17 September 2023Spreading the word.

Our President has provided us with this photo of her rather unsuccessful attendance at an eco-congregation coffee yesterday morning at Crown Church, Inverness where she tried to promote bee welfare and the association. Poorly attended but a few interested souls who I'm sure were impressed with the display. Thank you.

15 September 2023Latest from Ann Chilcott - Beelistener well worth a read.

Her blog centres on, amongst other things, "Why do queens fail?."

08 September 2023A HACCP document relating to the production of honey for retail sale is available in "Useful advice"

08 September 2023Bee diseases and parasites page up dated for notes on AFB and EFB.

The "Bee diseases & parasites >> page has been updated. In the pull-down menu links have been added to the section on EFB and AFB to the information provided by Lorraine Johnston on 30/8/2023.

08 September 2023How to do a disease inspection and meeting presentation.

This link will take you to the document prepared by Lorraine Johnston, SRUC.

Hopefully this link will take you to the presentation she delivered to our last meeting. It is at the extreme limit of what I am allowed to store and so it appears to be slowing down my computer. Best of luck!

25 August 2023Honey Show classes - amendment

Due to popular demand an extra class has been added "2 identical candles". Some adjustments have been made regarding the Novice classes. The revised sheet is available on line and can be found here

21 August 2023Bees on Holyrood Parliament roof

Thanks to Arthur for pointing out this story

19 August 2023Winter 2023 preparation check-list

Advice from the Secretary.

Hi Everyone,
I realise that this winter prep checklist could be 'teaching my granny to suck eggs' and that some of you have been getting bees through winters for 50+ years. However not everybody has so here it is.

Strong, healthy colonies with younger queens & plenty of stores survive best.

Here are some things to think about...

1.      Time to collect the late summer crop, (maybe not this year)! Normally honey is ready for harvest when 75% or more of a frame is capped. Use a refractor if you are not sure or leave it for the bees. ‘Wet’ extracted supers can be given back to a (ideally the same) colony to remove the last of the honey. Store empty super frames in a way to avoid wax moths, consider sterilising with 80% acetic acid.

2.      Ensure adequate stores of honey or feed. Around 20kg of stores is recommended per colony. This year some are finding colonies in need of summer feeding due to poor weather. Sugar syrup is suitable for autumn (feed in the evening) prior to the first frosts (2kg sugar to 1 litre of water) and fondant for winter. Ambrosia fondant or Fondabee are popular winter choices, often fed around Christmas when stores are low.

3.      Consider uniting weak colonies, having checked thoroughly for signs of queenlessness, disease or pests.

4.      Robbing - Consider entrance blocks if robbing by wasps or bees is an issue. If you use a wasp trap, this should be sited well away from your colonies.

5.      Monitoring Varroa - A varroa count will give an indication of the level of any infestation. An average drop of above 10 mites per day probably requires treatment.

6.      Treat for Varroa if needed. Remove any honey supers before treatment. If you decide that levels do not merit a chemical treatment in August, you can still do an oxalic treatment in winter when the bees are clustered and there is very little brood. All chemical treatments should be recorded and records kept for 5 years – sample form on the website veterinarymedicineadministrationrecord.pdf (dingwallbeekeepers.org)

7.      Remove the queen excluder once you have removed the honey. The bees can suffer from isolation starvation if the cluster (with the queen) cannot move into the stores.

8.      Remove the strips if you have used an autumn varroa treatment such as Apivar.

9.      Consider putting the super of stores below the brood box (nadiring) or above.

10.    Make sure you are on a small entrance setting and add mouse guards.

11.    Consider insulating the hive, depending upon the hive you have. Lots of options and opinions on this.

12.    Strap down well!

Kind regards,


15 August 2023Black Isle Food festival.

The Association has a table at the Black Isle Food Festival in Findon Hall in Culbokie on September 23rd to allow members to sell their honey to the public and hopefully to allow us to chat to folk and raise awareness of local honey and bees. If you think you would like to sell honey at this event, can you let me know? You don't have to attend if you don't want to (you would be very welcome to) and you can set your price for your honey. I will have a spreadsheet set up with everybody's name, number of jars,/cut comb and prices and record every sale on it. So please let me know if you would like to sell your honey and roughly how much of it and also if you would want to help on the stand. I attach the poster for the event which is being opened by Kate Forbes MSP!

As Angie would say "Remember to keep some honey for the Honey Show!"

Kind regards, Barbara

10 August 2023Veterinary medicine administration record.

The Secretary has provided the following document for inclusion in the Library, which can be accessed from here

10 August 2023Donation to Bees for Development

We have received acknowledgement of our donation to Bees for Development with the following;

Dear Angie, We have safely received your kind donation of £28.80, collected at the Black Isle Show, to Bees for Development’s ‘Motorbikes for the Queens of Bees’ Campaign. May we send our sincere thanks to you and all at Dingwall and District Beekeepers for your support, this enables us to make even more people’s lives better through beekeeping. 

This project in Ghana is focussed on training women beekeepers as Extension Agents. They will take their newly acquired skills and train more beekeepers in remote areas, using sustainable beekeeping to create an income through honey and beeswax sales. Our trainees, Rejoice, Clara and Florence, will benefit hugely from having motorbikes to cover long distances over rough terrain to support their beekeepers. Follow their progress here http://www.beesfordevelopment.org/motorbikes.pg

Thank you so much for your generosity and ongoing support, from all of us at Bees for Development.

Kind regards, Rachael

08 August 2023Photographs of the award winning entry to the Black Isle Show now available.

A selection of photos are available on the Gallery page.

04 August 2023Latest Useful Advice page.

The "Useful Advice" page has been updated to bring the three most important pieces of advice for this time of the year to the top of the list. A trifle early for preparing for winter but not so for the Honey Show advice. We were hoping to make this the subject of the September indoor meeting but our plans have fallen through, so this Powerpoint presentation is the next best offer.

02 August 2023Thoughts on bought-in nuclei.

Pam, with help from Arthur, Barbara and Angie has put together a document on advice regarding bought-in nuclei. It can be accessed here

30 July 2023Photos of the apiary meeting at Ardullie Lodge now available in Gallery.

25 July 2023Lorraine Johnston talk to Easter Ross Beekeepers' Association

Easter Ross Beekeepers Association would  be delighted if any of your members could come to a talk to be given by Lorraine Johnston on the topics  -

Improving performance using Nucs;

Bee paralysis;

Preparations for Winter and Spring:

The talk will take place at the Mercat Centre, Milton a couple of miles south of Tain IV18 0PX at 7.00pm.

Lorraine as you are probably aware is Bee Advisor to the SRUC and Chair of the South Scotland Beekeepers Association. She has offered to speak on several subjects which will be of interest to beekeepers young and not so young. We do hope that some of your group will manage to attend.

Kind regards,

Judi Sutherland (Secretary ERBA)


15 July 2023Publicity leaflet - July 2023

We have updated our 2-fold publicity leaflet in time for the Black Isle Show. It can be accessed here

10 July 2023Photographs, courtesy of our President, of the Queen rearing course in top menu.

27 June 2023Bees for sale.

See [MEMBERS ONLY] page for details.

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