The Croft at the bees.

In lieu of beekeeping on the croft, The Croft is beekeeping in the city with a couple of friends.

The project has a number of goals but broadly we’re looking to simply aid the survival + revival of the humble honeybee in Scotland.

We’re doing this in a number of ways. Firstly we’re championing the methods of Emile Warre.

Abbe Emile Warre developed the Warre hive over 50 years of research, culminating in what he liked to call “The People’s Hive” in the early 1950s after studying over 300 different hive designs. He focused on simplicity, ease of management and natural qualities including the building of natural comb.

He frowned upon the invasive practices used by most beekeepers and decided that it was better to manipulate the hive box by box only a couple times a year, rather than comb by comb every couple weeks making for a healthier, happier colony.

So we’re focussing on less intensive, more natural bee-keeping.

Secondly, we’re putting bees and hives back into the city, on rooftops, in gardens, on balconies, wasteground, urban gardens…anywhere that is safe and secure and within reach of flowers and water. From hotels and restaurants to schools and big businessness we’re finding new homes for honey bees.

Thirdly we’re getting people back into beekeeping. We’re building our own hives, breeding our own bees and providing a helping hand for anyone who is interested in keeping their own bees. We can supply hives, bees, equipment and advice to get you on your way. And if beekeeping is a step too far we’ll help you do it at a distance by allowing you to adopt a hive of your own. You’ll reap all the benefits of honey, beeswax and learning without any of the hardwork and help us and other beekeepers get on with the hands on stuff.

There is a bunch of other stuff going on (Education, wild flowers, honey products…) but that’s the basics!

We have a small apiary established in a garden outside Glasgow and are getting ready to start moving bees into the big city, a hive of which will soon be sitting on my balcony.

Lots more info and photos to come once the project launches in ernest next month, including our trip to Lewis to hand over two hives to crofters and members of the Western Isles Beekeeping Association…