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National Honey Show

Skep Making Workshop

Skep Making Workshop

Workshop Booking Opens 1st September 2016

The National Honey Show holds a number of workshops to assist new or less experienced exhibitors in the art and skills of preparing some items for honey show classes and to help raise the general standard of exhibits as well as other beekeeping related topics.

Please be aware that only National Honey Show Members and those with a daily admission ticket can attend Lectures and book into workshops and or demonstrations.

We use TicketSource to manage the workshop bookings and PayPal as the payment processor. To complete the transaction there is no need to register with PayPal for paying by credit or debit cards.

Booking opens from 1st September 2016. All workshops include a £8.00 (£9.00 on the day) non–returnable booking fee. There is a small additional charge for some workshops to cover the cost of materials.

Workshop booking ENDS one week before the workshop starts.

All workshops are scheduled for 2 ½ hours duration. Please arrive at least 10 minutes prior to the start of the workshop.

e-Tickets are entirely electronic, sent by TicketSource as email attachments (PDF), you can print them out.

Start booking National Honey Show workshops on TicketSource from 1st September or use the individual workshop links below.

Before booking any workshops check the following

1. You have read the Workshop Synopsis?

2. You are a National Honey Show Member or are prepared to purchase a day ticket (needed to gain access to the building on the day).

3. Please book with care to avoid disappointment. Common mistakes to avoid are: "The workshop I booked clashed with a lecture" "I can't come to Thursday's workshop, can I change to Friday's?" "I didn't realise the workshop was for beginners"

Workshop Booking Enquiries

Workshop Booking Enquiries and FAQ.

Workshops and Booking *Direct Links

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(+) = Additional charge added to cover the cost of materials.

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The workshop reception is located in the Eclipse Pavilion and will be open 30 minutes before the start of each session. When online booking closes and if there are still places you can pay and book at the workshop reception.

National Honey Show 2016 Workshops

Thursday 27th October 14.30 -17.00
1. Microscopy - Preparing Pollen Slides Alan Potter +£5 SOLD OUT
2. Pampering Potions Sara Robb +£5 SOLD OUT
3. Cleaning and Preparing Beeswax for Show Peter Bashford
4. Making Products from the Hive Judy Earl +£5 SOLD OUT
5. Colony Increase for All Beekeepers Roger Patterson SOLD OUT
6. Preparing Honey for Show Peter Schollick
7. Judging Procedures and Techniques Tom Salter
8. BBKA Module 2 Pam Hunter

Friday 28th October 10.00 - 12.30
1. Microscopy - Preparing Slides of Honeybee Parts Alan Potter +£5 SOLD OUT
2. Pampering Potions Sara Robb +£5 SOLD OUT
3. Cleaning and Preparing Beeswax for Show Peter Bashford
4. BBKA General Husbandry Margaret Thomas
5. Swarms and Swarm Control Phil McAnespie SOLD OUT
6. Preparing Honey for Show Peter Schollick
7. Skep Making - Part 1 (all day) Chris Park +£15

Friday 28th October 14.30 - 17.00
1. Mead Making Techniques and Tasting Ron Hunter SOLD OUT
2. Bee Disease, Identification and Control (Improvers 2yrs+) Julian Parker
3. Candle Making Bill Fitzmaurice +£5 SOLD OUT
4. BBKA Basic Assessment Val Francis
5. Can We Make Beekeeping Pay? Roger Patterson
6. Bee Disease, Identification and Control (Absolute Beginners) Diane Steele
7. Skep Making - Part 2 Chris Park

Saturday 29th October 09.30 - 12.00
1. Making Honey Beer Pat Turner +£5
2. Amazing Children's Workshop with Sara Robb +£5 CANCELLED
3. Candle Making Bill Fitzmaurice +£5
4. BBKA Module 1 Margaret Murdin SOLD OUT
5. Beekeeping Photography for Fun and Profit Charles Gervais +£5
6. 9.30 - 10.30 Manual Handling for Beekeepers Mary Williams
7. 11.00 - 12.00 Manual Handling for Beekeepers Mary Williams
8. Skep Making - Part 1 (all day) Nick Mengham +£15

