© 2014 East Devon Beekeepers
A Branch of the Devon
UK Registered Charity No. 270675
Queen marking colour for 2017 - YELLOW
This year East Devon Beekeepers put on a display for the first time at the River Cottage Food Fair. This is a three day event held over the late May Bank Holiday weekend at River Cottage HQ, near Axminster.
As access to the site is rough and slippery when wet, combined with the potential for typically unpredictable English Bank Holiday weather, you could have a recipe for chaos. Planning was required.
That started some time ago when Richard Simpson was contacted by the Show organisers. Our first priority was shelter for the observation hive and the stewards. River Cottage kindly provided us with the use of a gazebo, so problem #1 solved.
As we had no ready-made display Mary Boulton volunteered to create one on the theme of ‘Food for Bees. Nectar and Pollen’. Problem #2 solved.
Food for Bees - Nectar and Pollen
For good measure she added a warning about the prospective invasion of the Asian hornet, of considerable interest to adults.
To provide something for all ages we added a candle rolling stall. Due to our lack of experience with this craft Keith Bone contacted the Committee members responsible for organising candle rolling at the Honiton Show, so we now had all the kit and skills to go ahead with candle rolling. Problem #3 solved.
Manning the stand for a three day event required a lot of volunteers. Sue Babey came to the rescue by drumming up support, especially from our 2017 Beekeeping for Beginners group. Problem #4 solved.
Despite initial concerns the event went well. Yes, the Bank Holiday weather was dull and damp at times, but the visitors to the stand were fascinated by the observation hive and keen to make their own candles.
Our thanks to all the volunteers who helped make this event successful.
Asian hornet warning!
Detail of Nectar and Pollen display
Goren Farm near Stockland is owned by Julian Pady, a member of East Devon Beekeepers. The farm is run on traditional lines with natural wild flower meadows being a speciality.
The Festival is a celebration of National Meadows Day, so it is entirely appropriate that East Devon Beekeepers, together with other groups such as Devon Wildlife Trust, should be invited to attend and put on a display for the public.
There were lots of children at the Festival asking questions like ‘How do bees make honey?’ and ‘How long does the queen live?’ We were able to demonstrate honey in a frame and show how it could be extracted and show them the queen in the observation hive.
The queen behaved well considering the heat and most of the time the queen’s attendants could easily be picked out surrounding her.