In the SPOTLIGHT – Club Chair Alan Greenman

Q1. How long have you been a beekeeper?
A. Since 2011, the year before I retired.

Q2. Why did you become a beekeeper?
A. My grandad kept bees and when I stayed over at his house, I would sleep in the room where he kept his honey and beekeeping equipment. It seemed only natural that I would be a beekeeper.

Q3. What is your favourite bit of beekeeping kit?
A. A very old penknife that used to belong to my grandad and was part of his kit. It is well worn!

Q4. How many bee suits do you have?
A. I currently own three full suits and two jackets.

Q5. What is your proudest beekeeping moment?
A. Queen rearing using the grafting method and getting the subsequent queen through winter in an apidea. It was my strongest colony that year.

Q6. Do you have a favourite pair of socks?
A. Yes, they are an old pair of long blue and grey motorcycle socks and they are very comfortable in wellies for long periods.

Q7. Who is your beekeeping hero or heroine?
A. Clive de Bruyn – he stayed over with me a few years back and we talked bees all evening…

Q8. What beekeeping disasters have you had?
A. Dropped queens, put boxes back in the wrong order and tripped over my smoker amongst others.

Q9. Which aspect of beekeeping do you like best?
A. Obviously watching the bees as well as talking to other beekeepers.

Q10. What is your least favourite beekeeping job?
A. Cleaning the wax off queen excluders!

Q11. If you didn’t keep bees, would you be a campanologist or a morris dancer?
A. A campanologist

Q12. What would be your best bit of beekeeping advice?
A. Be patient, trust in the bees

Q13. What would your last meal be?
A. Sweet pancakes with runny honey and fresh lemon juice.

Q14. What is your favourite bit of a bee?
A. Its antennae

Q15. When you think about your bees, what makes you smile?
A. Seeing them arriving back at the hive with legs full of pollen of all colours.

Q16. Do you like honey?
A. Yes, of course I do, yummy!

Q17. What annoys you about bees (apart from the stings)?
A. When you go to great pains to get a swarm out of a bush in to a box and they all come out and go back in the bush because you haven’t got the queen

Q18. Do you talk to your bees?
A. Yes, I tell them how I feel and what I would really like them to do.

Q19. How often are you asked to stop talking about bees?
A. Mmm, yes, it does happen…

Q20. Do you prefer sweet or savoury nibbles?
A. Savoury please.

Q21. What other interests do you have besides beekeeping?
A. Motorcycling and cooking.

Q22. Who would you like to inspect a hive with?
A. Bill Turnbull.

Q23. What sums up your attitude to bees and beekeeping?
A. I find beekeeping both frustrating and enjoyable yet compelling and at times very relaxing, but above all it is great fun.