Due to a significant increase in business, Webster Honey has recruited an additional beekeeper to join its team.
Kevin Friel, from Strathmiglo, who has been a beekeeper for nearly six years, will join Beekeeper Meik Molitor in tending more than 250 Webster Honey hives all across Scotland.
Under its hive sponsorship scheme, the sustainable honey business now has hives situated at hotels, at schools and nurseries, nature reserves, country estates, fruit farms, and, most recently, at a distillery in Fife.
With its schools & nursery educational programme having experienced a particular surge in demand, due to many more educational establishments coming on board since pandemic restrictions ended, Webster Honey felt that the time was right to recruit an additional beekeeper.
Along with looking after hives at various locations, Webster Honey beekeepers are very “hands on” during the school educational programmes, engaging directly with the children and letting them lift out bee trays whilst wearing protective child sized bee suits.
Meik Molitor said: “We’d like to welcome Kevin to the Webster Honey team. He’s come on board at just the right time as approach a very busy summer season with more hives than ever before having been sponsored by businesses, individuals, groups and schools.”
“We’re hoping for a bumper honey crop as we had last year which was a very good year for bees,” added Meik.
“Our beekeepers have to be very good with people as well as good with bees – it’s not just schoolchildren that we engage with, many of the hotels and shopping centre we are now partnering are offering their customers the chance to take part in honeybee workshops which we host. Kevin has just the skills we need to put this across well, and most of all, he has a passion for bees,” finished Meik.
Kevin said: “I’m delighted to join Webster Honey officially, as I had helped Meik out with a few tasks during the pandemic when he had so many hives to tend all by himself. I was impressed with Webster Honey’s ethos, especially the fact that they feed all profits back into buying more hives. It‘s so important that we all try to save bees. I’m really enjoying it all, especially going into schools as children find learning about endlessly fascinating.”
Kevin first got into bees when he was a fly fisherman.
“I started studying aquatic flies, which I found amazing,” he said. “Then I got into bees and was hooked. It all went from there and I became a beekeeper. I’ve certainly always been into wildlife and wated to do a job connected with the outdoors.”
With plans underway to breed their own bees now, rather than buying in “packets” of bees from abroad, Meik and Kevin have been busy performing splits which is when existing colonies are separated to make new ones.
“We’ve only purchased a few packets this season”, said Meik, “most of our new colonies have been as a result of our own splits which is good.”
“We’ve been on a Queen Rearing Course, which is quite complex, but now we are a team we can certainly devote the time to it all.”
Further details on Webster Honey’s Hive sponsorship https://www.websterhoney.com/bees-and-your-business/
School Classes https://www.websterhoney.com/school-classes/
Bee Adoption https://www.websterhoney.com/adopt-a-bee/