Inherited Hobbies – Lasting Bonds

‘He passed the bee baton on to me’: people who inherit hobbies

From beekeeping to crochet, these hobbies passed down through generations form lasting bonds

Clea Skopeliti

It’s fair to say Alasdair Friend didn’t always picture himself as a beekeeper. But when a diagnosis of motor neuron disease meant his father was no longer able to tend to his hives, Friend resolved to carry on his passion. He was not without doubts at first: “I remember driving back with this actively buzzing box of 40,000 bees and thinking, what have I signed up for?”

Now the proud owner of no fewer than 10 beehives, Friend, 57, who is a teacher in Edinburgh, still has the descendants of the bees he brought home two years ago. “Although they are pretty feisty at times and cause me moments of panic, I love carrying on with his traditions,” Friend says. “Each year I take the hives to the Cairngorms to collect heather honey to exactly the same place he brought his hives.”

How we spend our free time matters: research suggests that having hobbies can enhance mental and physical wellbeing and offer greater life satisfaction. From team sports to crafts classes, they can also be a means to meaningfully connect with others. And for some, having an interest in common offers a way to feel close to a loved one, whether or not they still practice it together.

Friend says his father seems “really pleased” that he has carried on with his hobby. “He’s still very interested – there’s an element of him doing it through me. I’ve met some great people and I’ve had a lot of fun, as well as moments of extreme discomfort when I’ve been stung and moments of terror when they start swarming.”

“It’s great to feel he’s passed on this bee baton to me and I’ve run with it. There are lots of things I’ve shared with my dad – he taught me how to love the hills and climbing mountains. Keeping bees is another thing later in life

[through which] I’ve been able to have a connection with him.”

To read the entire article go to; ‘He passed the bee baton on to me’: people who inherit hobbies | Hobbies | The Guardian

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