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National Honey Show

Skep Making Workshop

Skep Making Workshop

Workshop Booking Opens 1st September 2017

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 2017. 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 online 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.

The workshop reception is located on the ground floor of 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 2017 Workshops

Thursday 26th October 14.30 - 17.00
1. Microscopy - Preparing Pollen Slides Alan Potter +£5 SOLD OUT
2. Making Honey Beer Pat Turner +£5 CLOSED
3. Pampering Potions Sara Robb +£5 SOLD OUT
4. Making Products from the Hive Iain Judge +£5 SOLD OUT
5. BBKA Honey Bee Health Certificate Alastair Welch CLOSED
6. Swarms and Swarm Control Phil McAnespie CLOSED

Friday 27th October 09.30 - 12.00
1. Microscopy - Preparing Slides of Honey Bee Parts Alan Potter +£5 SOLD OUT
2. Labour Saving Devices Will Steynor +£5 CLOSED
3. Cooking with Honey Paul Vagg +£5 SOLD OUT
4. Candle Making Iain Judge +£5 SOLD OUT
5. Setting up and Running a Local Bee Improvement Group Nick Bentham-Green and Steve Rose (sponsored by BIBBA) CLOSED
6. Demystifying Health and Safety and Risk Assessments Andy Pedley CLOSED
7. Skep Making Part 1 (all day) Chris Park +£15 SOLD OUT

Friday 27th October 14.30 - 17.00
1. Mead Making from Start to Drinking Ron Hunter CLOSED
2. Climbing the Beekeeping Ladder Margaret Ginman, BFA CLOSED
3. Pampering Potions Sara Robb +£5 SOLD OUT
4. Bee Disease Identification and Control (Absolute Beginners) NBU CLOSED
5. Showing Honey John Goodwin CLOSED
6. Bee Disease Identification and Control (Improvers 2yrs+) NBU SOLD OUT
7. Skep Making (Part 2 continued from morning) Chris Park

Saturday 28th October 09.00 - 11.30
1. Making Beeswax Fruit Joyce Nisbet and Douglas Nethercleft +£5 SOLD OUT
2. Making Honey Beer Pat Turner +£5 CLOSED
3. Cooking with Honey Paul Vagg +£5 CLOSED
4. Beekeeping Photography for Fun and Profit Charles Gervais CLOSED
5. Showing Wax John Goodwin CLOSED
6. Food Safety and Marketing Legislation Andy Pedley CLOSED
7. Skep Making Part 1 (all day) Nick Mengham +£15 CLOSED

Saturday 28th October 13.00 -15.30
1. Mead Making from Start to Drinking Ron Hunter CLOSED
2. Encaustic Art Julie Ann +£5 CLOSED
3. Beekeeping Taster Celia and David Rudland CANCELLED
4. Beekeeping Photography for Fun and Profit Charles Gervais CLOSED
5. BBKA Honey Bee Breeding Certificate Marin Anastasov CLOSED
6. Queen Rearing for the Small Scale Beekeeper Phil McAnespie SOLD OUT
7. Skep Making (Part 2 continued from morning) Nick Mengham

*If you are unable to open our links either disable your popup blocker or allow the site.

The workshop reception is located on the ground floor of 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

Microscopy – Preparing Pollen slides, led by Alan Potter
This workshop covers all aspects involved in preparing and mounting 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.

Microscopy – Preparing Slides of Honey Bee Parts, led by Alan Potter
This workshop will cover in practical detail how to make permanent microscope slides from not only parts of the honey bee 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 process normally takes 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 honey bee parts. Microscopes to study the results will be available. Safety gloves and glasses will be available for use when handling chemicals.

Making Honey Beer, led by Pat Turner
Pat has been an enthusiastic home brewer ever since he read a small ad for a beer kit in Exchange and Mart 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.

Pampering Potions, led by Dr Sara Robb
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 six 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.

Making Products from the Hive, led by Iain Judge
Learn to use beeswax and honey to make a variety of products at the practical hands-on workshop. Participants will learn to make, and will take away, polish and a selection of hive products such as body scrub and propolis tincture. There will also be a chance to sample an easy to make alcoholic drink.

