I’m just back this evening from the 83rd National Honey Show. I haven’t been to all of them, but a fair few. I missed last year’s though.
I drove up from Dorset and got to St George’s College at Weybridge at around noon. The first person I saw in the car park was Jane Moseley, the BBKA General Secretary, who greeted me with a hug. Next to greet me, while I was queueing for my ticket, was Eamon Magee President of the Irish Beekeepers, who was due to open the show.
I headed for the sales hall and saw, among many others, David Loo of DARG, Nicola Bradbear and Helen Jackson of Bees for Development, Lorraine Priestley from Scotland, whom I know from Gormanston, Sue Carter, one of the organisers (who apologised for the mistakes on the programme) and Lesley Gasson, Dorset’s Chairwoman.
I renewed my subscription to the Central Association and Pam Hunter gave me a few back numbers of publications that I’d missed: Bee Forage, Past, Present and Future by Peter Whyte, who takes us on nature rambles at Gormanston; A Sideways Look at Drones in the Colony, also by Peter and: Sniffing out the Enemy: Shifting Acceptance Thresholds for Recognition in Honey Bees by Dr Margaret Couvillon, whose face I know but can’t think why.
Helen on the BfD stand told me that my subscription was up to date so I needn’t renew. I’m getting low on stickers for honey jars to tell customers that they’ve just donated 10p to BfD, so I bought some more.
I splashed out on an IBRA reprint of The Antibacterial Activity of Honey by Peter Molan; Economical Beekeeping by Ron Brown (although I probably already have a copy tucked away somewhere) and Roger Patterson’s new book: Beekeeping a Practical Guide, which he autographed for me. Northern Bee Books are down to a couple of copies of my (co-authored) book, Getting the Best From Your Bees, so I suggested to Jerry that it’s time he got some more in stock! I see he’s charging as much as Amazon. It’s a lot cheaper to download it as an e-book.
Next to NBB’s stall was one from Slovenia, promoting bee tours of that country. I went there once and would very much like to go again so long as somebody else does the organising! I grabbed a copy of my book from NBB and showed it to the Slovenian girls, including a photo of Frank Sivic, whom they recognised, as well as several other Slovenian pictures. I suggested to them that they cooperate with Bees for Development who also do bee tours, and also made the same suggestion to Nicola Bradbear. I don’t suppose anything will come of it.
Time for the official opening approached and so I made my way across the car park to the main building. En route I noticed no fewer than 4 vehicles with BEE as part of their number plate and also one with BK!
I sat in the front row for Eamon’s speech during which he: thanked the Worshipful Company of Wax Chandlers for their support; told us that there were 1720 entries in the Show; that there are some new booklets, and, most interesting for me (and maybe you!) that last year’s lectures are available on line via You Tube and this year’s will be soon.
Anyway, it’s tomorrow now, so I’m heading for my pit and hope to resume the story of this year’s NHS later in the day.