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Beekeeping Courses Scotland

Beekeeping Programs on Colonsay, Scotland

Why don't you combine a weekend beekeeping program with a trip to one of Scotland’s many remote and beautiful countries. Programs tend to be taught at two levels:-

Beginners - to accommodate full newbies and people with a few background and who are perhaps beginning with their bees.

Intermediate – to suit people that have some knowledge but who want to enhance abilities.

The Beekeeper

Andrew Abrahams features kept bees commercially on Colonsay for over three decades and contains large connection with honey production and queen rearing. He holds the Scottish Beekeepers Association Master Beekeepers Certificate and has a BSc (Hons) Degree in Agriculture. He has training experience with both beekeeping and agriculture.

The Bees

Colonsay houses among Europe’s couple of communities of pure Ebony Bees (Apis mellifera mellifera) the UK’s local honey bee. (See posting on Colonsay Forum, Natural background 9th May 2010.) The bees tend to be managed for commercial honey manufacturing and queen rearing, but are additionally of special interest to honey-bee conservationists and researchers studying bee diseases. The 50-60 shares of Black Bees on Colonsay tend to be self sustaining. Years of choice have created a productive and gentle stress, effortlessly taken care of by program participants

The Apiaries

Apiaries of 8-10 colonies are spread around Colonsay. Beekeepers can experience internet sites that differ from sheltered woodland to exposed heather moor land.

Colonsay although little in size has an uniquely wide range of bee flora. There clearly was much to know about bee forage as well as the various kinds of nectar that comprise Colonsay's quality honey.

The Courses

All classes are limited by 8 members, permitting everybody else to obtain great accessibility the bees. Participants ought to handle the bees and to boost their specific concerns and problems. Teaching is dependent greatly from the idea that, we forget much of everything we read or notice; we keep in mind several of that which we see; and we also forget bit of everything we do.

If climate permits, all teaching is done when you look at the apiaries, using and mastering from bees. Much emphasis is positioned on mastering the way to handle bees gently.

The Courses and Information covered


· Where to hold bees and in which perhaps not
· Bee forage – pollen and nectar sources
· Hives and hive parts. Need for bee area
· fundamental bee biology. The queen, drones, employees and their different jobs
· beginning with a little colony – nucleus. Handling and hiving a nucleus
· Colony development and Swarming.
· Inspecting a colony, interested in queen cells, standard swarm control
· Honey manufacturing. Handling a small honey crop
· Feeding bees and over wintering
· Rules of honey bee diseases and their control


· Increasing colony numbers
· Making use of nucleus hives
· Swarm control and making boost
· Interpreting from outside without going inside
· discovering the ability of hive inspection
· Hive manipulations ….Pagden, Demaree, Snelgrove, Shaken Swarm etc.etc.
· Rules of Bee Breeding
· Methods of raising queen cells
· Using nuclei for queen mating
· creating and operating mini-nuclei (Apidea)
· managing queens and queen introduction
· honey-bee conditions and their particular control
· techniques to increase the honey crop
· Extracting and managing honey
· Cut comb manufacturing
· Presenting and offering honey

Course Dates for 2017

Sunday might 6th and seventh

Weekend might 20th and 21st

SNHBS Ebony Bee Weekend

Weekend June third and 4th

Intermediate/Queen Rearing

Weekend Summer seventeenth and 18th


Ferry to Colonsay leaves Oban at 16.30 on Friday night. Vacation time approximately 2.15hrs. Course individuals will likely to be fulfilled from ferry on Colonsay and transported for their accommodation. Transport around Colonsay on the week-end should be provided. The ferry on Sunday evening makes Colonsay at 19.00 and comes in Oban at 21.15 [Ferry times at the mercy of verification]


There is a wide range of accommodation available on the island. Training course participants typically would like to remain together on Backpackers, that provides very comfortable twin space accommodation and a self catering kitchen at £25/night (2015 price). For other Self catering or B&B regarding the island see the colonsay web site Additionally there is the option of the Colonsay resort


Participants can either bring and prepare all their own dishes, or exceptional fare could be had within Pantry or resort. Sunday lunch is provided in the program cost.

Defensive Garments

Because of possible threat of presenting bee conditions to Colonsay, all protective clothes will undoubtedly be offered. Please try not to bring anything of your own.

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