Some BKids readers have shared
their photos and stories:
The County Smallholder Shield.
My name is J.D. I’m from Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire.
I started showing honey in 2013 at the Yorkshire Show when I was eight years old and to my surprise I got 2 second prizes one for a frame of honey for extraction and the other in the one jar liquid honey novice class. It was then I encouraged my Dad to go down to the National Honey Show the following October, we were keen on doing some of the workshops and lectures. I entered the under 16 Class that year and got a Third Prize. Brilliant! However, I attended a Workshop, Honey for the Show Bench by Peter Schollick and from that moment on I was inspired to do better even though it went on for some three hours instead of the two hours advertised, “great value” said my dad.
So along came 2014 and I had several entries for the Great Yorkshire Show. I picked up a second and two third prizes, I was very pleased. It was held in the new honey pavilion building at the GYS which is a fantastic new building that has lots of room for all the exhibits. However to my surprise my Mom was stealthily building up her skills in the honey baking area and has started entering the confectionary classes at the Great Yorkshire Show and she picked up 2 seconds and 2 third prizes, looks like I’ve got completion for the prize cards. With this encouragement we couldn’t wait for the National Honey Show in October of the same year 2014. When the time came around I entered the Under 16s again and picked up the Gold Medal for First Prize and second prize for a decorative interesting or instructive exhibit and a Highly Recommended for my Comb Suitable for Extraction. My Mom also did very well taking a first and a second prize in the baking so we drew on this one.
Now then what came to light afterwards was that my Mom’s wins received points that went to the County Shield which Yorkshire had always been a strong contender for in previous years, but the junior classes and the Schools classes were not eligible for points for this Shield. Very unfair I thought how come we can’t contribute to our county win?? I made some enquiries from Jeremy Burbidge, from Northern Bee Books, who luckily helps out my school with our school apiary. I asked him why did the Junior and School Classes not qualify for the Count Shield and was it not a bit unfair that we could not contribute to our County in this way? Jeremy explained that it is very difficult to change the schedule of the National Honey Show as it has been cast in stone for many years by experts in the field and said “it was probably useless in asking to have any of these rules changed”. Jeremy saw that I was taking an interest and suggested that I write to the National Honey Show committee and perhaps even put together a petition from our Schools Bee Club expressing our disappointment about the situation however he did say it was a long shot and was unlikely to succeed.
So I asked my head teacher Mrs. Stamp at Scout Road Academy in Hebden Bridge could we put together a petition to lobby the National Honey Show Committee. Mrs Stamp thought it was a wonderful idea and referred to everyone’s right under the Magna Carta to petition the authority to make changes, some reference to history I guess, and that went totally over my head, but it encouraged me to type up a petition and get as many signatures as possible. So off I set and collected numerous signatures from both students and teachers and I sent it to the Chairman of the National Honey Show Committee in January 2015.
It took months for a reply however a letter arrived one day and when I opened it WOW! it was from John Hendrie and it said that our request was considered at length and the Committee has agreed to include the Junior Classes in the counting of the points for the Small Holders Shield and this year points from classes 9-97 will be included. We were very pleased. I hope that my efforts including the junior and school classes will encourage other young people like me and junior schools around the country to have a go to enter and put in some entries and contribute to their county for this coveted prize The County Smallholder Shield.
Meet Thomas (5) of Grantham.
Thomas is a keen beekeeper and part of a beekeeping family that includes his sister Isabella (3). Recently, encouraged by his mum, he decided to undertake a time consuming and difficult project based on honey bees – a lap-book. His mum tells us:
‘Thomas is very proud of his work, especially as he is not keen on writing!
The decision to do a project on bees and to present that work as a lap-book was driven by Thomas, it wasn’t a piece of work I set him. I actually tried to put him off as I knew how much work it would be! Similarly, the content was also decided by Thomas after we looked on the net at other similar topics, one or two pieces were taken directly from a home school share website and the three part cards were from the ‘carrots are orange’ blog via pinterest.
I did help with fitting the information into the books, although he did the life cycle himself. I also helped with the tremendous amount of cutting out, although he did his fair share for a five year old.’
Well done, Thomas! And keep up the good work!
Our B Kids Club members are really keen and love their beekeeping! Here is a wonderful drawing from Rose (6), our newest B Kids Club member. Thank you, Rose!
Georgia Sellars (17) of Horncastle BKA won the Thornes Young Beekeeper of the Year award in 2010 at age 13.
She has taken her beekeeping to a new level since then. She was a member of the English team sent to Germany to represent England at the International Meeting of Young Beekeepers in 2013 and now she is applying for a full time beekeeping position!
