News and Announcements

Newbattle Weather - 28 December - 11 January 2018

Posted by Malcolm Evans, Thursday, 28th December 2017 @ 10:14pm

The Transformation Continues

Posted by Malcolm Evans, Thursday, 21st December 2017 @ 8:44pm

  • The task of painting the building has started. Before the first paint can be applied the task of washing down the walls and ceiling needs to be completed and this task is underway. Once complete painting will begin. The colour scheme is green and putty white. These colours were chosen in an effort to maintain the character of the building.

    Colin washing down the ceiling in preparation for painting 

The Electrics Are In

Posted by Malcolm Evans, Monday, 18th December 2017 @ 8:53am

  • The electrical contractor worked over the weekend to install an electrical supply to the building. Their first task was to strip out the existing wiring and replace it with an installation that would meet current regulations. 

    Fitting the socket outlets in the microscope area

    Fitting the light switches

    The work was completed over the weekend and all that remains is to fit the lampshades. In a desire to retain some period features in the building the original shades will be spruced up and reused.


Planning Meeting to Plan Work Schedule for Next Week

Posted by Malcolm Evans, Saturday, 16th December 2017 @ 8:33pm

  • Friday saw the Bee Academy Project planning team meet at Newbattle on Friday morning to review the progress made during the week and to plan the work for the coming week. Alex will work over the weekend on plumbing tasks and the electrician will make a start on the electrical work.

    Malcolm, Myriam, Martin, David and Andrew the joiner the Friday planning meeting 

    Sunday will give members an opportunity to make a further contribution to the practical tasks when painting gets underway. The project management team are keen to use a vintage colour scheme in keeping with the heritage of the building.

    Keep an eye out for the next update when it is hoped the electrical work will be completed and the lights will be switched on.  

Newbattle Weather - 15 to 29 December 2017

Posted by Malcolm Evans, Friday, 15th December 2017 @ 6:55am

Refurbishment Work on the Bee Academy Powers Ahead

Posted by Malcolm Evans, Tuesday, 12th December 2017 @ 8:31pm

  • Project Manager, Martin Vevers reports significant progress on both the interior and exterior refurbishment of the Bee Academy building. The windows have been glazed and some of the window security grills have been fitted. The entrance security screen is also in place.

                                        Newly glazed window

      Window security grill

       Entrance security screen

    An internal partition has been constructed making for a more flexible use of the building. Work will start soon on fitting out the kitchen area and laying the new floor surface. Plumbing work started last weekend will resume again on Saturday and work on the electrics will get underway soon.

    View of partition wall

Members Turn Out to Work on Refurbishment of the Bee Academy Building

Posted by Malcolm Evans, Saturday, 9th December 2017 @ 6:08pm

  • There was an excellent turnout of members throughout the day to work on the building refurbishment. The main tasks undertaken were the treatment of the exterior timber cladding, washing down the interior walls in preparation for painting, work on fitting pipes for the water supply and fitting pipework for the toilet. In addition a general clean and tidy of the working areas was undertaken. 

    The weather was dry and the sun was out but it was cold so the homemade soup made by Kimberly & Jubin was very welcome during the lunchtime break.

    Significant progress was made throughout the day and what was thought to be two days of work was achieved in one.

    A job well done - Members of the Saturday Work-party 


Helen & Garrick visit the Flow Apiary in Australia

Posted by Malcolm Evans, Friday, 8th December 2017 @ 2:57pm

  • Helen & Garrick took time out during their visit to Australia 

    to visit the Flow Apiary. Seen here with Alice, the Flow Beekeeping

    Support Manager

    No doubt they will be able to tell us all about their visit when they return home. An agenda item for a monthly meeting in early 2018 maybe?


Varroa are Werewolves rather than Vampires - according to Samuel Ramsey of Maryland University

Posted by Malcolm Evans, Saturday, 2nd December 2017 @ 10:25pm

  • Samuel is a student in Dennis vanEngelsdorp's Bee Lab at the University of Maryland. He has studied varroa for his PhD thesis and has prepared a 3 minute video that is available to view on YouTube.

    in his presentation he suggests that varroa feed off the fat of bees rather than their haemolymph (blood) 

Newbattle Weather - 02 December to 16 December 2017

Posted by Malcolm Evans, Saturday, 2nd December 2017 @ 10:09pm

Work on the Bee Academy Starts in Earnest

Posted by Malcolm Evans, Wednesday, 29th November 2017 @ 4:34pm

  • The replacement external cladding and insulation material are now on site and work commenced on Monday of this week to remove the old, and in places rotting external wood cladding. With this work complete the task of insulating the building started and this work is now advanced as can be seen from the photographs below. The next job is to replace the external cladding with all new material. Watch this space for updates and photographs as the work progresses.

