Peeblesshire Beekeepers Association


Mating Bumblebees

Just on my way into town the other day I noticed this pair of bumbleebees at the side of the road.

Mating Bumblebees

I’m pretty sure they are white tailed bumblebees. The male is at the back and he should have some yellow on his face that I think I can just about make out. I didn’t have my good camera with me so these are just snapped by the phone.

They looked locked together and weren’t really moving. My book says that “A pair of bumblebees may remain united for anything up to an hour or more ” (!). So I’m glad I didn’t stay to watch, although I did move them to the edge of the pavement so they didn’t get squished in the act.

A bit different to honeybee mating where it is over in an instant for the male…


Royal Highland Show 2017

There was success for PBKA beekeepers in the honey show classes at this years Royal Highland Show.


Jim Bell and Peter Stevenson both won prizes in this years competition.

(Peter selfishly only took photos of his own entries – sorry Jim!)

1st prize
Ling Heather Blend

2nd Prize
Honey Jar Label
(Must conform to sales regulations)

3rd Prize
Honey Lemon Curd

No Prize – but very tasty!
Honey date and walnut cake

Solitary Bees

PBKA was contacted about a “swarm” of bees in Rosetta Road Peebles last week.

Several members went to investigate and it was quickly obvious to experienced beekeepers that the bees were not honeybees – but what were they?

David Ferguson described the scene:-

There are probably about 50 to 100 of them hovering about over a section of garden wall 10 to 15 ft long, which is about 5 ft high to the pavement. I saw a couple going in and out of small holes but most were just generally buzzing about. Nearly all were carrying pollen. 

David also took some excellent photos which were forwarded to Buglife.
Jamie from Buglife gave this response:-

Masonry bees are very, very calm and safe to leave around so there is no risk to local residents or children if they’re let be. I’ve not known many people at all to ever be stung by them and those that have are entomologists who are handling them for identification purposes. They’re calm nature is why so many people put up solitary bee homes in gardens to attract them in. If you were unfortunate enough to be stung, it is meant to be far, far less painful or dangerous than that of honeybees.

I’d never say that they definitely won’t sting, but they’re very unlikely to do anything to any passers by at all and they don’t get defensive around their nest areas at all. I would always recommend them being left as they are. They’re window of activity is actually very narrow so it is quite likely that in another few weeks you won’t see them again until either a second brood later in the summer or until 2018, as all they’re doing is filling holes with individual eggs and furnishing them with pollen for food, then sealing them up and leaving them alone.

Buglife also identified the species

Andrena nigroaenea (Buffish mining bee)

Andrena nigroaenea (Buffish mining bee)

Andrena scotica (Chocolate mining bee)

Andrena scotica (Chocolate mining bee)