The County Honey Show held at Taunton Flower Show attracted a record number of entries and hosted the Asian hornet roadshow for the first time.
Beekeepers from as far afield as Cornwall competed in classes for the best honeys, wax and other products from or inspired by beekeeping.
Somerset Beekeepers’ Association Chairman Anne Pike said it was a standout show: “Entries were the highest they’ve been for years and visitors to the Bees and Honey feature were treated with the sight of many hundreds of jars of honey, honeycombs straight from the hive and beautiful artwork.
“It is wonderful to see more people get involved in these competitions which showcase the beauty of local honey and wax and their skills as beekeepers.”
The Blue Ribbon for the best exhibit in the show went to John Roberts from Falmouth for a magnificent cake of beeswax.
Local trophy winners included Jenny and Sid Gammon from Taunton; Maggie North, Buckland St Mary; David Pearce, Bathealton near Wiveliscombe; Mary Adams, Bishops Lydeard; Alan Nelson, Bilbrook; and Rob Fox, Minehead.
Thousands of visitors to the two-day show held at Vivary Park pledged to look out for Asian hornets to protect honeybees and other pollinators. Beekeepers explained how to identify the hornets, which are sweeping across parts of Europe, including the Channel Islands, and causing the loss of many millions of bees and insects.
Master Beekeeper Lynne Ingram, who leads the county’s Asian Hornet Action Team, said: “The greatest resource we have in fighting the Asian (yellow legged) hornet are members of the public. We hope the banners, leaflets and pinned specimens will help visitors to be aware of an insect which could wreak havoc on our environment if it gets a foothold in this country.”
Results – Taunton Awards:
The Taunton Perpetual Challenge Trophy: SJ & JA Gammon
The Priscott Perpetual Skep: M. North
The Stoker Perpetual Silver Trophy: SJ & JA Gammon
The Pat Barter Silver Trophy: J. Roberts
The W .Elmsall Perpetual Observation Hive Trophy: Taunton and District Beekeepers
The Andy Coles Memorial Trophy for Mead: M. Adams
The Tom Tucker Trophy for Cookery: R. Fox
The Downes Perpetual Cup: R.Fox
The Gammon Perpetual Trophy: B. Muckett
The Taunton Honey Show plate: D. Pearce
The Taunton Honey Show Perpetual Trophy: D. Pearce
The Sally Bennett Trophy: M. North
The John Spiller Mascot: D. Pearce
Jubilee Cup: J. Roberts
Miss M.D Bindley Cup: A. Nelson
Terry Arnold Perpetual Challenge Trophy: R. Fox
The Duffin Challenge Trophy: J. Roberts
The Clifford Langford Award for Mead: M. Adams
The Blue Ribbon for the best exhibit in Show in the judges’ opinion: J. Roberts
To find out more visit Somerset Beekeepers’ website: www.somersetbeekeepers.org.uk
Photo caps: John Roberts from Falmouth won the Blue Ribbon for the best exhibit in the show; Jenny Gammon from Taunton was awarded two trophies.
For further information contact:
Anne Pike, Chairman of Somerset Beekeepers’ Association, tel: 07971 275840;
Lynne Ingram, Co-ordinator of Somerset’s Asian Hornet Action Team, tel: 07846 165877
Notes to editors:
Somerset Beekeepers’ Association is a Registered Charity run by volunteers and works to advance the craft of apiculture within its membership and to promote general awareness and understanding of honeybees.
The County Honey Show is open to all full members of SBKA and county associations in the UK.
Asian hornets (Vespa velutina nigrithorax) are slightly smaller than native European hornets and look like large black wasps with orange face and yellow legs:
A single Asian hornet can kill 50 bees a day, with a nest containing up to 6,000 workers and up to 350 queens.
In Jersey, France and large areas of Western Europe they are stripping the environment bare of insects before moving on to prey on managed honeybee colonies.
Asian hornets are a notifiable invasive species and should be reported immediately with photo using:
Asian Hornet Watch app