In the SPOTLIGHT – Club Secretary Ed Bennett

Q1. How long have you been a beekeeper?
A. Since August 2019, just over a year.

Q2. Why did you become a beekeeper?
A. At SS&DBKA: After attending the club’s Honeybee Experience Day in June ’18, I knew beekeeping was for me and enrolled in the 2019 Beginners Beekeeping Course; 6 weeks evening lectures, followed by 6 weekend apiary sessions, where I learnt how to handle the bees, passed quickly. I bought a nucleus of bees from the club. Bringing the bees to my apiary is when it became real.

Q3. What is your favourite bit of beekeeping kit?
A. My J-Type hive tool.

Q4. How many bee suits do you have?
A. Two: My first was a lightweight khaki suit from Simon the Beekeeper. I later bought a mesh breathable bee suit at the 2019 National Honey Show.

Q5. What is your proudest beekeeping moment?
A. Being elected to be the club’s secretary in 2020.

Q6. Do you have a favourite pair of socks?
A. Yes. Thin horizontal stripes in pink and blue.

Q7. Who is your beekeeping hero or heroine?
A. I don’t have one yet – but everyone whom I’ve met so far or listened to in beekeeping has been genuinely fun, easy going and interesting; there are many characters with the potential.

Q8. What beekeeping disasters have you had?
A. After successfully overwintering my first nucleus, in the spring something didn’t seem right. Knowledge gained from my course helped me to quickly diagnose that I had laying workers. All was not lost though, the club put me in touch with a kindly beekeeper who sold me a new colony and delivered it quickly despite the covid pandemic.

Q9. Which aspect of beekeeping do you like best?
A. I really like the variety and diversity of areas related to beekeeping and feeling more in touch with the weather and seasons.

Q10. What is your least favourite beekeeping job?
A. I don’t really like smoking or shaking bees to conduct disease inspections.

Q11. If you didn’t keep bees, would you be a campanologist or a Morris dancer?
A. Probably not. If I wanted to do either I’d be doing it!

Q12. What would be your best bit of beekeeping advice?
A. As I’ve just started out, I’d say if you’re interested give it a go. I wish I had started earlier. Don’t be afraid to ask questions as there’s lots to learn.

Q13. What would your last meal be?
A. A Thai red curry, with some wok fried greens and an ice-cold beer.

Q14. What is your favourite bit of a bee?
A. I like the really hairy bits on the head, eyes and thorax.

Q15. When you think about your bees, what makes you smile?
A. The buzz of the bees and the smell of wax.

Q16. Do you like honey?
A. Yes, especially set honey on a nice slice of fresh white bread, or drizzled over a bowl of yogurt.

Q17. What annoys you about bees (apart from the stings)?
A. Nothing, it’s not the bees, it’s the weather!

Q18. Do you talk to your bees?
A. Doesn’t every beekeeper?

Q19. How often are you asked to stop talking about bees?
A. No-one’s asked me to yet; it’s either early days, or I’m just talking to the right people.

Q20. Do you prefer sweet or savoury nibbles?
A. Savoury although once they’ve gone, I’ll also eat all the sweets!

Q21. What other interests do you have besides
beekeeping?

A. Casual running, fishkeeping, watching YouTube: Sailing La Vagabonde, Currently Hannah in Japan, and Tucker Gott: Paramotoring – plus too many beekeeping channels to mention.

Q22. Who would you like to inspect a hive with?
A. I often inspect my hive with my best friend (Jess, my wife).

Q23. What sums up your attitude to bees and beekeeping?
A. It’s the best pastime I’ve ever taken up, bees and the beekeepers are the best!