Saturday 29th October 13.00 - 15.30
1. Mead Making Techniques and Tasting Ron Hunter SOLD OUT
2. Encaustic Art Julie Ann +£5
3. Making Honey Beer Pat Turner +£5
4. Beekeeping Photography for Fun and Profit Charles Gervais +£5
5. Queen Rearing for the Small Scale Beekeeper Phil McAnespie SOLD OUT
6. Skep Making - Part 2 Nick Mengham

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The workshop reception is located in the Eclipse Pavilion and will be open 30 minutes before the start of each session. When online booking closes and if there are still places you can pay and book at the workshop reception.

Workshop Synopsis

Peter Bashford:- Cleaning and Preparing Beeswax for Show
In the past 13 years at the National Honey Show Peter has won the Wax Bowl four times, the Kent Wax Cup nine times and the Kent Beeswax Cup every year since it was presented in 2009. He also had a superb display in the "A Display of home Produced Products containing Honey and/or Beeswax Class" He is well qualified to pass on tips and techniques for producing a prize winning exhibit.

Roger Paterson:- Colony Increase for All Beekeepers
This might appear to be the wrong time of the year to be thinking about colony increase, but as planning is an important part of beekeeping, perhaps it might not be such a bad idea to look at some possibilities well in advance of next season, so you have a clear idea of what you wish to do.
Why do we need increase? Is it to replace winter losses? Increase the size of a beekeeping operation? To sell bees? A BKA supplying bees to beginners? All of these possibilities and more will be explored, together with a few ideas on producing good queens to head the new colonies. It is surprising what can be achieved without buying anything in. So often we hear of local BKAs who are unable to supply the demand of their beginners for bees, but help will be found in this workshop. In favourable conditions colonies can be multiplied quite quickly if needed, so for many BKAs it is quite possible to supply their members with bees from a small number of stocks.

Roger Paterson:- Can We Make Beekeeping Pay?
This workshop will explore the possible meanings of the title, as different beekeepers may have different views. Many aspects will be covered, varying from the person who wants to reduce the cost of their hobby, to those who may want to become semi-commercial. The topics will include reducing costs, looking after equipment, management techniques, selling, etc. In fact all ways of trying to make beekeeping pay.

Judy Earl:- Making Products from the Hive (Potions & Polishes)
Learn to use beeswax and honey to make a variety of products at this practical "hands on" workshop. Participants will learn to make, and will take away, polish and a selection of hive products such as fruit honey vinegars, mustards, ointments and salves. There will also be a chance to sample an easy to make alcoholic honey drink.

Julie-Ann:- Encaustic Art
Make your own greeting cards using beeswax, apply coloured waxes using an iron, hot stylus, stamps and banners to create your own unique beeswax greetings cards.

Dr Sara Robb:- Pampering Potions
Make your own pampering potions with honey and beeswax. Dr Sara will demonstrate how to make cleansing clay and honey soap using her easy method. Learn to make soap without any special equipment that you can use on the same day (no waiting 8 weeks to cure). Following the demonstration, participants will make a few of Dr Sara's recipes, including; chamomile & honey face cream, beeswax body butter and luscious lip balm. Each participant will take home a luxurious selection of pampering products.

Dr Sara Robb:- Amazing Children's Workshop
Join Dr Sara Robb for a fun-filled, fantastic session for mini-beekeepers! Do you know your heather from your honeydew? Can you match the flower to the honey? Come along and test your taste buds in Dr Sara's honey tasting challenge. How many will you get right? If you like getting a bit messy, this workshop is for you. We will make some fizzing, buzzy-bee bath bombs for you to take home- you will definitely want a bath when we finish! Finally, we will get sticky making a pot of royal jelly. This oozy, goopy goo is as much fun to play with as it is to make! Book your place quickly, as spaces are limited. Mini-beekeepers must be 8 years or older. No adults allowed! Note: Dr Sara Robb will not be using wax in any of the items she intends to make with the children.

