Scottish schoolboy buzzing to be crowned world's best young beekeeper

Martin Leahy, 15, started looking after bees when he was just nine-years-old when he started going along to his local club with mum Sarah, 52. Picture: SWNS
Martin Leahy, 15, started looking after bees when he was just nine-years-old when he started going along to his local club with mum Sarah, 52. Picture: SWNS
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A schoolboy is buzzing after being crowned the best young beekeeper in the world.

Martin Leahy, 15, started looking after bees when he was just nine-years-old when he started going along to his local club with mum Sarah, 52.

Martin Leahy, 15, started looking after bees when he was just nine-years-old when he started going along to his local club with mum Sarah, 52. Picture: SWNS

Martin Leahy, 15, started looking after bees when he was just nine-years-old when he started going along to his local club with mum Sarah, 52. Picture: SWNS

And now he has lifted the title of best young international beekeeper of 2019 in Slovakia at the 10th International Meeting of Young Beekeepers.

The youngster faced stiff competition from all over the world, including Australia, Canada, Russia, Egypt, Germany, Poland, and France.

Competitors are tested rigorously on their knowledge of bee disease identification, bee behaviour, and bee anatomy.

The fifth-year pupil at Aboyne Academy, Aberdeenshire, sailed through the five-day competition.

Martin from Aboyne, Aberdeenshire, said: "My mum used to go to classes by the Tarland Bee Group so I got into it that way.

"I really liked it, there is so much you can do and you can learn new things too. I'm pretty delighted, I wasn't expecting to win.

"All of my friends were quite surprised too.

"When you go to these competitions it's a bit different because there are so many different cultures.

"So you are also learning and I also really like honey.

"There was a lot of activities, I had to assemble a hive in the correct order and identify different tools.

"There was also a multiple choice question paper and honey tasting.

"Honey tasting was the most challenging because there are so many foreign kinds of honey and I don't know them all.

"But I still managed."

At home, Martin, the youngest of four brothers, has thousands of bees and he also has ten hives of his own and helps family friends out with another 20.

Martin hopes to inspire other youngsters to get into beekeeping and has been visiting primary schools to teach others about it.

Mum Sarah, an accountant, said: "I'm very proud of him. He's a bit overwhelmed but his happy and excited.

"He had to face so many countries and Scotland as a group did very well.

"We need more youngsters to get into beekeeping. It's so fascinating.

"To look after the bees, you go into the hives once a week and check if they have food.

"There are a number of checks you can do and we always check there are no diseases.

"We can get stung but you just have to get on with it.

"It is important to stay calm and you don't have any strong smells when you go there.

"You just need to be sensible when you are around them."