A list of the largest bee farms in Scotland, approximately how many colonies they work with and the name of their company'.
As the information you have requested is 'environmental information' for the purposes of the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EIRs), we are required to deal with your request under those Regulations. We are applying the exemption at section 39(2) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA), so that we do not also have to deal with your request under FOISA.
This exemption is subject to the 'public interest test'. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemption, because there is no public interest in dealing with the same request under two different regimes. This is essentially a technical point and has no material effect on the outcome of your request.
The answer to your question is that the Scottish Government does not hold the information that you have requested.
Under the terms of the exception at regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs (information not held), the Scottish Government is not required to provide information which it does not have.
I can see from your correspondence that you first contacted 'BeeBase' with your question. 'BeeBase' is the Animal and Plant Health Agency's (APHA) National Bee Unit website. It is designed for beekeepers and supports Defra, Welsh Government and Scottish Government bee health programmes. Registration to 'BeeBase' ensures that a beekeeper is involved in the inspection programmes of the National Bee Unit and the Scottish Government.
Beekeepers in England, Wales, and Scotland can voluntarily register their personal details and the number of apiaries they hold onto the 'BeeBase' website. When registering, 'BeeBase' does not distinguish between commercial or hobbyist beekeepers.
As registration is entirely voluntary, and does not distinguish between different types of beekeepers, 'BeeBase' does not hold a complete record of all beekeepers, commercial or otherwise, in England, Wales, or Scotland. As such, we cannot use 'BeeBase' to extract the information that you have requested. We also do not hold the information that you have requested on any other database.
You may wish, however, to contact the Bee Farmers' Association who may be able to help you with your question. The Bee Farmers' Association website can be found here: https://beefarmers.co.uk/. They can also be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
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