One Hundred Years of Beekeeping in Edinburgh

Varroa mites on a honey bee

This year beekeepers in Edinburgh are marking the Centenary of the Edinburgh Beekeepers Association. To celebrate, Edinburgh City Libraries are hosting an exhibition about Bees, Beekeeping and Edinburgh Beekeepers and will be running a series of talks and honey tasting sessions across the city from April until December. In addition, candle-making sessions will be available for children.

Although people in Edinburgh have kept bees for many years it was not until December 1918 that they came together to form the Edinburgh & District Beekeepers Association. Local Association meetings provided a time for discussion and learning, whether at the winter lectures or summer apiary outings.  In 1928, Edinburgh & District Beekeepers Association merged with the longer established Midlothian Beekeepers to form Edinburgh and Midlothian Beekeepers Association (EMBA) which continues to thrive today. EMBA has almost 200 members who have between 1 and 30 colonies of bees. Overall in Scotland, there are about 3,000 hobby beekeepers.

John Moir, a founder member of the Edinburgh Beekeepers Association, was not only an enthusiastic beekeeper, but also a prestigious collector of books on the topic and his collection is now housed in Fountainbridge Library with the rare items being held in the National Library of Scotland.

A century ago there were more than a million hives in the UK – today there are about 100,000 non-commercial hives. But we need more if we are to stop the honey bee’s decline. Our native bees are more endangered now than 100 years ago. They face threats from bees imported from abroad, from parasitic mites, and potentially from Asian Hornets. Increased use of pesticides in agriculture and loss of habitat also threaten our bees.

EMBA Apiary

If you want to find out more about bees and beekeeping, and what we can do to encourage bees, then why not visit our exhibition which is currently in the foyer of Central Library, George IV Bridge. In May it will move to Blackhall Library then to Stockbridge, Newington, Leith, Currie, Colinton, Corstorphine or Drumbrae, and Portobello before returning to the Central Library in December. At each Library there will be talks, honey tasting and candle making sessions organised. Details will be available via each library.

For more information about EMBA and beekeeping locally visit www.edinburghbeekeepers.org.uk

EMBA is also affiliated to the Scottish Beekeepers Association (SBA) which is the national honeybee and beekeeping charity for Scotland. Details can be found at www.scottishbeekeepers.org.uk

 

 

 

 

 

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Raising awareness of Young Carers

25 January 2018 was Young Carers Awareness Day, a day with the aim to identify and raise awareness of the 700,000 young carers across the UK who care for a sick or disabled family member. By raising awareness, they hope it will help young carers to get the support they desperately need.

Portobello Library has been running a book group in partnership with Edinburgh Young Carers since March 2017. The group meets monthly during term time and has varied in size and composition during this time but has a core of 6 regular members between the ages of 7 and 9. The reading group involves a book discussion, activities and a snack. Themes for these meetings have included favourite books, countries and Halloween horror with some spooky reads.

Last month, to mark Young Carer’s Awareness Day, the group accompanied by a member of staff from Portobello Library and Edinburgh Young Carers support workers went to Blackwell’s Bookshop to buy children’s books for Portobello Library and were also able to select a book for themselves.

The group will next meet in Portobello Library on Tuesday 27 February, when the theme will be Poetry and Jokes with readings from Roald Dahl’s classic ‘Revolting Rhymes’.

Edinburgh Young Carers aims to make a positive difference in the lives and futures of young carers through support, information, respite, personal development and training. Get in touch with Edinburgh Young Carers if you know someone who would be interested in joining the young carers book group.

Tools out for summer!

Library users across Edinburgh can now pick up something a little different with their holiday reading. Thanks to the Edinburgh Tool Library, three libraries in the north of Edinburgh will soon host a ‘Tool Box’ – an extensive selection of tools available to borrow for an annual donation.

The Edinburgh Tool Library works exactly like a traditional library, except instead of books they have over 4000 tools to choose from. Since the Tool Library started in 2015, they have received donations of a wide range of power tools, hand tools, gardening gear and decorating kit. For the 800 members who have joined the Tool Library it has been of significant benefit to their pocket – and the planet!

The Tool Library are expanding their lending services to three libraries in the north of Edinburgh – Portobello, Piershill and Craigmillar. Each library will have its own fully equipped Tool Box, manned by a knowledgeable member of the Tool Library team ready to answer any questions you might have.

In addition to lending out tools, the Tool Library also undertakes numerous community projects, working with local people and groups to help them build the project of their dreams. Their Tools for Life programme offers mentorship opportunities to young people seeking employment. Working alongside retired professionals, participants get the chance to learn a wide range of joinery and craft skills.

