I hadn’t meant to go the second day, but family had come home on a too-rare visit and we decided to go there together. This time I had more time to visit the tents and stalls. My impression is that Melplash has overtaken Dorchester in size and variety, but Dorchester is still more ‘agricultural’. My daughter showed a particular interest in the pigs! We visited the bee tent and I was pleased to see that the Portland honey stock was much reduced.
After a lunchtime pasty the others departed and I was left to wander, eventually picking up my wooden honey box from the Bee Tent when I learnt that all 21 pounds of the honey was gone.
I left a little early as I had to get back to sing in the choir. Almost 18 months ago our village Church was struck by lightning and damaged and it has been closed ever since while repairs were carried out. Sunday evening was the grand re-opening and re-dedication by the Bishop of Sherborne. We saw a bat flitting about, which was good as they were all thought to have been suffocated by the smoke.
I remarked to the Bishop that the bees in the tower had survived and that there were also bees in the next two Churches and also in a tree in the former Rectory nearby, and formerly (they will be back!) in the village’s former Congregational and Methodist Churches. He was impressed when, in answer to his question, he learned that I have 17 hives. His wife has only 2 in their garden. Thereafter he referred to me as the Bee Man as so many people do: ‘It’s that b…. man again!’