    Insulation material is placed between the inner and outer walls 

    Ready for the new external timber cladding

Tickets Now Available for - Our Bees Need You Draw - In Aid of the Bee Academy

Posted by Malcolm Evans, Sunday, 26th November 2017 @ 8:44pm

  • The tickets for the Our Bees Need You Draw are now available to purchase. The first sales were made at the Newbattle Abbey College Christmas Fair on Saturday 25 November. 130 tickets were sold during the day. Members also collected books of tickets to sell. Tickets are still available from Myriam and she has kindly agreed to post them to those willing to sell them on behalf of the Our Bees Need You - Newbattle Bee Academy fund-raising campaign. If you have not already requested or taken tickets please get in touch with Myriam. The Draw will take place at Newbattle on Saturday 6 January 2018.

    We printed one thousand tickets. Please do what you can to sell as many of these as possible.

    Take a look at the prizes on offer, all of which have been donated.

    Detail from the Blanket

    Handmade Lap Blanket designed to resemble a Brood Frame complete with Bees

    three bottles from the case of wine

    A case of Wine that includes medal winning wine

     A Gift Voucher to the value of £25 to be used at Harrisons of Peebles

    Handmade Silver Chain Pendant with Fresh Water Pearl Detail

    A Gift Voucher to the value of £30 to be used at Shear Magic Hairdressing, Dalkeith

    A typical Bedroom at the Bruntsfield

    Voucher for One Night Dinner, Bed & Breakfast for Two

    @ Best Western Plus, Bruntsfield Hotel, Edinburgh


    Additional Prizes 




Newbattle Weather - 17 November to 01 December 2017

Posted by Malcolm Evans, Friday, 17th November 2017 @ 6:52pm

Newbattle Abbey College Celebrates 80th Anniversary with Reception at the Scottish Parliament

Posted by Malcolm Evans, Wednesday, 15th November 2017 @ 9:46pm

  • Joyce, Peter, Helen and Myriam were invited to, and attended a reception at the Scottish Parliament to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the establishment of Newbattle Abbey College. 

    Peter, Joyce, Myriam and Helen at the Scottish Parliament Reception 

    Marian Docherty - Vice Principal, Ann Southwood - Principal & Joyce Clark - Newbattle Abbey College

    Principal Ann Southwood is retiring and it was announced at the reception that Marian Docherty, Vice Principal will succeed Ann as Principal. Joyce, Myriam, Helen and Peter  congratulated Marian on behalf of the Association.

Bee Academy Hut Made Ready for Refurbishment Work to Begin

Posted by Malcolm Evans, Thursday, 9th November 2017 @ 3:31pm

  • A work party of members assembled on Sunday morning to clear the WW2 hut of the materials that had been stored there over a number of years.

    Outside the front door - the place to sort the good from the bad

    The weather was kind and it was a bright and sunny day, if a little on the cold side. But no worries, as everyone there was keen to get stuck in to the task at hand.

    Mark & Ewan loading discarded items into the nearby skip

    The work party worked like bees and the hut was cleared and the skip loaded in a little over two hours. Some of the items were retained for future use. Things that were kept included pieces of timber that will be used in the refurbishment work, chairs that are always in short supply and  one or two pieces of furniture that will come in useful and save us money when we come to think about furnishing the hut.

    An internal view of the cleared hut  

    It is possible that the hut was used as barracks to house soldiers that were stationed at Newbattle during and for a short time after WW2. The evidence for this are numbers painted on the walls above the green lower part of the wall down both side walls of the hut. The spacing between the numbers is right for the space between beds.

    Martin has lost no time in getting the work started to refurbish the hut and plans are in hand to commence with the work at the earliest opportunity. Peter was around to video record the clear out work and the footage he took will become part of a video diary to capture key moments in the progress towards the establishment of the Newbattle Bee Academy.  

