Newtongrange Bowling Club’s honey proposal creates a buzz

David Hennessey of ''Newbattle Bee Keepimg Association.
David Hennessey of ''Newbattle Bee Keepimg Association.

Newtongrange Bowling Club has joined the prestigious ranks of the Scottish Parliament and the Queen’s grocer Fortnum and Mason, in London’s Piccadilly, by setting up its own beehives to produce honey.

The club is turning over a patch of recently cleared spare land to house the bees in two hives with the aim of helping the environment and producing its own Newtongrange Bowling Club Honey. The inspiration for the hives came from Ian Keith, the club’s green ranger, who admitted he was wary about raising the idea at a recent committee meeting.

He said: “I was on the bus passing Dobbies garden centre in Dalkeith and I spotted a wee patch of field nearby on the right hand side with hives on it. I just thought that with the piece of land we’ve clawed back we could do something to help the environment. So at the meeting I said ‘right, I’m going to throw something in and you’re more than welcome to throw it back at me’. Then I said ‘How about thinking about some bees? There was a silence for what seemed like ages, then Alan Crawford, the club’s secretary, said ‘mmm, not a bad idea’.”

Mr Crawford said members of the club, established in 1902, had been positive about the idea, but that one or two said they hoped they “were not going to be bothered by bees on the green”.

Newbattle Beekeepers Association chairman David Hennessey, who inspected the site, said: “It’s an ideal location. It is secluded, easily accessible, but private and security fenced. The idea is to appoint an experienced person who knows about bees to look after them.”