The foundation arrived, and it all had to be put away, and what a lot there was, 3 large boxes full. Even though we trade a fair bit of our wax, we still have to put in an order as most of our colonies are shook swarmed in the spring, this is the next major task we are gearing up for.
We attended Cobham Farmers Market (4th Saturday of the month) for the first time and although it was cold, wet and windy, many of the public came to talk and buy from us. We have decided that this market will now be a regular event for us, along with the Walton Farmers Market (1st Saturday of the month) that we have been attending for over a year now.
The Bee Farmers Association AGM and Annual Conference was held this year at Stoneleigh in conjunction with Beetradex. This is the second year that Beetradex has been going, but this year it was held in a larger hall which was so much better, there was more room to walk around without bumping in to too many other eager beekeepers. There were plenty of exhibitors and lots of products to see and buy.
We rushed around first thing to collect all our pre orders and get them loaded into the car before we went to the BFA AGM, after this we then had time to wander and browse all the stands at a leisurely pace. Over the same weekend the BFA Annual Conference was held at the Chesford Grange Hotel, which is just down the road from Stonleleigh so not far to travel. Meeting up with like minded bee farmers chatting about nothing but bees is our ideal weekend. The Saturday evening dinner was absolutely superb, and all over the weekend the hotel staff catered for all our needs, we could not fault the service.
On Sunday we listened to a few lectures about the BFA Archives, COLOSS, and a very good lecture on small hive beetle and the Asian hornet. The videos of the Asian hornet were very fascinating and to tell you the truth, quite scary for the bees and bee farmers. To be quite honest after seeing the videos we are more worried about the Asian hornet getting into the UK rather than SHB. In the afternoon there was the traditional boot sale of unwanted equipment, but the rain came and most of us decided that we would start our journey home.
Sally and I visited Geoff and Marion Cooper (Weybridge Association members) for a wax melting session and Andrew Halstead who is the current Weybridge Association Chairman was also in attendance. After filling the base of the melter with water, and loading the old frames for melting, then waiting for it to boil (it was like a watched kettle !!), we then waited for the first signs of clean wax. As you can see from the pictures below the melter can process about 20 frames at a time. I won’t bore you with the whole process only to say that the efficiency was very good.