Newbattle Weather 03 - 17 November

Posted by Malcolm Evans, Friday, 3rd November 2017 @ 8:16pm

Bee Base - The Hive Count 2017

Posted by Helen Nelson, Thursday, 2nd November 2017 @ 9:26am

  • If you have your own hives and are registered with Bee Base you will have received the below email. If you have not registered your hives we recommend you do so and complete the 2017 survey.

    Animal and Plant Health Agency APHA via 

    10:06 AM (23 hours ago)

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    The Hive Count 2017
    Dear Beekeeper
    It is again time to update your BeeBase records with the total number of overwintering hives as of 1st November 2017.
    To complete this year’s hive count please click the link below which will take you to BeeBase. Once logged in, please answer the hive count questions displayed and then click the ‘Submit response’ button. It is as simple as that! Please update your records by 31st December 2017.
    Please click this link to update your Hive Count.
    ( )
    More details of this project, its importance and why we need your help can be found on BeeBase [ ]
    Last year’s count indicated a total UK population of honey bee hives at approximately 223,000. Please note that several assumptions formed part of the calculations used to get derive this number. It is therefore classed as an ‘experimental statistic’. 
    If you have any security concerns about clicking on the embedded links in this email, you can access BeeBase directly from your Internet browser to complete the hive count. Simply log in to BeeBase and select ‘Hive Count’ from the list of options displayed.
    We have produced additional guidance on how to update your records within BeeBase. These are included in the attached Frequently Asked Questions document. For more information on the National Hive Count you can email Or call the National Bee Unit Office on 0300 244 9873
    The project is led by the National Bee Unit and supported by Defra, the Welsh Government, Scottish Government, DAERA, British Beekeepers Association, Welsh Beekeepers Association, Scottish Beekeepers Association, International Bee Research Association, and the National Diploma in Beekeeping.
    Thank you very much in advance for your assistance.
    National Bee Unit
    Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA)

    This email and any attachments is intended for the named recipient only.
    If you have received it in error you have no authority to use, disclose.
    store or copy any of its contents and you should destroy it and inform the sender.
    Whilst this email and associated attachments will have been checked for known viruses whilst within APHA systems we can accept no responsibility once it has left our systems.
    Communications on APHA computer systems may be monitored and/or recorded to secure the effective operation of the system and for other lawful purposes.

    The message send was initiated by Animal and Plant Health Agency APHA. Contact for more information.

Check Out the New Links page

Posted by Malcolm Evans, Monday, 30th October 2017 @ 4:31pm

  • The latest addition to Newbattle Bees is the Useful Links page. This contains a listing of  websites that you might find useful. Use the links to find out more about bees and beekeeping.

    The links are arranged under the following headings:

    • Newbattle Bees - Social Media Links
    • Organisations
    • National & International Associations
    • Other Local Associations
    • Media
    • Suppliers
    • Other Useful Links

    The Links page is accessed by clicking on the More Tab at the right of the menu bar and then on Links in the drop down menu that will appear.

    It is intended that more links will be added to those appearing now, so check the page at regular intervals to see the latest additions.

    N.B The listing of a site is Not a recommendation or an endorsement as to content.




Lease Now in place for the Bee Academy

Posted by Malcolm Evans, Thursday, 26th October 2017 @ 9:34pm

  • A 10-year lease was signed today on behalf of NBA by Myriam Baete, Vice President and Ann Southwood, Principal, on behalf of Newbattle Abbey College.

    Myriam Baete, left and Ann Southwood, right signing the lease document

    Jude Lorrain-Smith, far left & George Currie, far right witnessed the signing

    Now that the lease is signed work on clearing the hut can begin. A skip is needed before work can start on the clearing work and Martin Vevers will liaise with George Currie, NBAC Facilities Manager to arrange the skip to be placed in proximity to the hut so that the clearing work can start. A work party will be arranged to undertake this work. Helen Nelson will make the necessary arrangements once the skip is organised.  

    Peter Jack was on hand to photograph the signing ceremony.

Newbattle Weather - 21 October to 04 November

Posted by Malcolm Evans, Saturday, 21st October 2017 @ 4:58pm

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