Posted by admin | Posted in Beekeeping, Bees, General | Posted on 09-10-2012
Was The London Honey Show as good as last year?
Last year I had the pleasure of attending the inaugural London Honey Show and it was a raving success. My concern for this years London Honey Show was whether they could keep up the momentum.
The Lancaster Hotel was the host of the show and this year they took over a room at least 4 times the size of the room of last years event and this was the cause for my concern.
Last years London Honey Show was like a pressure cooker which despite the perspiration shed because the turnout was so good, made for an unforgettable atmosphere and something quite different in the beekeeping calendar. Could this years compete?
This year, despite the large and risky move downstairs, did not disappoint, with approximately 300 people in attendance making the vast room feel busy once more. There were plenty of worthwhile and keen exhibitors (ranging from Neals Yard, keen to push their Bee Friendly campaign to obtain 100,000 signatures against Neonicitinoids to Hive manufactures and candle makers to worthwhile charities like Bees For Development) which added to the event.
There were three lectures which I hear went down well – one was about planting for bees, one I gave myself about beekeeping for beginners (obviously the weakest of the speeches) and one that I very regretfully missed which was about Urban Beekeeping. Feedback was positive about all and the more open plan aspect of the room really added to the attendance at the lectures and the general feel of the event.
Photos of the London Honey Show
Particular feedback has to be given for the friendly nature of the event. After all it was a Honey Show and I really feel that the open and relaxed nature of the competition really lends itself to inclusion of all beekeepers – to have a children’s area was a great idea and made the event family friendly as well. The public vote (to decide the best honey – whether it be North or South of the river) is a wonderful addition that again smacks of inclusion and openness
However, I do believe the most heralded prize, Beekeeper of the Year (sponsored by Beecraft Magazine), is the one that really speaks out as making this event different. I have argued before about what makes you the best beekeeper and I think this award really says it all.
Being judged on the Best beekeeper shouldn’t be about how “good” or “knowledgeable” you are or how many jars of honey you get in a year but about your general attitude towards bees and what they are all about.
The London Honey Show award for the Beekeeper of the Year is all about this. You have to be nominated for your work in Beekeeping circles and especially with the wider communities that are affected by our passion. Last years winner Barnaby Shaw created and runs the Bee Urban project is a classic example.
This years winner from the London Beekeepers Association, Sharon Bassey, was the perfect recipient of the award for this years prize with her continued work with children and beekeeping – I really wish her luck with the project and in getting more funding for her to take her plans to new levels
All in all it was another raving success and the informality, friendliness, excitement and fun was still evident despite the move from last years smaller room. I truly believe that Jo and her team at the Lancaster Hotel should be applauded for putting on an event of such magnitude in the arena of beekeeping – sometimes complicated, political and traditional.
I think we could all take a look at similar events in the beekeeping calendar and make changes to the way they are run. The London Honey Show is certainly doing something right and I expect it to be even bigger next year.