Scottish War Blinded veterans are buzzing about bees at the Linburn Centre

Posted: 26/02/2018 | Scottish War Blinded

Home sweet home for 30,000 bees as veterans lead the way with an exciting new project as bee keepers.

Over the last twelve months Centre Officer, Tim and his team of aspiring apiarists have been hard at work both building and caring for two bee hives at the Linburn Centre.

At the end of May in 2017 two “nucleus” hives arrived at the centre in Wilkieston, each containing one queen bee and approximately 15,000 worker bees.

“Ideally, we wanted to use local bees but in the end opted for some Italian Buckfast bees which have a great reputation for being more docile and, most importantly, good honey producers.” said Tim.

 

Prior to this, a number of eager Veterans had helped construct the two hives under the watchful eye of, Brian Pool, fellow bee enthusiast and mentor.

This week veterans John and Doug braved the cold to maintain the hives with Tim and Brian, checking on the food supply and laying down some new mite deterrent. The men were suited and booted in full protective clothing which John commented was “a little trickier to put on” than it looked.

Doug has had a keen interest in bee keeping from his youth, instilled into him by his father who kept bees, and so Doug was often outside helping to maintain them saying, "I'm glad to be involved with bees again, it takes me back."

 


This is John’s first time working with bees. John said he was really interested in the project after seeing other Veterans build the hive in the woodwork studio. John said: “As a kid me and my friends would go round trying to catch bees in jars to take a look at them but we didn’t ever see how they worked together. This is the first time I’ve been able to learn about how they work as a team and it’s fascinating. They’re always buzzing around.”

With the checks completed this week, it’s just a matter of waiting for summer when hopefully our veterans can add some new chambers they’ve made which will help to store more honey. With a bit of luck, some of this excess honey will then be harvested off for use at Linburn.

Tim has been overjoyed with the commitment from the members currently involved with the project.

“It’s been a great grassroots project, involving aspects of what our veteran’s already enjoy – for example making the hives at the woodwork studio – whilst developing a new hobby for bee keeping.”