Welwyn News - October 2012

by Peter Mathews

Tuesday,  2nd October at The Waggoners, Ayot Green 8.00pm.  Let me know if you want me to bring frames, foundation etc. I also have a small supply of Fumidil if you suspect nosema in your bees.

In spite of a very wet summer, the sun shone again on the Hatfield House Country Show. The Friday was busy with a lot of families taking advantage of the free entry for children. Saturday was okay, with sales going well. Our stock of honey was beginning to look low by the end of the day. Remembering an absolute manic Sunday last year, would our stock last out?  Nic and Sue came to the rescue with last minute supplies.  Sunday came……and, the weather was fantastic……perhaps a little too fantastic……think most people either flaked out in the garden or went to the seaside. They certainly didn’t come to the show. The Sunday was very quiet, and sales flat.

Although the number of visitors to the show were well down on last year our sales were exactly the same. Well the sales were slightly up, takings slightly down with a rare discrepancy accounting for the difference. Most of our sales were made on the first two days. A big reverse of last year when most sales were on the last day.  This was much better than Knebworth where takings were barely half those of last year.

Our display of stock was taken down each evening and put up the next morning by the new team. Note – I must take photos of each display another time. The new set up should avoid any honey having a favoured spot on the bench.

Candle sales were poor, but they did help provide a nice decorative feature to the display. These should sell better at Christmas Fairs.

A few  members print their own designer labels. Some of these have proven to be particularly successful. Last year Nic’s Ayot honey easily outsold everyone else. But, never second guess the customer!  It was quite apparent this year that the designer labels did less well. The best selling label was the traditional ‘cottage garden’. Roman Gorski (N Herts) sells honey in all the local markets and has experimented with all sorts of designs, and had come back to the ‘cottage garden’ as his favourite.

The extra space this year allowed a display of bee diseases (above) which was very popular with visitors and was an excellent introduction to the ‘Help The Honey Bee’ collection for the BBKA Research Fund (right).  Our microscope with varroa had folk reaching for their pockets!

Many thanks to everyone who came along to support the event and especially North Herts members. And, a big thank you to Graham Beesely for providing the observation hive. We had about a dozen people  along each day with 5 or 6 on the stand at any time —2 on sales, 1 or 2 on diseases, 1 on the observation hive (dedicated) and 1 on the BBKA collection, honey tasting etc.

Like Knebworth we attracted the attention of local bees; we have several apiaries on the estate. And, decided it would be tactful to abandon honey tasting on the Sunday. I did notice the sweety stalls and bakers were getting far more attention than us.

All in all a very enjoyable and successful weekend. It was good to share the event with North Herts and to have a visit from our President, John Mumford.

25, 26, 27th October  - National Honey Show in Weybridge
I can give you a lift, or take orders for equipment etc. Planning to go down on the Friday.

No comments: