Herts County Show

by Peter Mathews
We once again gathered at Redbourn, the show ground of our County Show. Freak weather for Redbourn - the skies were blue and the sun was shining. This year was also unusual in that the event was not adopted by the county as part of Bee World. Instead the show was organised by St Albans, Welwyn, North Herts and Hertford & Ware. Finances could have been complicated had it not been for some smart negotiations by Phil Jepson in securing our pitch free of charge for this year only.

Our new flyers proved so popular. Whatever did we ever do without them ? But, not as popular as the observation hive which gathered a small crowd throughout the day. If you didn't find the queen in the observation hive, then you might find her in the virtual hive. Other attractions included a honey extractor and a microscope for observing varroa mites. Placing the microscope next to a collection box for the BBKA Research Fund resulted in a steady chink of donations. A bee garden display of bee friendly plants set out by St Albans, together with a collection of plants for sale helped us blend in well into the Horticultural Marquee.

Honey sales were went well with Derrick Richardson topping sales with 95 jars sold. Well done Derrick! Last year the show took place in torrential rain, with many outdoor events being called off. Added to this the event was moved to the Queen's Jubilee Weekend and Thames Pageant. It was so quiet, exhibitors outnumbered visitors. So it is hard to believe with sun and the crowds we saw this year that honey sales were actually down on 2012 - 220lbs sold in 2012, 200 lbs this year.

Next time around, we should think about having a second observation hive, name badges and the new display. Best memory of the show? Think all us old hands were so very impressed by the support and enthusiasm from our newer members. I really think they did such a good job on the observation and virtual hives.

Photos by Richard Peterson & Peter Mathews

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