Q1. How long have you been a beekeeper?
A. This is my 5th season. I had bees in 2016 and did the beginners course in 2017.
Q2. Why did you become a beekeeper?
A. Accidentally! I ended up taking over 4 colonies that were being kept on our land. It was like a baptism of fire. I definitely wouldn’t recommend tackling looking after bees before getting some training.
Q3. What is your favourite bit of beekeeping kit?
A. I love my small hive tool with notched J thingy.
Q4. How many bee suits do you have?
A. At the last count, 5 suits and 1 jacket. (because the first 2 were cheap and I soon realised why)
Q5. What is your proudest beekeeping moment?
A. My first success at raising queens, I was so pleased it worked.
Q6. Do you have a favourite pair of socks?
A. Not exactly but I do tend to wear socks with bees on when I’m with the bees.
Q7. Who is your beekeeping hero or heroine?
A. Without a doubt, Tom Seeley.
Q8. What beekeeping disasters have you had?
A. Spilling 20 lbs of honey and putting my back out trying to stop it spreading under the washing machine.
Q9. Which aspect of beekeeping do you like best?
A. In the spring, watching the hives on a sunny day and seeing the pollen flowing in and seeing new bees emerging.
Q10. What is your least favourite beekeeping job?
A. Processing honey, OMG.
Q11. If you didn’t keep bees, would you be a campanologist or a Morris dancer?
A. I would rather have root canal surgery
Q12. What would be your best bit of beekeeping advice?
A. Take your time and observe closely.
Q13. What would your last meal be?
A. My mum’s crab claw curry. Sweet crab meat, hot and extremely messy.
Q14. What is your favourite bit of a bee?
A. Bee bums, they are so expressive.
Q15. When you think about your bees, what makes you smile?
A. The fact that I have bees makes me smile. Being lucky enough to be close to them and learn a little.
Q16. Do you like honey?
A. It has grown on me, I never used to be much of a fan. I love using it in cooking especially savoury dishes. Added at the end of cooking really makes food sing.
Q17. What annoys you about bees (apart from the stings)?
A. They are too blooming clever and I wish I had started sooner.
Q18. Do you talk to your bees?
A. Does swearing count? I start by chatting then I do a lot of humming, some pleading, a lot of apologising and sounding like a station announcer forever saying ‘mind the gap’ and making a lot of odd little noises, now I come to think about it.
Q19. How often are you asked to stop talking about bees?
A. People are usually really interested, but I stop myself from going on about them too much.
Q20. Do you prefer sweet or savoury nibbles?
A. Both please
Q21. What other interests do you have besides beekeeping?
A. I love faffing at all sorts. Cooking, sewing, painting, making bee bits, poking around in ponds, gardening… the list goes on..
Q22. Who would you like to inspect a hive with?
A. Any one? Alive: Morgan Freeman – chatting about bees with the voice of God would be awesome! Dead: my dad – he would have loved beekeeping.
Q23. What sums up your attitude to bees and beekeeping?
A. They make you humble and so aware of how connected and fragile everything is.