Martin creates a buzz with world title

Martin Leahy has that winning feeling
Martin Leahy has that winning feeling

A schoolboy is buzzing after being crowned the world’s best young beekeeper.

Martin Leahy, 15, lifted the title in Slovakia at the 10th International Meeting of Young Beekeepers.

He was selected to represent his country by the Scottish Beekeepers’ Association (SBA).

The teenager faced strong 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, behaviour and anatomy.

The S5 pupil at Aboyne Academy sailed through the five-day contest.

Martin, from Tarland, 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.”

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

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

Mum Sarah, 52, said: “I’m very proud of him. He’s a bit overwhelmed but is 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.”

Tarland Bee Group is delighted with their young member’s stunning achievement.

Co-ordinator Yvonne Davidson said: “Martin has had a fantastic experience in Slovakia this year thanks to the SBA selecting him to represent his country.

“Martin made the most of this wonderful opportunity to represent Tarland Bee Group, the SBA and Scotland.

“He clearly demonstrated his knowledge and skills to beat off the fierce international competition and could deliver in the heat of the competition with a cool head.

“We all have every reason to be very proud of him, yet he still behaves with his customary modesty.”

The SBA has also joined in the congratulations.

A spokesperson said: “Not only did were we first in the individual competition, but we are also delighted to say Martin was part of the international team who came second.”