Suzie Millar of The Scottish Bee Company

Most days as a bee farming apprentice I work in the great outdoors but recently I was asked to be part of an interview that the Scottish Bee Company were doing on BBC Radio Scotland with John Beattie.

Oh my goodness! This was definitely not in my comfort zone. The fact that it was a pre-record helped a little but even so arghhhh! It was with some trepidation that I headed off to Edinburgh.


In fact, it was fine and some of you may have heard it. For those who didn’t it took on an unexpected ‘beeing’ feminist angle. Little did I know I would have a chance to counter the image propagated in the Bee Movie. While this is an entertaining film you could come away with the definite impression that all the key players in a hive are male – wrong!

In actual fact, as I told John Beattie all the worker bees in a hive are female. They feed the brood, protect the queen, secrete wax and build comb, guard the entrance of the hive and forage. Meanwhile the males, called drones, exist purely to mate with a queen. While this is undoubtedly crucial it is only a small part of all the critical work in sustaining a colony.

Suzie and Katie from The Scottish Bee Company

I was pleased that John Beattie seemed to understand the need to big up the females. Maybe the rest of society needs to learn a bit more from a colony of bees. And I survived my first experience of radio!


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