BBKA Honey Bee Health Certificate, led by Alastair Welch, NDB
This presentation relates to a new BBKA assessment entitled, The Honey Bee Health Certificate. This is a practical assessment which will follow on from the Basic Assessment. This Assessment will be held at Local Association Apiaries, will be invigilated by one assessor and last approximately 90 minutes. The Assessment is aimed at managing healthy bees and being able to recognise bee diseases. It is aimed at beekeepers who only have a few colonies. This Assessment has been trialled during 2017 and will be implemented in 2018.
Alastair Welch is a member of Farnham BKA, a BBKA Master Beekeeper, assessor for the basic, general husbandry and advanced husbandry certificates. He is a BBKA Exam Board member and assistant moderator for practical assessments.

Swarms and Swarm Control, led by Phil McAnespie
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 he associated benefits of simple queen rearing.

Queen rearing for the Small Scale Beekeeper, led by Phil McAnespie
Phil will outline simple, practical queen rearing methods suitable for beginners and experienced beekeepers alike.

Labour Saving Devices, led by Will Steynor
This is a workshop on gadgets and equipment developed over 50 years of beekeeping. The areas covered will be modifications to standard hive designs to help speed up routine inspections, making hives from plywood, simple queen rearing nuclei boxes and a number of other pieces of equipment used in extracting and preparing honey for sale. Overall this is an opportunity to look at and see how to make a range of equipment designed to minimise the time and effort required to keep bees efficiently.

Cooking With Honey, led by Dr Paul J Vagg
This workshop will cover the essential basics to remember when cooking with honey. Topics include, substituting honey for sugar in recipes, Honey nutrition facts, Honey varieties & their versatility in cooking, the easy way to measure honey accurately, and why you should reduce liquid content in recipes, followed by the preparation of a simple 'honey & lemon’ drizzle cake. Participants will be working in pairs, and all relevant cooking materials will be supplied, however each participant must bring with them a pen and notepad, and a container suitable for taking away their very own cake after baking. The container required should be large enough to accommodate a 7 inch diameter cake.
Presented by Paul Vagg, owner of Bee Naturals and the current 'London Beekeeper Of The Year', former LBKA resources officer, and author, this workshop is a must for all those who enjoy 'Cooking With Honey'.

Candle Making, led by Iain Judge
Iain has been keeping bees in South London for about 9 years, is passionate about making and using hive products. He previously used to run a candle making workshop for people with learning disabilities, but now works as a Brewer in a commercial Meadery. The workshop will demonstrate candle making and provide hands-on opportunity to make candles.

Setting up and Running a Local Bee Improvement Group, led by Nick Bentham-Green and Steve Rose
Many beekeepers, especially those new to the craft, are interested in keeping bees that are docile, productive, tough, healthy and best suited to their environment. There is much interest in producing queens from locally adapted colonies, rather than simply buying queens that have been imported, which may bring in pests and diseases and are possibly not best suited to the locality.
The vast majority of beekeepers only have a small number of colonies, so improving bees is quite difficult if working individually, but if several work together in a group it becomes much easier. This workshop is designed to help beekeepers form local breeding groups, which can be done in several ways. Options are several beekeepers combining knowledge and resources independently, as part of a local BKA or as an extension of a local BKA teaching apiary.
The presenters are BIBBA Trustees, Nick Bentham-Green, who is from the Bee Improvement Programme for Cornwall (BIPCo) and Steve Rose from the Upper Dee Bee Improvement Group in North Wales. They come from very different areas, with very different conditions, so should be able to advise on many different situations.

Risk Assessment, led by Andy Pedley
Though they’ve got a bad name, risk assessments are both important and easy once you’ve got the idea! Andy will explain why they are important (including insurance implications) and how to go about doing one - there will be an exercise where you will do a risk assessment of your own. Certificates will be issued on completion of the session.

Food Safety and Marketing Legislation, led by Andy Pedley
There is a whole range of food safety legislation that ensures that all the food that we eat is safe - and the law applies to honey and honey production if you sell your honey. Andy will cover topics such as Registration, prime production, equipment (new, second hand and recycled).

Skep Making, led by Nick Mengham and Chris Park
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 also 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 story telling 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.

Making Mead from Start to Drinking, led by Ron Hunter
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 several 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.

Climbing the Beekeeping Ladder, led by Margaret Ginman and Colleagues
General Secretary of the Bee Farmers Association Margaret Ginman and bee farmer colleagues will lead a workshop on why we need more professional bee farmers in the UK. The BFA’s strategy to build up 15,000 more bee hives throughout the country over the next five years and the importance of managed and targeted pollination by professionals. This is not a workshop for amateurs. It is aimed at people with enough experience to launch their own bee farming businesses and be active members of the BFA.

