I spent ALL afternoon in a cold village hall at Puddletown with 17 other beekeepers from around the County (except Sherborne, Shaftesbury and Gillingham who didn’t turn up) and consequently missed a party I had been looking forward to; but duty is duty!
We were the Dorset BKA’s Council and the agenda included discussing the propositions and candidates at next Saturday’s Annual Delegates’ Meeting of the British (English really!) Beekeepers’ Association. I am ‘Mr Dorset’ for the occasion and, looking back through old diaries, I see that I have been Dorset’s delegate since 2002. I seem to remember having attended one or two before then as an observer. It was always held at the BBKA HQ at Stoneleigh but this year, for reasons that aren’t entirely clear to me, it is being held in a hotel in nearby Kenilworth. It’s about 170 miles from me and starts promptly at 10.30 so it means a very early start and hopes for good driving weather.
I try to get there early so I can grab a chair in the front row. This means that I can stretch my legs, get a good view and catch the Chairman’s eye easily if I want to interject (which I often do – it keeps me awake).
Most years, the way I cast Dorset’s votes has been left entirely up to me, but occasionally the January meeting has asked me to vote for or against a particular proposition and a couple of years ago I even had to propose Dorset’s motion and make a little speech. This year I have been told how to vote on each of the motions (none of which is particularly controversial) and for 3 of the candidates for election. I suppose that’s fair enough as I am a delegate and not a representative, but if it is to be the norm they might as well do the whole thing by post and thereby save a lot of money!