After a break of two years, due to the Covid 19 pandemic, the Fife Show was finally able to go ahead in May 2022. The event was a ticketed event, which enabled the organisers to gauge the number of people attending and thus ensure there was ample space for a socially distanced event. This didn’t seem to deter anybody from attending and the show was very busy all day.
It was so lovely to actually be at a ‘live’ event again. engaging with members of the public and talking to interested parties about everything related to bees.
The observation hive proved a great hit with both children and adults alike, children are so fascinated to see live bees and they ask great questions too. Children are now being taught about bees and their importance to our environment and the effective production of food in school lessons, this is great news.
Not only was it great to engage with the public again, it was also lovely to see fellow beekeepers ‘in the flesh’, after a very long time only seeing them virtually!
The Fife Beekeepers Stand was busy all day, with lots of information and displays for everyone to read. Thank you to everyone who visited the stand and a big thank you to all those members who gave up their time to man the stand and also to Enid for providing the observation hive.
The National Honey Show was held 21st to 23rd November at Sandown Park Racecourse, Esher, Surrey. There were just over 1400 entries, which is down by about 1000 from 2019, but everyone was delighted to be back and good to catch up socially. My position there is Judges Referee and this involves appointing the judges, allocating the classes they have to judge and being available to sort out any problems. Fortunately, all were easy to remedy. It’s not just a honey show, there are lots of trade stands, lectures and workshops. I’ve posted a few photos below which might encourage some members to attend next year.
The Fife Honey Show (which is part of the Fife Flower Show) took place this year, at Leven Parish Church Hall, Durie St, Leven, KY8 4HA, on Saturday 18th September and Sunday 19th September.
The aim of the Fife Flower Show is to encourage gardeners in and around Fife and beyond, to exhibit their plants, flowers, vegetables, wine, floral art, honey and more. It’s a small show and needs support to keep it going.
Entering the Honey Show is the best way to learn and an excellent opportunity to exhibit your honey and honey products and to have them judged by a renowned honey judge (our very own Enid Brown).
In mid-July the good news came through that the Kinross Show, after an absence of 2 years, would go ahead on 14th August 2021. As Enid would be on holiday at this time Jo Ramsay agreed to co-ordinate the event. The call for volunteers to set up on the Friday and man the tent on the Saturday went out to both associations.
The FBA and DWFBA encourage any beekeepers to think about taking the Basic Beekeeping Certificate. The entry requirements for taking the certificate is to attend a Beginners Class and look after a colony of bees for at least one season. The examination is a practical / oral “over the hive” assessment and has 3 pass grades: Pass (60%), Credit (70%) and Distinction (80%).
It is a really worthwhile way to ensure you have all of the necessary skills and knowledge to help you become a really proficient beekeeper.
Information about the certificate can be found on the SBA website. Please do think about taking the examination, you might surprise yourself and get a distinction!
Here are some beekeepers taking their exam in Summer 2021
The continuing Covid 19 restrictions are making it very difficult for us all to meet at a local apiary to get some hands on experience of beekeeping. With this in mind we thought you would enjoy a little beekeeping quiz to see if you can identify some features of a hive. The photographs and quiz where made for the children at St Leonard’s School apiary by an FBA member, Jo Goodburn
I did a quick feed check on all hives in between Christmas and New Year. It was good to see that in most hives the bees were quite far down, which is good. I placed a block of fondant directly on top of the brood frames as a safety precaution. The end of January into February and March is the crucial time. The queen will gradually increase her laying and more food will be consumed to increase the temperature in the hive. This is often the time of year when colonies starve. This whole operation took less than 1 minute. It is important to be quick and not let the bees chill.
As lockdown eased, a team of beekeepers (Enid Brown, Margaret Thomas and Jo Ramsay) removed a massive colony of bees from a cavity at a dwelling in Lethangie. A stethoscope was used to locate the exact position of the bees. A handheld circular saw and a hive tool helped to remove the plasterboard so that the bees and comb could be reached. The bee comb was placed into a nuc box, the bees were hoovered up and all of the comb was removed … a very sticky job. The bees are now doing well in their new location.