This is just a quick, introductory blog to let you know of our latest venture, beekeeping!
Over the last few years we’ve had quite a few projects spinning like plates. Projects such as establishing Cuilidh self-catering, moving lock stock and barrel to Campbeltown, establishing Gowanlea Heights B&B, and so on. Now, we’re going to be beekeepers.
What started us off?
I’d like to say it was something altruistic but that would be a big fat lie. I think it would be a great addition for our guests and I also just love honey! I mean, just watch this video and tell me this doesn’t look great!
I’m not aware of any other B&B’s in the area that produce their own honey but I’d imagine there’ll be a few starting up soon now!
We’re not experts at this and the good news is that you don’t need to be. It’s important that we read and understand as much information on beekeeping as possible though, as to walk into this in complete ignorance could be a problem for us and the bees!
We want to contribute toward sustainability of the local bee population too. Recent years have been difficult with long springs and longer bouts of rain and wind that hinder pollen and nectar collection, just when hives are at their weakest and desperate for food after overwintering. So in addition, we’re going to plant a lot of bee friendly plants that can provide food in those early months.
We understand it’s important that we reach out to local beekeepers and local associations and it’s something we want to do. Unfortunately, the Kintyre and Mid-Argyll Beekeepers Association is currently dormant so we’re relying on our contacts who may know people and we’ve also tried contacting some people we think are beekeepers. With us being new to Campbeltown and the arrival of Covid-19 and being in lockdown, we’ve not had any great opportunity to network.
The story so far
It’s now that we need to start planning to keep bees.
Purchase of a nuc (nucleus) hive normally needs to be arranged in advance, around October(ish) for March(ish) delivery and installation.
The same can be said of beekeeping equipment. That needs to be ordered and prepared so that it is ready for the new colony.
But none of that can be done until the basics are in place. Neighbours giving the nod (in exchange for delicious honey!), security to protect the hives (including CCTV) and a frank look at whether we really want to commit to this.
Can we do this?
The answer, of course, is yes we think we can. The neighbours have given us the nod, we’ve registered at Beebase, joined the Scottish Native Honey Bee Society, joined the Scottish Beekeepers Association and we’re now preparing the site for hives.
As mentioned we’re also reaching out to local beekeeping associations and beekeepers, and look forward to collaborating.
And that’s the purpose of this blog. It’s going to be a bit like an aide memoir where I’m going to chart our journey and invite you along with us. If you want to get in touch, the site has plenty of options.