Bee enthusiasts in Fife unveil location of new hive

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The St Andrew's University Bee Society is proud to announce its new hive located in the gardens of the St Andrews Preservation Trust Museum.

The beekeeping society founded by Zak Gainey and Fiona Lock at the University of St Andrews has received remarkable support from both the institution and the student body.

With a deep love for the environment, Zak and Fiona established a student society called BeeSoc, which has now attracted 60 passionate bee enthusiasts in the town.

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Their focus is on the significance of bees and their vital role in the ecosystem, recognizing that bees are not just limited to the town of St Andrews but have far-reaching importance.

Checking up on the honey making qualities of the hiveChecking up on the honey making qualities of the hive
Checking up on the honey making qualities of the hive

A newly affiliated society for the academic year 2022-23, the members and committee say they discover something new every hive inspection. A process that allows them to monitor various aspects of the bees' progress, including the queen's egg-laying activities, known as "brood," and the production of honey.

Beekeeping requires expertise and a suitable temperament, as poor beekeeping practices can pose a threat to their well-being. The BeeSoc say they cannot overemphasise the importance of carefully evaluating one's readiness for beekeeping before acquiring equipment or bees.

Nevertheless, the St Andrews Bee Society has successfully captured the attention and enthusiasm of students on campus.

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Zak is pleasantly surprised by the society's popularity and highlights the unique experience it offers. Unlike competitive sports teams, the bee society provides a tranquil and nature-connected environment, offering students the opportunity to appreciate and connect with nature.

The University of St Andrews has provided significant support to the beekeeping society, with their shared passion for the environment facilitating in the creation of BeeSoc, a now thriving student community at St Andrews. BeeSoc's efforts focus on raising awareness about the importance of bees, encouraging students to appreciate and protect these vital pollinators.

To keep up to date with St Andrews BeeSoc, follow them on instagram: @stabeesoc.

Interesting bee facts:

Almost 90% of wild plants and 75% of leading global crops depend on animal pollination. One out of every three mouthfuls of our food depends on pollinators such as bees. Crops that depend on pollination are five times more valuable than those that do not.

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Social bees, such as honeybees and bumblebees, often live in hives or nests, above or below the ground, while most solitary bees nest in the ground. Bees can be found in so many locations, some surprising. These include marshes, shingle, and sand dunes.

If you find a bumblebee which appears to be struggling, it may just be resting, particularly if it’s a queen in early spring.The best thing to do is gently put the bee onto a bee-friendly flower.

If there are no flowers around, mix 50/50 white sugar and water to give the bumblebee a one-off energy boost, to help it fly.

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