January has been a busy month for us with not one but two events that gave our beekeeping year a good start.
Firstly, our inaugural honey show was held by kind permission of Everton Nurseries. With over 60 entries in 20 classes (from honey to cakes, beeswax to honey sweetmeats), competition was fierce and resulted in a plethora of certificates being earnt. The show culminated in the Best of Show prize being awarded to Bert Laan for his highly acclaimed beeswax candles. The show was well received by those members of the public who visited, viewing the exhibits and also talking to the experienced Beekeepers present, getting advice on bees and beekeeping in general. Several will now be joining our training course for new beekeepers in the spring.
A couple of days later, members had a real treat in the form of a lively and informative talk about bumblebees from Gill Perkins of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust. Gill gave an excellent presentation about how these cousins of our honey bees carry out ‘buzz-pollination’ and their vital importance to the human food chain – also the threats to them arising from modern farming methods and loss of habitat. She also explained their life cycle and what is being done to help restore their numbers, including the role of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust at national government and local level in promoting and supporting these initiatives. To find out more, please visit www.bumblebeeconservation.org .