Polkemmet Beekeeping Association

Polkemmet Beekeeping Association (PBKA) is based in West Lothian, Scotland and is a member of the Scottish Beekeepers Association. We currently have over 30 members who keep hives either on-site in the PBKA Apiaries, or locally.

Supporting West Lothian Beekeepers and Beekeeping.

Education and Welfare.

What is Beekeeping?

Beekeeping, or apiculture, is the practice of maintaining bee colonies, typically in hives. Beekeepers, also known as apiarists, manage bees to produce honey, beeswax, and propolis as well as to pollinate. The practice has ancient roots, with evidence of beekeeping dating back thousands of years to early man.

Why Keep Bees?

  1. Honey Production: The most well-known benefit, honey is a natural sweetener with various culinary and medicinal uses.
  2. Pollination: Bees are vital pollinators for many crops, improving yields and biodiversity.
  3. Beeswax and Other Products: Beeswax, used in candles, cosmetics, and polishes, along with propolis, royal jelly, and pollen, are valuable bee products.
  4. Environmental Benefits: Beekeeping supports biodiversity and helps maintain healthy ecosystems.
  5. Educational and Therapeutic Value: Beekeeping can be a rewarding hobby that provides educational insights into ecology and biology, as well as therapeutic benefits through interaction with nature.

Honey Bee Swarms

We are passionate about the care and welfare of honey bees and pollinators, and where possible will endeavour to assist in handling any bees that have swarmed in the local West Lothian region.

To help us to help you it email us at


with the following information:

  • Your location and the location of the swarm so we can decide if you are in an area where we can help.
  • Take and send us photos or video of the bees, the swarm, and the surrounding area. This will help us to identify the bees as honey bees and not the usually more common bumblebee nests that can be mistakenly reported.

The checklist provided by Bee-Craft provides useful information which you may find helpful.

Information on swarm handling for other UK regions can be obtained from

Scottish Beekeepers Association
British Beekeepers Association
Welsh Beekeepers Association
Ulster Beekeepers Association

or via registering the swarm on


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Beginners’ Beekeeping Course

Beekeeping beginner’s courses are run once a year, typically at the start of the Beekeeping year (April/May). These cover the basics of beekeeping and also provide hands-on experience with handling hives and bees on our local sites. Spaces on these courses are limited so contact us early to register interest so we can add you to our mailing list and keep you updated of the course details. 

Please contact us if you have registered for our mailing list but haven’t received an email with course details by March.