Having realised that beekeeping required a reasonable degree of knowledge on the diseases that could affect bees, I was luck enough to attend a Honey Bee Health Day, hosted by East Lothian Beekeepers Association and run by the Bee Health Team of the Scottish Government Animal Health and Welfare Division.
The day course was incredibly informative. We had a lecture from Graeme Sharp of SRUC on a variety of subjects including bee management, pest man
agement and hive and apiary hygiene.
We met the Lead Bee Inspector for the Scottish Government and his team. Having heard about ‘Government Bee Inspectors’ who can request to inspect your hives, it was a delight to meet them and to realise that they are the beekeepers friend and are there to assist and advise.
We visited the East Lothian Beekeepers Association apiary and saw first hand how a Bee Inspector would inspect a hive and what they are looking for.
And finally, the most exciting part, we donned protective lab coats and, thanks to Fiona Highet from SASA, we learnt how to identify brood diseases by looking at frames with diseases such as AFB, EFB, Chalk Brood, Chilled brood and Varroa.
It was also a great chance to meet local beekeepers, swap contact details and to let established beekeepers know I was looking for bees!
So having attended two evening courses, various apiary sites and a Honey Bee Health Day, when was I going to get some bees????