Katie of the Scottish Bee Company

The life of an apprentice bee farmer

Our Bee farming apprentice, Katie, shares the highs and lows of working with Bees!

My name is Katie and I am the Scottish Bee Company’s bee farming apprentice! I started working with SBC in March 2018. When I began this role I had no previous experience of working with honey bees. Prior to moving up to Scotland to begin my apprenticeship I had been working in Hertfordshire and London as a professional gardener.

While I didn’t have much insight into the world of honey bees, I did have experience with plants and had spent my days sharing my work space with plenty of little pollinators. The symbiotic relationship between bees and flowers was one of many reasons I was intrigued to enter the beekeeping world. Becoming a bee farming apprentice was an opportunity I couln’t pass up!

I’m now in my second season working with honey bees and finally feel ready to write about my experiences. When Suzie and I discussed writing some pieces to go online I was slightly apprehensive. There are many people in the world of beekeeping who have much more experience and knowledge than me and people have very different ideas on the right way to keep bees, thus putting your own thoughts and feelings out there can be quite a daunting prospect.

Katie the Scottish Bee Company beekeeping apprentice gardening

However, what I realised is that working with the bees is a constant learning process, every day is a school day! I expect my ideas and feelings about beekeeping to adapt and evolve and this is a good way for me to track that process whilst also giving anyone who reads this blog some insight into how SBC works with the bees and my own personal journey with them.

Ultimately, I believe that beekeeping is about working with the bees and my main aim as SBC’s Scottish bee farming apprentice is to make sure we try and have a ‘bee-centred’ approach. Part of our journey is figuring out exactly what this means and how we can achieve this.

Beehives in Scottish valley

I’ll be posting pieces on a regular basis on a range of topics – honey bees, wild bees and other pollinators, wildflowers, heather, varroa control and so on. And if there’s anything specific people are interested in hearing about in terms of what we are up to here at the Scottish Bee Company then please don’t hesitate to ask!


For more information about Beefarming Apprenticeships see:


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