The Yorkshire beekeepers’ pavilion at the Great Yorkshire Show ground was a buzz of activity, with a constant stream of curious visitors making their way through the displays, stalls and demonstrations set up in and around the pavilion. FERA was represented by our seasonal bee inspectors who were on hand to offer advice and supply papers and booklets on bee diseases and other helpful things to benefit beekeepers throughout the season with their bee management.
The stand for Bees for Development is run jointly and very successfully by YBKA and Harrogate and Ripon BKA. We tend to sell various articles and hand out leaflets to raise money for this great charity.
Phil Gee organised a large stand, enabling anyone, including prospective new beekeepers, to see the full workings of the bee hive and how a colony of bees works from start to finish using both a virtual hive and cut away hives.
George Flowers of Whitby BKA was running the microscope stand. The microscopic world of bees was opened up through his slides.
Honey tasting with Peter Schollick from Richmond was, not surprisingly, very popular. Every member of the YBKA is entitled to bring their honey for sale at the show. The buying and curious public are invited to taste all and any of them. Peter talked to people about where the honey comes from, what type it is and how the bees collect and store it in the comb. The choice of honey is extensive from combs, sections, cut comb, heather, runny and creamed honey; only chestnut and honeydew honey were absent.
Bob Hunter bravely and effectively relieved the public of money on the honey for sale stand. This is where all stewards and association members can bring along an amount of their own honey for sale to the public in 1 lb or 12oz jars. The public love to purchase these fine Yorkshire honeys. Demand almost always outstrips supply.
Outside in the glorious sunshine this year, nucleus colonies brought along as part of the honey show section are judged on the first morning to find the winning three. Beekeeping demonstrations are given to the public two or three times a day from inside a mesh tent. The bees are opened up and frames are brought close up to the mesh, then the worker bees, drones and the marked queens are revealed to the large crowds of amazed and interested spectators gathered on the safe side of the mesh.
Throughout the rest of the day when the live bee demonstrations are not going on, we use an observation hive. Beekeeping volunteers describe the inner workings of a bee hive to every visitor. There is usually a small cluster of people outside the hive all day long – so that’s a lot of talking which is usually not a problem for a beekeeper!
The stands at the pavilion are organised and staffed entirely by BKA volunteers. Without their help and dedication the YBKA could not put on such a successful annual show. I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank each and every one for giving up their time and coming along. We had over 30,400 visitors this year at the show over the three days and a great many of those came through our pavilion and YBKA headquarter doors.
Senior bee garden and pavilion steward