavity at a dwelling in Lethangie. A stethoscope was used to locate the exact position of the bees. A handheld circular saw and a hive tool helped to remove the plasterboard so that the bees and comb could be reached. The bee comb was placed into a nuc box, the bees were hoovered up and all of the comb was removed … a very sticky job. The bees are now doing well in their new location.
Just before lockdown in March this year, several of our members attended the SBA wax workshop in Newburgh. As you can see from the photos, they all had a great day making foundation, moulded candles, wax flowers, fruit and vegetables.
Even though lockdown has made it difficult to learn about bee keeping this hasn’t stopped the children of St Leonards School, St Andrews from using MS Teams to watch one of our association beekeepers installing a nuc in the school apiary. While FBA beekeeper Jo Goodburn handled the bees the P6 school teacher gave a commentary in the classroom as the children watched via a live feed.
The Dunfermline and Fife beekeepers attended the annual Kinross Agricultural Show on Saturday 13th August 2016. We arrived on the Friday morning to set up our marquee but were met by strong and blustery winds which made it impossible to set up the stall and safely leave it overnight. However, the forecast for show-day was good and we were not disappointed when we returned early on the Saturday morning. Our dedicated team under Enid’s direction soon set to and we had everything in place with 2 well stocked observation hives. The show was a great success with many visitors to our stall. We were kept busy all day answering enquiries and explaining the work of the Fife and West Fife associations. The 2 observation hives attracted a lot of interest and a model comb set up as a jigsaw with parts to represent what is seen on the comb was a favourite with visiting children and their parents. At the end of the show we were delighted to be presented with a certificate and bottle of wine for the ‘best small trade stand’ exhibit.
Thanks to Enid for supplying all the materials and observation hives and to our helpers Liz, Sheila, John, Jeff, Janice, Kay and Bob. ……………..