Mary Williams:- Manual Handling for Beekeepers
Mary is a qualified physiotherapist, specifically trained in manual handling and posture in the workplace. The workshop will include; what manual handling means, a few statistics and the chance of injury from improper lifting, basic risk assessment principles when lifting (Task, Individual capacity, Load, Environment and Equipment), anatomy of the spine, posture and body positioning/mechanics relating to lifting, lowering, pushing, pulling, reaching, carrying etc, guidelines around moving weights from floor and different levels, importance of fitness and exercise. A practical element to include stance, ergonomic positioning and correct use of body balance and carrying

Peter Schollick:- Preparing Honey for Show
Peter has been awarded many of the National Honey Show trophies during the last ten years or so. In addition he has contributed to his County Association Yorkshire being awarded the "Smallholder Shield" six times since 2007. He will cover, as far as possible in the time permitted - Working the bees, following the schedule 100%, honey jars and the holding position and the various types of honey. Working for and presenting honeys in the comb. He will explain his routines for both getting the honeys and preparing them for the show bench. He seeks to assist others to share in the success he has enjoyed.

Pat Turner:- Making Honey Beer
Pat has been an enthusiastic home brewer ever since he read a small ad for a beer kit in Exchange and Mart back in the 60s. Since then he's also taken up beekeeping and is an active member of Ealing Beekeepers. In the workshop, Pat will run through the practical aspects of home brewing, from simple kits and more advanced all grain techniques. He'll also share his experience of incorporating honey to produce beers to impress fellow beekeepers.

Phil McAnespie:- Swarms and Swarm Control
Phil has kept bees for over 30 years and runs approximately 10 colonies near Burn's cottage, Alloway, Ayrshire. This workshop will cover reasons for swarming but have greater emphasis on the practical methods of its control/prevention using various artificial swarming methods, use of the Horsley and Snelgrove boards, Nucleus colonies and the associated benefits of simple queen rearing.

Phil McAnespie:- Queen Rearing For The Small Scale Beekeeper
Phil will outline simple practical queen rearing methods , suitable for beginners and experienced beekeepers alike.

Ronald Hunter:- Mead Making From Start to Drinking
Ron has been making mead and country wines for several years and has exhibited at his local show and the National Honey Show. The workshop will include aspects of making mead and melomels, together with discussion about preparation of show exhibits and tasting. Participants may bring a bottle of home-made mead to include in the tasting.

Alan Potter:- Microsocopy - Preparing Slides of Honeybee parts
This workshop will cover in practical detail how to make permanent microscope slides from not only parts of the honeybee such as the head, legs and wings but also the whole insect itself. All chemicals, reagents will be provided to produce permanent slides mounted in a Canada Balsam substitute mountant. The processes normally take several days to complete, but partly prepared specimens appropriate for each stage will be used. The objective of the workshop will be that each participant will leave with permanently mounted microscope slides showing bee parts. Microscopes to study the results will be available. Safety gloves and glasses will be available for use when handling chemicals

Nick Mengham and Chris Park:- Skep Making
Nick began beekeeping over 20 years ago and now has around 150 hives in Kent. In addition to honey production, he hires out his hives for fruit pollination. In recent years Nick has been running a number of beekeeping courses, from a one day introduction to basic bee husbandry and skep making; he holds a qualification in adult education. His interest in skep making stems from a wider enthusiasm for the history of beekeeping and he has demonstrated the craft at various events including the Kent County Show and the Step Back in Time working bygones event.

Chris Park is a skep maker and skep beekeeper. He lives on an organic farm in the Vale of the White Horse. His work is wide and varied, from arts and craft, ancient technologies, experimental archaeology and educational projects to eco-building, professional storytelling and raising the awareness of heritage beekeeping. You can see some of his work at He is chairman of the newly formed British Beekeeping Heritage Society and gives entertaining lectures.
Nick and Chris aim to teach how to make skeps and not just run a production line. Few will finish their skeps on the day but we hope all will go home with the knowledge and materials needed to finish the job.

