Grand Opening June 5th 2011

The official opening of the Gregynog Apiary was on Sunday 5th June 2011 coincidiGregynog Hallng with the Gregynog Hall Garden Festival. There were many stallholders as well as demonstrations of birds of prey flying and sheep dogs herding ducks. In spite of the weather forecast, which had talked of downpours and storms, it was a pleasant day if a little cooler than of late and overcast at times.

The MBKA marquee was the biggest and most obvious one there and contained bee and honey related stalls. Bees abroad organised candle making for children and Pam Gregory gave an interesting talk about their work in Africa. See here for more information about what they do.

The Great Oak Bookshop of Llanidloes had a table in the tent with an extensive range of books about bees and beekeeping. Their shop is well worth a visit - it is like a little piece of Hay-on-Wye in the middle of Wales.

Our association president, Jim Crundwell, brought along some of the extensive collection of equipment which he has amassed over his beekeeping career. Quite a few people had to ask what some of the stranger looking items were used for.

As a special treat, Brian Goodwin (known to many of us for his beekeeping instruction classes) brought along his male voice choir who entertained the crowd with a selection of anecdotes and songs. The MBKA members who had volunteered to help out on the day also assisted the choir in demolishing a delicious tea laid on for the occasion.

A Montybees marquee in action

Although no actual ribbon was cut, chairman Tony Shaw made a brief speech to welcome everyone to the opening of the apiary. The viewing hut was not then completely finished, but the crowd filled it up and the overflow arranged themslves along the bee-proof fencing to either side.

There were then two demonstrations of beekeeping at the apiary, ably presented by Dave Bennett and SBI John Beavan. They gave informative and yet entertaining performances which were well received, and yet still found time to go though all nine hives thoroughly.

When the festival closed at 4 pm, it just remained for the volunteers to dismantle the marquee (kindly loaned by the Bennetts) and pack everything away. Thanks again to all the members who helped make it a successful day.