I’m just back from that event, which was held at Aberystwyth University from Friday 13th ’til Sunday 15th July. The main speakers were Professors Robert Pickard, Francis Ratnieks and Tom Seeley, all of whom are excellent and have, over the years, starred at Gormanston.
There were other speakers too: Dr Mairi Knight of Plymouth University; Irene Power of S. Tipperary; Mike Brown of the National Bee Unit; Wally Shaw of Anglesey; Eric Verge who first became interested in beekeeping when he was evacuated to Lampeter in 1939 and was made a Life Member of the WBKA in 1996; Margaret Ginman of the Bee Farmers’ Association and Carys Edwards, a honey judge. There were also workshops on diseases, wax cleaning; microscopy, dipping candles, the Eva Crane archive, and cosmetics.
If I am able to decipher my notes, I hope to let you have more details over the next few days. I think I was about the average age and, as usual at gatherings of beekeepers, there were lots of people wearing hearing aids. Somebody mentioned to me that there appeared to be a higher proportion of the fair sex than usual.
Accommodation was on the site in student digs which were spotlessly clean and gave the impression of being brand new. Apart from a gala dinner on Saturday evening, we had to forage for food and use a communal kitchen in the digs. It worked well enough but I had been expecting to be fully fed as at Gormanston.
I managed to sell a few copies of my book of bee related poems: Bees vs People. The first poem in the book, having the title of the volume, could almost be a summary of Tom Seeley’s first lecture! I gave Tom an autographed copy and he told me next day that he’d been reading some of them. I think he liked the reminders of Gormanston.