David Wainwright, a commercial bee farmer, is considering her for a 4 year apprenticeship. Georgia needs to pass her driving test this summer, if taken on, as Mr Wainwright has apiaries on several sites in Wales!
News of Finn(11) B Kids Club member 22 and 2013’s B Kids diarist –
Out of my honey sales (2013), I made £222 – yea! But I had to give half of it to mum, because she paid for all the jars and beehives. While I was in Uganda last week, I used my honey money to buy a cow for my friend Christian. He doesn’t have very much and he lives in a mud hut. He was so happy when I gave him the cow, he hugged me.
My Golden Eagle needs a double brood box, because she has lots of bees and she is starting to build brace comb in the eke. I also over wintered a Nuc and it lived, so I am going to sell it. All the colonies at my house survived the winter, except one Nuc died, because we think it had no queen.
9 year old Molly’s first year of beekeeping was 2013. Molly (8 yrs old at the time) joined Cardiff, Vale and Valleys Beekeepers’ Association (UK) in Spring last year. Little did she know what a successful year she’d have!
In early April she enrolled onto the Beginners Course and successfully completed the course held over 2 weekends.
With a new found interest in bees she borrowed her mother’s Bee Craft magazines and devoured the B Kids section at the back. Molly entered Bee Craft’s April 2013 competition to ‘spot the queen’, and won! Her prize was a microscope with USB camera donated by Brunel Microscopes.
In May we caught a swarm and Molly was told that if she helped look after them through the spring and summer, the bees would be hers. She took this offer onboard, and subsequently took her beekeeping duties very seriously. So much so, in late June her mother bought her a brand new hive.
As you can see from the photo, she painted her own unique design on the hive.
With her mother’s help, Molly transferred the bees into their new home. Quite a stylish landing board! Molly was so excited about being a fully fledged beekeeper!
Summer passed with Molly’s bees thriving. In fact they produced some honey for extraction. Molly has been Chief Honey Spinner in her family’s house for over 4 years, helping to extract her mother’s bees’ honey. However this year was different, this year she would extract her own honey for the first time.
Her mother encouraged her to enter the Cardiff, Vale and Valleys Beekeepers’ Association honey show in October. Again, success followed; Molly came away with the following prizes:
1st prize and the cup! for the Children’s Class – design a poster ‘honey for sale’.
1st prize and a £10 Thornes gift voucher for the Novice Class medium honey
2nd prize for Honey Fudge Class. (She also beat her mother in this class as her mother won 3rd prize).
So what does Molly have planned for 2014?
Well she has already made a batch of honey marmalade for the October honey show. She intends on giving her Brownie pack a talk about her bees for her Hobby Badge. Maybe she’ll enter the Welsh Honey Show in 2014. Watch this space!
This all bodes well for the future of Beekeeping in Wales. As associations we should be encouraging children like Molly to take up the hobby, as ultimately this will benefit the bees.
A massive congratulations to Molly on her first year of Beekeeping!
This is sustainable beekeeping at its best….’Beekeeping, The Next Generation’.
P.s. The photo is from last year, ok!
Megan also drew a honey bee for us.
Another of our February competition winners, Finn (11) sent this photo of his nucleus hive, taken when the virgin queen was out on her mating flight!
My picture is of an accompanied mating flight. It was my Golden Eagle colony as a nuc.
Dear Melissa Bee,
the bees. We gave the bees their food recently.
her feed them some candy. I tried some, it was yummy!’
Meet JD (8) of West Yorkshire, a keen beekeeper and our B Kids Club member no 2!
JD has had TWO big WINS recently – he won THIRD PRIZE in the UNDER 16’s ‘2 JARS OF HONEY’ CLASS at the UK’s National Honey Show in October and then, this week, another surprise win – this time FIRST PRIZE in a Bee Craft B Kids competition in which he had to correctly name the various parts of a modern bee hive.
VERY WELL DONE, JD!
JD’s success last year was being the youngest ever person to pass the British Beekeeping Association’s Junior Certificate. Read about it here:
You will have read about Georgia Sellars (16) in the September 2012 Bkids
Georgia, who won the Thornes Young Beekeeper of the Year in 2010, has been hitting the headlines in the papers again recently! She was part of a team of three young British beekeepers who travelled to Germany to represent England at the International Meeting of Young Beekeepers. England came fourth out of fourteen countries in the competition, and Georgia was ranked 18th out of 39 competitors. “I was delighted to have the opportunity to represent England,” said Georgia. She had to prove her ability in bee handling, honey testing and a written test. See the full report on:
The photo is Georgia with her award from the Thornes Young Beekeeper competition. WELL DONE, GEORGIA!