THERE was a buzz in Cowes over the weekend as beekeepers celebrated an exceptional summer of honey production.

Members of the Isle of Wight Bee Keepers Association (IWBKA) held their annual show at the Isle of Wight Community Club in Park Road on Saturday (Nov 3).

And opening the show was former County Press reporter and gardening columnist, Richard Wright, who made an impassioned plea to the government to keep in place a proposed EU ban on chemicals that harm bees if Brexit took place.

He said: "Here on the Island, there is a unique opportunity for a new-style subsidy to return just a few acres of each farm to rich meadow and I will be contacting our MP, Bob Seely, to see if we can be used as a testing ground.

"I would like to think there is the opportunity for the government to fund farmers to return some of their land to species that depend upon it for their very survival."

This year is the 100th anniversary of the formation of the IWBKA and its current chairman, Dave Cassell, referred to how just prior to the Armistice in October 1918, 22 people met at the Guildhall in Newport to discuss the formation of a bee keeping association.

He said: "This year has been an exceptional year for most beekeepers. Yields are definitely up on recent past crops of honey.

"However, if recent television reports are to believed, the forage that bees depend on has declined."

Mags Kelleher, 62, from Wootton was celebrating after scooping the prize for best medium honey at the show.

She said: "It is a stress buster. Most people who take up bee keeping have a genuine interest in wildlife."


The Reg Gallop Trophy for best article of handicraft — Paula Collingwood; The Ray Fitchett Award for best natural history photograph — Matt Noyce; The Roberts Memorial Trophy for highest number of points for honey and wax — Mary Case; The Claude Cooper Memorial Trophy for the highest number of points gained in the whole show — Mary Case; IWBKA Blue Ribbon Award for the competing entrant who in the opinion of this year's show judge has produced something outstanding — Dave Cassell.


Light liquid honey — Mary Case; Novice honey — Ruth Smith; Six jars of honey — Mike Sargent; Most popular honey — Joe Creaser and Dave Cassell; Wax block — Mary Case; Mead — George Bignell; Decorated cake — Gillian Belben.