We had a great turnout of 20 people for the 2014 Apiary Safari on 9 August. This is a fifth of our membership!
Luckily the weather was perfect so, after meeting at the teaching apiary, we set off in five cars to Peter Girling's garden just round the corner.
Peter has brightly painted commercial hives with homemade stands and roofs. He told us that he has to fence off his apiary against the local wildlife, which includes badgers and deer, and showed us a fantastic storage area for his beekeeping equipment under his solar panel array. All in all a very good setup.
We then collected the rest of the cars and set off for Knodishall to have a look at Linda Serpell's out apiary in her field. We had our picnics and Linda and Penny explained about the apiary, which originally started because of a need for a ‘quarantine' area for swarms and has developed from there. The hives are visible from the road so that they are less likely to be stolen, and only older secondhand equipment is used.
We didn't look at many hives at Linda's but there was an interesting one that had laying workers instead of a queen, which most people hadn't seen before.
At both apiaries, John B, a retired bee inspector, gave us some tips about disease checking, which was very good.
Those who came along enjoyed the more relaxed opportunity to get to know other beekeepers. We'll definitely do it again next year.