Apiary Visits

Meet the Bees – Apiary visit

What’s an apiary?
An apiary is a place where beehives are kept.

Visit our training apiary in Cockenzie and learn about the life of the honey bee.
Watch the bees bring in pollen, close up! See inside the hive and watch the bees at work.
Your visit starts in Cockenzie House viewing the make-up of a bee hive and every-day beekeeping tools and after suiting up and a quick safety briefing we will make our way to the bees.
Plenty of time for questions and an opportunity to handle some bees.

Protective clothing provided.
Recommended age, 8 upwards
Adults: £10
Children: free of charge.
Numbers: maximum of 4 people (max 2 children if young)
Dates: Dry weather, May to September
Protective overalls &  gloves provided
Please bring Wellingtons or boots and wear long trousers and long sleeved tops
Length of visit: 60 to 90mins
Anyone who has a known allergy to bee stings cannot be allowed into the apiary.

To enquire about a visit please fill out the form below

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What do I need to wear when visiting the apiary?
You do not need to buy any specific clothing when visiting the apiary as we have a small supply of protective equipment (suits, hoods and gloves) we can loan you during your visit. (we’ll check we have your size!)
Ideally wear Wellington boots, other types of boot or stout walking shoes and clothing appropriate to the weather expected. Bees are very sensitive to smell so it is advisable not to wear strong perfumes, aftershaves etc.

What happens at the apiary?
You will be escorted at all times by an experienced bee keeper and briefed at the beginning of your visit. In order to ensure the health and safety of yourself and others it is essential to follow the advice you are given. Bees are very sensitive to changes in their environment and inappropriate behaviour around them may create risks to persons.
Many bees will be flying about but remember that you are wearing a protective suit. If you find that you are disturbed by the bees’ behaviour then simply walk away from the hives and wait for one of the instructors to join you. Anyone behaving inappropriately will be asked to leave the apiary.

Please make us aware of any pre-existing medical conditions that may affect your safety while visiting the apiary.

What happens if I am stung?
First the likelihood of being stung is very low as you will be wearing protective clothing and wont be picking up hive parts.
When a honey bee stings someone, the sting, venom sac and venom pump are left in the skin after the bee pulls away. Most of the venom will be injected in the first 20 seconds but the pump can continue for up to two minutes. It is important to get the sting out fast to minimize the dose of venom.

If you are stung let the bee keeper know and they will remove the stinger as soon as possible.or you can do this by simply scraping the sting off your skin with a hard edge, . For the majority of people the effects of being stung are no more than a small amount of swelling, irritation and pain. There are some exceptions to this if you are stung in the mouth or throat, or have an allergy. People, who have had severe allergic reactions to insect stings in the past, will probably have a similar or worse reaction if stung again.
It is therefore vital that you inform us before visiting if you have an allergy to bee or other insect stings. Some susceptible individuals can go into anaphylactic shock when stung by bees and this can have serious and potentially fatal consequences.