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Biodiversity in Scotland

Bryden McKinnie

The initial idea of beekeeping was a community venture, and now after 3 years of looking after the bees, I feel I know enough to pass on knowledge and move forward with the social aspect. More importantly I have enjoyed beekeeping, as well as the interest that the wider public have.

Many of Jacobite’s aims are in line with the Scottish government’s strategy for the conservation and enhancement of biodiversity in Scotland with the 2020 Challenge for Scotland’s Biodiversity plan.

That is:

  • Connecting people with the natural world for their health and wellbeing and to involve them more in decisions about their environment (via apiary site visits & gardening)
  • Protect and restore biodiversity ( by increasing the number of bee colonies across East Lothian)
  • Maximise the benefits for Scotland of a diverse natural environment and the services it provides, contributing to sustainable economic growth (by improving bee health and plant diversity, educating people on how they can help )
  • Provide opportunities for everyone to experience and enjoy nature ( voluntary opportunities)
  • Increase access to nature within and close to schools, and support teachers in developing the role of outdoor learning across the Curriculum for Excellence (honey bee workshops )
  • Environmental volunteering is another important means of increasing physical activity and engagement with nature. (bee friendly gardening & training volunteers to be beekeepers)

Plans for 2015 & 2016

  • Meet the Bees (summer 2015) –  Get up close and personal with the bees safely inside a beekeeping suit and veil. You can watch as we do our weekly inspections. See bees inside the hive producing honey, watch pollen being brought in.  (bee suits provided with funding from xxx)
  • Volunteering opportunities (summer 2015) Would you like to learn about beekeeping or just like to help? Throughout the summer we do weekly inspections, tag along and we will teach you about the honey bee. Great opportunity to learn a new skill or even just to get out into the countryside on a sunny day! 
  • Free school visits (summer 2016)  –  supporting teachers with a fun educational workshop for primary school children. We bring equipment, training hives, bee suits to try on, and a safe observation hive allowing the children to see the bees at work
  • Help the bees (and other pollinators) – With our free advice and ebook we’ll show you how to plant a bee friendly garden
  • Help make East Lothian a bee ‘friendly’ county through education, planting programs. Did you know that many adults and children do not know the difference between bees and wasps!
    So what is the difference? check this site

What pressures are the bees and other pollinators under?

  • habitat loss
  • pests and diseases
  • extreme weather
  • competition from invasive species
  • climate change
  • use of some pesticides

What can you do now to help bees and other pollinators?

If you would like to volunteer and be part of the project do get in touch, would love to hear from you.