At the Scottish Parliament we are very conscious of our place in the landscape and are keen to ensure that we can contribute to thriving ecology across Scotland. We are very aware of the importance of bees as the world’s most important pollinator of food crops. It is estimated that one third of the food that we consume each day relies on pollination mainly by bees, but also by other insects, birds and bats.
We have 11 beehives onsite at the Scottish Parliament, during the summer they are situated in the Member’s Garden and can be visible from the Member’s restaurant. The bees have good access to all the foliage across Holyrood Park and Arthur’s Seat, as well as the plants and flowers within the Parliament’s Gardens and wild flower meadows.
The bees and beehives are managed on our behalf by Hood’s Honey, a family run, local business who have been beekeeping since 1950.
The beeswax (which is a bi-product of beekeeping), from Hood’s Honey bees has been used to fill the Great Seal of Scotland and seal every act of the Scottish Parliament since its inception – over 200 in number.
The beehives produce between 80lbs to 120lbs of honey each autumn which is bottled and sold in the Scottish Parliament gift shop.
Image: Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick receiving delivery of the honey bees.
- Honey bees are responsible for over 50% of the annual pollination of all crops, produce, fruits, flowers, shrubs and trees in Scotland.
- Scotland’s honey bee population has continuously declined over the past decade largely due to excessively wet spring and summer weather conditions. Honey bees are unable to forage for pollen and nectar in wet weather.
- The nation’s honey bee population fell by almost 75% in 2013.
The Bee Project: Frequently Asked Questions
Further information can be obtained by emailing Victoria Barby