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Talks and Meetings


Since March 2020 I have only given talks online. These work well and many beekeepers welcome the opportunity to learn something new without having to drive halfway across the county on a cold, wet, winter night.

I live very remotely but have a fast fibre connection and high quality video and audio setup … it’s not the same as being in the same room, but it is pretty good.

I get many invitations to talk ‘in person’. Although it’s flattering to be invited, the distances and time involved are neither practical nor environmentally sustainable. I live over four hours hard driving from Edinburgh or Glasgow (or more if the ferry isn’t running) making evening talks unappealing, and weekend events multi-day trips. I live in a beautiful part of the country and would prefer to be here than in the car or an airport.

Zoom, Teams and GoToMeeting

Of the three, if there’s a choice, use Zoom. I’ve used Zoom and Teams hundreds of times and Zoom is consistently easier to use by the host, the audience and the speaker. The only problems I have encountered with Zoom over the last year were one association that struggled to hook up a room speaker system to their laptop (i.e. not a Zoom problem), and another when the association forgot to send me the meeting link before the talk!

Most talks last ~70 minutes and I therefore include a refreshment break. Unlike ‘in person’ talks you have to provide your own tea and biscuits.

Questions and answers are an important and enjoyable part of the evening (after all, I’ve heard the talk before, but I’ve not heard your questions). For small groups, say less than ~30, questions can be handled by the audience unmuting and asking the question directly. The host usually needs to coordinate this … a free for all does not work. It helps if the audience are familiar with the ‘raising the hand’ Zoom gesture which makes things a lot easier.

For larger groups - and I’ve talked to 350+ - questions need to be submitted via the ‘chat’ function. The host then reads questions out, ideally following a bit of sanity checking, ranking them by popularity and weeding out duplicates.

I’m happy to have a 10 minute pre-meeting with the host to discuss arrangements for the evening if needed. Usually this can be done on the night of the talk.



I give evening and weekend talks between September and March (inclusive) so I have time for my own beekeeping. I can talk any day of the week, but only once a week to allow time for my writing, family and other commitments. Current availability is indicated below.

Dates indicated below are all Mondays but I can talk any day of the week. For convenience, here are 2024 and 2025 calendars.

I am already fully booked for Spring 2024, thank you.


Autumn 2024 and Spring 2025 dates:

Week beginning:

  • 02/09/2024 - booked

  • 09/09/2024 - booked

  • 16/09/2024 - booked

  • 23/09/2024 - booked

  • 30/09/2024 -

  • 07/10/2024 - booked

  • 14/10/2024 - booked

  • 21/10/2024 -

  • 28/10/2024 -

  • 04/11/2024 - booked

  • 11/11/2024 -

  • 18/11/2024 - booked

  • 25/11/2024 -

  • 02/12/2024 -

  • 09/12/2024 -

  • 16/12/2024 -

  • Happy Christmas

  • 06/01/2025 - provisionally booked

  • 13/01/2025 - booked

  • 20/01/2025 -

  • 27/01/2025 - booked

  • 03/02/2025 - booked

  • 10/02/2025 -

  • 17/02/2025 - booked

  • 24/02/2025 -

  • 03/03/2025 -

  • 10/03/2025 -

  • 17/03/2025 -

  • 24/03/2025 - provisionally booked

Fees & Terms

My fees reflect the popularity and quality of my talks. They also reflect the hours of preparation that goes into producing the photographs and text for the 50-70 ‘slides’ used in the presentation, the investment in audio/video equipment and the background research.


Fees are related to audience size, which are linked to the host association’s Zoom licence:

  • Up to 100 in attendance - £125 (unchanged since 2021)

  • Between 100 and 300 in attendance - £250

  • Over 300 - by arrangement in advance

The fees above are for evening talks. Daytime or weekend talks are 20% more as these significantly restrict me doing anything else on the day.

Fees are reviewed annually (at the end of March). I honour the fee applicable on the date the talk is confirmed as booked.

Important: talks cancelled within 6 weeks of an agreed and confirmed date will be invoiced as I will be unlikely to get an alternate booking - associations tend to book 6-12 months in advance. If I am unavailable at short notice (which has happened once in 3 years due to a 48 hour power outage) I will rearrange the talk at the earliest mutually convenient time.

I’m happy to talk to overseas beekeeping associations by arrangement, but please remember that my time zone is GMT (5 hours ahead of New York, 8 hours ahead of Vancouver).

Talks to multiple associations

To help small associations I am happy for them to invite a neighbouring association and so increase the size of the audience and share the costs of running the talk. This helps avoid the anomaly where large (presumably well-funded) associations were paying signficiantly less per head for attendees at a talk.

If you want to invite a neighbouring association please ask me in advance (some of the talks have content customised to a particular location). It makes everyone’s life easier if one asociation issues the invitation, sends out the Zoom link and pays the invoice.


Since some association members may not be able to attend ‘on the night’ I am happy for talks to be recorded with the following restrictions;

  • talks are not shared or accessible on a public website and must only be viewable within the ‘members only’ (i.e. password protected) area of the host association website. For simplicity - and to encourage associations to host talks and audiences to attend - if the presentation is to one or more neighbouring associations then only the host association can distribute the recording.

  • recordings are taken down one calendar year after the date of the talk. Some of the content may be time-sensitive (e.g. VMD-approved miticides) and I want the talk you watch to be current and relevant. I also want to be invited again sometime in the future.


I will invoice you following the talk. Payment by BACS only.

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