The British Beekeeping Association holds it's annual Spring Convention early in the year around the beginning of April usually, and I took time out to visit the trade show and meet up with some friends, old and new, marvel at the range of products now available and come away with some new kit ready for the coming season.
There's lots to do at the annual Spring Convention, lectures, workshops, meetings, AGM's of various beekeeping groups but the biggest draw has to be the Trade Show, it's where I always make a beeline for!
The British Beekeeping Association Spring Convention and Trade Show 2019
I love the "beehive" entrance to the show, it's been a fixture for a few years now and it's always an easy landmark to spot wherever you're approaching the trade show from.
The BBKA Spring Convention has changed over the years, moved location and seen modifications to lecture rooms and trade show halls, some would say for worse but it must be a difficult job trying to please so many beekeepers over the course of a long weekend, I certainly wouldn't want the job as you're always going to get some critiscism form some quarters.
Maisemore Apiaries Wax Exchange Trucks
The wax exchange is always the first port of call for me on the trade show day which is the Saturday of the long weekend. I really like the Maisemore apiaries wax and I get a good deal with their conversion rates. This means I pay for the wiring but get the processed wax foundation in exchange for the rendered wax I give them. It means I have to part with a little cash but you get much more foundation in return. Save up all your old wax, brace comb, burr comb, damaged foundation and whatever you scrape off your crownboards, it all adds up and they are happy to take whatever you collect however small or large the quantity.
Piles of Stock Everywhere!
It's a marvel really and I get so excited to visit the trade show, so much beekeeping kit at every turn, the picture above shows the pallets of frames brought to the show by Maisemore Apiaries but there are also hives, bee suits, accessories and so much more.
BS Honey Beekeeping Supplies and Honeybee Queens and Nucs
It was great to catch up with Dan and Tristan on the BS Honey stand. You may have seen my review of the 2 in 1 nuc box they are selling it the picture above, if not, check it out here
I also produced a video showing how it all fits together, watch it here.
It's a great product and if you decide to buy one, let them know you saw it here, they have been very supportive of my efforts and it's always good to share the love!
It's always a pleasure to catch up with old friends, Allen and Helen were both at the show from Brunel Microscopes. They are so helpful and can provide miscroscopes for beekeepers whatever the budget. Give them a call for help and advice about the right kit for you.
Bee Equipment Online Beekeeping Supplies
Another of my favourite beekeeping supplies companies is Bee Equipment. They have a great range of really affordable equipment and there's always a bargain to be had. If you visit their website and register for emails from them they will send you offers and deals on a regular basis, just be quick to order because the offers go out of stock quickly as I found out to my cost!
Beehive Bits - Beekeeping Accessories
One of the essential bits of kit I always need to get is metal frame runners. I've moved away from plastic ones, thoughts of saving the world one pair of runners at a time and the plastic ones are just not strong enough to use in the brood boxes as they collapse under the weight of the frames.
A Family run business with great customer service, check out Beehive bits online and let them know I sent you!
The "Not For Profit" Hall
In the "Not for Profit" Hall you will find a range of organisations who are there to support beekeepers, also a few organisations who fall into the same conservationist approach that most beekeepers have such as wildlife trusts and other diverse organisations, here's a list of just a few you might like to check out.
The BBKA represents the majority of amateur beekeepers in the UK. Their main vision as published on their website is to further and promote the craft of beekeeping and to advance the education of the public in the importance of bees in the environment.
The hosts of the Annual BBKA Spring Convention. H.A.U. are the leading specialist university tackling the future development of our planet's food production, processing, animal sciences, engineering, land management and sustainable business
The Marcher Apple Network started life as a group of apple enthusiasts keen to revive old varieties of apples and pears. Since then M.A.N. has become a charity which strives to protect these varieties in a number of different ways.
The National Bee Unit (NBU) Delivers the Bee Health Programmes on behalf of Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and Welsh Government (WG) in England & Wales. It has been involved in the management and control of bee pests and diseases, along with training and dissemination of information to beekeepers for over 60 years
The National Diploma in Beekeeping (NDB) exists to meet a need for a beekeeping qualification above the level of the Certificates awarded by the United Kingdom National Beekeeping Associations.
Cares for 40 nature reserves, including woods, meadows and wetland bird havens
As an executive agency of the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) the V.M.D. contribute to DEFRA's objectives to protect public health and meet high standards of animal welfare. Their work also helps the Food Standards Agency to protect and improve the safety of food people eat, including honey!
The International Bee Research Association (IBRA) promotes the value of bees by providing information on bee science and beekeeping worldwide.
IBRA is internationally recognised as the world’s primary source and foremost provider of information on bees. Its database and information services, including journals, teaching aids and other publications, embrace all bee species whether managed by man for pollination or their products, or truly wild.
I had a great time at the Spring Convention, I'm already looking forward to heading back to beautiful Shropshire next year. Maybe I'll see you there?