Timings for the day

08.00: Doors open and set up. Show entries received 

(Closing date for entries is 1 October. No entries on the day.)

09.45 Last entries for WBKA Show classes accepted

10.00 WBKA Show judging starts. The talks begin:

10.00: “Wot a whoppa” – experiences of a double-brood system on 14x12:

Bob Smith found the idea of running a Scandinavian double brood system on 14x12 brood boxes a little daunting but it offered an interesting way to change all the brood comb every year. After a couple of trials, he used approach on all 9 colonies last year, with interesting results! This talk looks at the concepts behind the system, the problems overcome and the outcome of this experiment in providing the queen with LOTS of room! This year – triple brood?

Bob Smith, NDB, has kept bees since the 70’s, and currently manages 9 colonies in 14x12 WBCs in 3 quite different apiaries. He was a Seasonal Bee Inspector for 6 years and is responsible for education and training for the Medway BKA. He is particularly enjoys providing training opportunities for “Improver” beekeepers. Bob’s scientific training as an analytical chemist impacts his whole approach to beekeeping; experimentation and record-keeping are fundamental to chemistry and beekeeping!

10: 45 Last entries for Open Show classes accepted

11.00 Open Show judging starts.

10.45: So you want to keep bees? An introduction to beekeeping as a hobby.

This talk by Richard Rickitt of Melksham BKA is aimed at members the public who are thinking of taking up beekeeping and who would like to know a little more.

Richard Rickitt is Education Coordinator for Melksham & District Beekeepers' Association. He is Editor of Honey Bee Times and Deputy Editor of Bee Craft, the UK’s best-selling beekeeping magazine and one of the leading beekeeping journals in the world.

11.15: Sex, drugs and ecosystem services: how flowers attract bees

Some aspects of Prof Phil Stevenson’s recent work researching nectar and pollen toxins, showing how they have some surprising effects on bees and may actually help increase pollination success and even the health of bees. Examples will include the toxins in Rhododendron nectar that are highly poisonous to honey bees but harmless to Bombus terrestris, so conserving the nectar of this invasive species for bumble bees. Another example will cover the amazing memory-improving effects of caffeine on bees, with potential benefits including improved pollination of strawberries ,while also explaining the underlying reasons for mass bee deaths under Lime flower (Tilia spp.) trees.

Phil Stevenson is Professor of Plant Chemistry at the Natural Resources Institute (University of Greenwich) and also at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.  He leads research at both on the ecological role of naturally occurring compounds in plants and the interactions of plants with other organisms, especially pollinators.  The goal of his work is to develop ways to use plants sustainably for enhancing ecosystems and improving horticulture and food security both in UK and also for smallholders in the tropics. Phil has published over 100 research articles including in a number of high profile journals such as Science, Current Biology and Journal of Ecology as well as a number of books and book chapters.  He has appeared on various radio and television programmes including Inside Science, Gardeners Questions Time, A Year at Kew and Kew on a Plate. He has participated in public debates on food security for the Royal Society.  

12.00: Lunch

12.00 So you want to keep bees? An introduction to beekeeping as a hobby.

This repeated talk by Richard Rickitt of Melksham BKA is aimed at members the public who are thinking of taking up beekeeping and who would like to know a little more.

13.00: Really getting to grips with swarm control

As beekeepers, one of our fundamental responsibilities is to manage the natural desire of the colony to reproduce – to swarm. This instinctive behaviour is rarely what beekeepers or the general public want to see, so this talk will focus on the ways we can manage the process. Understanding the natural process is key to the interventions we can make, either to reduce the risk or to carrying out an artificial swarm. Let’s become bee-keepers…  also by Bob Smith

13.45: Prize giving

14.00: Open viewing

15.00: Close. Show exhibits collected