Oilseed rape and beekeeping

Gavin Ramsay

Talk: Saturday 18 February 2017 at 2.00-4.00pm
The Kinellar Community Hall, Fintray Road, Blackburn AB21 0JQ

Oilseed rape is perhaps the most obvious forage plant for honey bees and produces more honey  in the UK than any other. The crop has been at the centre of a number of controversies over the years. Is it safe, might it give me hay fever, will it contaminate my honey with GM pollen, do modern varieties still yield as well as the old ones, what is biodiesel rape all about, and, not least, are any pesticides used on it going to harm my bees? Most beekeepers in OSR areas end up relaxed about most of these issues and instead concentrate on how to manage their bees for a wonderful honey crop and how to handle that honey.  Those beekeepers with the most data on their beekeeping, the most to lose if things go wrong,  and the greatest experience tend to agree that oilseed rape is an excellent spring forage for their bees, sets them up well for the rest of the season, gives substantial honey crops in most years and poses no additional risk compared to any other spring forage.

Continue reading “Oilseed rape and beekeeping”

Varroa mites, honey bees and viruses – an intertwined relationship

Dr Ewan Campbell, University of Aberdeen

Talk: Saturday 21 January 2017 at 2.00pm
The Kinellar Community Hall, Fintray Road, Blackburn AB21 0SS

As beekeepers you will be aware that global apiculture is currently facing a deep crisis, characterized by increasing parasite and pathogen pressure, exposure to a cocktail of agrochemical products and a rapid loss of biodiversity. Not to say that the “beemageddon” as shouted about in the press is true, but our bees are under severe pressure from many different sources!

Continue reading “Varroa mites, honey bees and viruses – an intertwined relationship”

Learn about Beekeeping


To be held at Aberdeen Grammar School Skene St, Aberdeen AB10 1HT.


  • 16 February: The biology of the bee
  • 23 February: The beehive
  • 02 March: What do I need to keep bees?
  • 09 March: The products of the hive
  • 16 March: Help! There’s something wrong with my bees!
  • 23 March: The beekeeping year

Starting each evening at 7.30pm, the six-week programme will cost just £15, payable on the first evening of attendance.

The programme is ideal for those thinking about starting out beekeeping, but would also be of interest to novices preparing to take the next step, or even experienced beekeepers wishing to update their knowledge.

It is our intention to offer attendees the opportunity to take part in hands-on beekeeping sessions at our Crathes apiary on the conclusion of the programme.

No need to book.  Just turn up.

SBA Lecture Tour

Reading Bees

Dan Basterfield

Friday 7 October 2016 at 7pm
Kinellar Community Hall
Blackburn AB21 0SS

Don’t miss the visit by this year’s SBA Touring Lecturer, Daniel Basterfield, NDB.  Daniel grew up with beekeeping around him, earning pocket money by clipping and marking queens. Having spent 15 years working in large companies, he returned to the family beekeeping business in Devon, expanding the business and building a brand new Honey Farm. He is a member of the Bee Farmers Association, holds the National Diploma in Beekeeping, and is a BBKA Master Beekeeper and Examiner. He runs 120-140 double-brood Modified Commercial hives, migrating between various farm crops in East Devon, and raises queens for prolific, productive and healthy qualities. Outside of the beekeeping season, Daniel undertakes teaching for the BBKA and NDB, for which he has developed a number of training courses.

For more information about the SBA lecture tour, click here.

SBA Tartan Weekend and Beekeeping Convention

SBA Beekeeping Convention will be held in Elgin this year on 9-11 September.  This is an excellent opportunity for us in Aberdeenshire to attend this year’s convention which will have  international international speakers, fantastic workshops, trade exhibits and great entertainment across the whole weekend. Continue reading “SBA Tartan Weekend and Beekeeping Convention”

Clive de Bruyn and Steve Sunderland study day

ADBKA is hosting a study day on Saturday 27 August (9:30am to 4:30pm) at Kinellar Community Hall, Blackburn, AB21 0SS.

Clive de Bruyn will talk about what hobbyist beekeepers can learn from professional and commercial beekeepers and beekeeping in the Caribbean.

Steve Sunderland will give us updates on current issues affecting beekeepers in Scotland.

Booking is essential as places are limited.  Please send a £10 fee as a cheque made payable to ADBKA, or as cash, to Rosie Crighton, 29 Marcus Crescent, Blackburn Aberdeen, AB21 0SZ, with name, address any special dietary requirements and SAE for return of tickets.  The fee  includes refreshments and light lunch and delegate pack.

[This ADBKA event is also listed in the Diary.]

BIBBA Conference 2016

BIBBA Conference 2016 will be held on 20-22 September on the Isle of Man.

Three full days of quality international speakers with lectures on many aspects of beekeeping: from beginner to expert there will be excellent content for all of us to improve our beekeeping.  Disease occurrence and spread and future threats to our bees are high profile; now is the time to focus on breeding from the best, locally, for less defensive, robust stocks of honey bees.

Where better than a conference with like-minded beekeepers?  Speaker profiles, lecture content summaries and booking are all now available online, links below.  Please take a look and whatever you do don’t miss the Early Bee prices, available now. Large choice of accommodation, conference dinner, lots to see, so why not extend your visit?  See you there!

“This weekend’s conference was excellent and more than met expectations – I hope this sets the standard for future UK beekeeping events and look forward to the next one!” ~ Delegate feedback Llangollen 2014.

Direct interactive links

Website with full details

Trisha Marlow, Publicity Officer, BIBBA

[Randy Oliver (photo above), known to many through his Scientific Beekeeping website, will be talking each day.]