Bill Fitzmaurice:– Candle Making
Bill is an urban beekeeper who has maintained 20 or so colonies in the suburbs of Harrow in North West London for the last 15 years. He is an advocate of maximising the harvest from his bees and this includes not only honey but also wax by retrieving as much as possible from cappings, old frames, culled drone brood and brace comb.
He is a regular at his local honey shows and at the National. The workshop will demonstrate candle making and provide a hands-on opportunity to make rolled and moulded candles as well as simple dipped candles, which he considers the most satisfying to make.

Alan Potter:- Microscopy – Preparing Pollen Slides
This workshop covers all aspects involved in preparing permanent microscope slides of pollen. This includes the collection and preparation of various types of pollen and its recovery from honey. The use of mountants, stains and ringing tables to make permanent glycerine jelly mounts will be covered in detail. All materials and equipment will be provided but individuals are welcome to bring their own pollen samples to prepare. The objective is that each participant will leave with their own mounted, stained and ringed pollen slides. Microscopes to study the results will be available.

Charles Gervais:- Beekeeping Photography for Fun and Profit
Charles is a professional photographer and educator who specialises in commercial, portrait and fine art photography. He will be teaching practical workshops that will guide attendees to a better understanding of the capabilities of their cameras and photographic accessories (beginners are welcome, but attendees should already have a good basic understanding of their equipment). A key focus of the sessions will be the manipulation of light ("photography" means "painting with light", after all). These will be hands-on workshops, so bring your cameras and accessories. He'll be offering tips on using all classes of cameras, from mobile phones through compact cameras and all the way up to DSLRs, but attendees with cameras that offer full manual control will gain the most.

Julian Parker and Diane Steele:- Bee Disease, Identification and Control
Julian and Diane will be conducting two workshops simultaneously on Honey Bee Health. They will split the audience between the two workshops and Diane will lead the newer beekeepers and Julian the more experienced. The subjects covered will include keeping bees healthy and they will focus on identifying common diseases and pests as well as the notifiable and exotic ones.

Margaret Thomas:- BBKA General Husbandry
The Workshop is designed for beekeepers contemplating taking the General Husbandry Assessment in 2017, and who have managed several colonies for over three years. The Workshop will entail an introduction to the day, how the assessment is carried out and what to expect. It will also involve audience participation and presentation, and will explore the practical aspects of the assessment as well as the theory. Candidates should bring with them a copy of the prospectus for the General Husbandry Certificate as well as a note pad and pen.

Tom Salter:- Judging Procedures and Techniques
This workshop is intended for those who have or are about to get their Judging Record Book and aims to consolidate the information and experiences learnt from stewarding for honey judges as part of the entry requirement. This workshop is of a practical nature and to be successful requires attendees to bring at least 4 exhibits representing the range of show class categories. Prize standard exhibits are not necessary as exhibits of varying standards will add to the learning experience. Attendees should bring a white coat and hat, torch, grading glasses, tasting rods, tea towel and wash jars.

Val Francis:- BBKA Basic Assessment
The Workshop is designed for beekeepers contemplating taking the Basic Assessment in 2017. Val will go through the syllabus, explain the level of detail needed and what to expect during the assessment. Ideal for those who have been keeping bees for 1-2 years and are keen to progress with their beekeeping.

Pam Hunter:- Module 2 - BBKA Exam Workshops
Pam started about 23 years ago in a rural spot in the middle of Sussex, having been 'going to' for many years before. She is a member of Central Sussex BKA, is a Master Beekeeper and currently chairs the Examination Board of the BBKA. This workshop will guide attendees through Module 2, with typical questions, an ideal workshop for anyone taking Module 2 in March.

Margaret Murdin:- Module 1 - BBKA Exam Workshop
The workshop will include an in depth look at the syllabus, covering the depth of knowledge required. Past question papers with some model answers will be reviewed and hints and tips on examination technique given. The organisation of learning will also be covered – a must for anyone considering embarking on taking the module examinations.

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