The Tool Library welcomes donations of tools, used and new! They thoroughly check all tools to make sure they are in full working order before being lent out to members. They have a team of awesome volunteers and are always looking for people to join them! Whether you want to learn a new skill, or contribute one you already have, they can find a place for you in the team.

Joining the Tool Library is straightforward, and the annual membership fee is by donation – flexible depending on what you can afford. All members have access to the full range of tools and the fully-equipped wood-working workshop in Custom Lane in Leith. The Edinburgh Tool Library is a charitable organisation and any profits generated are fed back into their projects to enable them to help as many people and communities as possible.

Find the Edinburgh Tool Library at:
Portobello Library, Mondays at 4.30 – 7pm

From 15 August at Craigmillar Library, Tuesdays at 1 – 3.30pm
From 16 August at Piershill Library, Wednesdays at 4 – 6.30pm

If you have any questions, contact Anna at the Tool Library: anna@edinburghtoollibrary.org.uk

#Artcore Young Writers Screenwriting Workshop

artcoreAnnouncing a really special event for young people! To mark the relaunch of the #artcore young writers’ group, they are holding a special event: a free, open screenwriting workshop with Marc Pye.  Marc has many years’ experience in writing for film and TV – amongst his television credits are EastEnders, Holby City, Hollyoaks, The Bill, Waterloo Road, Holby Blue, Doctors and River City.

Marc PyeMarc is coming to Portobello Library on Tuesday 27th September to deliver a workshop where he’ll be explaining what makes great writing for the screen – letting you see what a script looks like, and giving top tips on how to write one.

This workshop is open to absolutely anyone between the ages of 13 and 25.  You don’t need to have attended #artcore before, and yep – you don’t even need to have done any writing beforehand!  Whether you’ve always fancied the idea of writing a script but never tried, or whether you’ve got a box of finished scripts waiting under the bed… this workshop is for you.

Want to take part then go to Portobello Library at 6pm on Tuesday 27th September (the workshop will run until 7.30pm).

More!fun Children’s Book Festival 24 – 27 May

This year’s festival a celebration of words inspiring children to enjoy reading, writing and other creative activities takes place in Craigmillar, Portobello and Piershill Libraries in the east of the City.

There are lots of activities for local primary schools but also events open to the public.

morefun2016

Library staff are teaming up with Into Film, Puppet Animation Scotland, Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature and the Scottish Poetry Library to deliver an exciting  programme of  creative writing and illustration workshops, animation screenings and lots more.

Book online to reserve a place

Digital toybox – Noisemakers: Build and keep your own synthesiser 

Meet the author Mirabelle Maslin talking about sharing stories and books with infants and children 

Minecraft Storylines  – an interactive story-writing workshop using minecraft to guide young writers to explore plot, character and dialogue and much more

Up! screening – More!fun festival presents a screening of Disney Pixar’s Up.

See the full programme.

Things I like about dementia

After Edward McLaughlin received a diagnosis of dementia in 2002, he discovered to his amazement that he now saw the world and colours quite differently.

An exhibition of his paintings, highlighting the evolution of his vision, themes and technique, as well as the short film Things I like about dementia will be launched at Portobello Library on 11th April at 6.30pm.

Here’s a preview:

 

The exhibition runs until 6th May.

 

Library news round-up

As one month comes to an end and another begins let’s take a quick trip across the city to see what’s been happening in the capital’s libraries.

Much excitement among the members of Muirhouse Library’s children’s garden club as their daffodils and gladoli are beginning to bloom. Spring has almost sprung!

Sticking to the great outdoors, visitors to Portobello, Craigmillar and Piershill Librares have been having their say on the design of the new park in the area.

stockbridgeMeanwhile, Stockbridge Library has been exhibiting pictures by Boris Bittker (1916 -2005). A native New Yorker, Boris was a keen amateur photographer who travelled to many exotic and intriguing countries.

Next, news of some new groups and clubs meeting in libraries:

Satellart is a new group for 8 – 14 year olds in and around Oxgangs which brings together art, science and crafting. At our first meeting on Saturday we looked at the work of Mondrian.

Over at Corstorphine Library we are just about to launch a Colouring-In group for adults and a beginner’s chess club. Details on our web page.

Balerno and Colinton Libraries have both started Friday afternoon knitting clubs for kids. Balerno’s meets at 2.30pm and Colinton’s an hour later.

Star Wars fever is still in full ‘force’ down the road at Currie Library, where youngsters have been hard at work creating  Paper Plate Millennium Falcons and these terrifying Gamorrean Guard masks.
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Finally, Many thanks to Tatsuya Yamauchi, Shun Mizobuchi and Kaori Kozakai for bringing a mix of Scottish and Japanese music to Morningside Library.