Bee Diseases, Identification and Control, led by NBU
The NBU will be conducting two workshops simultaneously on Honey Bee Heath. They will split the audience between the two workshops, with one for the newer beekeepers and one 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. Jonathan Palmer, SBI is leading the beginners workshop and Sandra Gray (RBI for SE Region) for the advance.

Showing Honey and Showing Wax, led by John Goodwin
John runs between 20 and 30 colonies in a number of apiaries from the southern to northern boundaries of Cheshire and operates apiary migration to various crops including: OSR, phacelia, buckwheat and heather.
John is a BBKA National Honey Judge and a BBKA Honey Judge Assessor. A normal year involves judging between 10 and 15 honey shows per year and he will normally enter and exhibit at a number of shows within the year.
He is a Director of Nantwich Show and manage the honey show and the honey /bee displays at the show. He also manages the annual Cheshire beekeepers honey show, which is held within the Cheshire Beekeepers Autumn Convention - both the above shows are sizeable shows with up to 2 to 300 entries.
The Showing Honey workshop will cover four show categories: Heather, Comb, creamed /granulated and runny honey. We will discuss and John will demonstrate: how to enter exhibits to win rather than just to compete, which honey to show, preparation of the honey, right packaging, hygiene, interpretation of the schedule.

The Wax workshop will cover the preparation and which wax to use for showing: wax blocks, commercial wax, candles, models, wax flowers. We will discuss and John will demonstrate via power point: The moulding of wax blocks to win, mould release, finishing the blocks for showing, commercial blocks, small blocks, interpretation of the schedule.

Making Beeswax Fruit, led by Joyce Nisbet and Douglas Nethercleft
As seen on North Shropshire Beekeepers’ winning display at the 2016 National Honey Show. Participants will cast and decorate several wax fruits. There will also be a mould making demonstration. Materials provided, but please bring an apron to protect your clothes.

Joyce Nisbet has been beekeeping for over 25 years and is a Master Beekeeper. Now retired, Joyce has more time to show honey and support others learning about bees. However, plaster and wax-working skills learned 40 years ago as a dental undergraduate were her most useful assets with wax fruit making.

Douglas Nethercleft loves to explore every facet of beekeeping - the versatility of beeswax being just one area of his interests in bee behaviour and the practical uses of the products of the hive.

Beekeeping Photography for Fun and Profit, led by Charles Gervais
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 from the workshop. Cameras with macro (close-up) capabilities are ideal and if you have a tripod, please bring it along.

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

Beekeeping Taster, led by Celia and David Rudland CANCELLED
Celia and David started as hobby beekeepers in 2004 they now run around 200 colonies and earn their living as commercial Bee Farmers. At their East Surrey Bees training apiary, they run courses for all sections of the bee keeping fraternity, from school groups and adult beginners to the students on the Bee Farmers Association/ Rowse three year Apprenticeship course and specialist workshops on subjects like Bee Diseases, Queen Rearing and the Basic Exam for those who have some experience in keeping bees; Beeswax Candle and Mead Making days are exciting workshops for anyone who has access to hive products. This Taster workshop aims to give the complete beginner an insight into the time, effort and cost of keeping a colony or two of healthy bees. We will look at hive types as well as going through the annual cycle of work and look at some of the wonderful hive products.

BBKA Honey Bee Breeding Certificate, led by Marin Anastasov
The BBKA Examination Board is developing and introducing a new assessment, the Bee Breeding Certificate. This workshop is an introduction to this new qualification. The reasons why it is being introduced, the content of the syllabus and the form that the assessment will take, will be discussed in detail. It should be of interest to anyone who, having mastered the basics of beekeeping, thinks that they want to develop their beekeeping skills in breeding and improving their honey bees in a structured and methodical way. This Assessment has been trialled during 2017 and will be implemented in 2018.
Marin holds a BSc degree in Animal Science and MSc in Organic Farming from Aberdeen University. He is passionate about sustainable food production and his entire working career has been in organic food and farming. He has kept bees for over 20 years and currently manages 25 colonies in Gloucestershire. His beekeeping interests are in honey bee-plant interaction, honey bee breeding and honey bee biology. Marin is a Master Beekeeper, Trustee of Gloucestershire Beekeepers Association, serves on the BBKA Examinations Board and coordinates the BBKA General Husbandry assessment training for 2017. As member of the BBKA Examination Board, Marin is part of the team responsible for the development and implementation of the Certificate in Honey Bee breeding.

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