The purpose of East Lothian Beekeepers Association is to support honeybees, beekeepers and to improve the standard of beekeeping in East Lothian. If you are thinking of keeping honeybees we always recommend to take advice, do your research and before you start, take a beekeeping course or taster day. This helps you and the bees!

Download this excellent article – The Basics of Beekeeping – written by members of Dunblane and Stirling Beekeepers’ Association

Do you have the time?
The keeping of even a few (3 or 4) stocks of bees demands roughly one afternoon a week during the active season from April to August. Bees given less attention than this will yield less well and may become a liability. In addition a fair amount of time will be required in August-September to process the honey crop. If heather honey is sought, more late season (August-October) work is involved. Bees satisfactorily bedded down for winter need very little attention from September to March

Have you thought about the costs?
A National beehive, a colony of bees, a smoker, a hive tool and a bee suit and gloves. Total cost approx £350 , you will spend more than double this with all other costs!

Do you have a place to keep your bees?
Traditional requirements for an apiary site are: open sunny location but with some shade; ready access to clean fresh water for the bees (within 200 metres or 200 yards); the presence of ample amounts (many hectares/acres) of suitable foraging plants within 2 km (1 mile)

Do you have liability insurance?
SBA, £40 per year, 1 years’s membership

Watch the videos on our advice pages from the SBA