There’s a buzz of activity at Newbattle Abbey College!

Newbattle Abbey College is preparing to help halt the decline of the honey bee by running a short course designed to educate local people about the ancient art of beekeeping.

Beekeeping for Beginners, which is set to start on May 6 and will run in the college’s own apiary for six weeks, will teach participants about the science of reproduction, the impact bees have on the environment, honey production and what beekeepers can do to help them survive. They will also learn how to carry out a hive inspection, how to harvest honey and help put together wax frames to prepare for next year’s harvest.

Norah Fitzcharles, a former Depute Principal of Newbattle Abbey College, will deliver the course. She said: “This course is aimed at people who either have an interest in bees or would like to become a beekeeper. Students don’t need any prior experience or equipment and will be given the opportunity to see inside an apiary.

“It’s really important that people realise how vital bees are to the human race and the environment and we hope to raise awareness of this through the course.”

Those who complete the course and develop an appetite for beekeeping will be eligible to progress onto a more comprehensive and practical, year-long course with the Newbattle Beekeepers Association. Whilst undertaking this course, they will be given a mentor who will help them gain practical experience by caring for their own hive.

The fee for the course if £60 (a £10 reduction is applicable to those over the age of 60) and it is set to run on Wednesday evenings. For further information, please contact the college on 0131 663 1921 or visit