Telling the bees is a traditional British custom, in which bees would be told of important events in their keeper’s life, such as births, marriages, departures and returns in the household. The bees were most commonly told of deaths in their master’s family, including of their master. If the custom was omitted or forgotten then it was believed a penalty would be paid; the bees might leave their hive, stop producing honey or die.
For a wedding the hive might be decorated and cake left by the hive. If the beekeeper died the hive would be draped in black and biscuits and wine from the funeral left for the bees.
Today I took part in telling the bees at Dorset Road Allotments that their master, our Chairman and Head Beekeper, Clive, had died. Following his funeral at Beckenham Crematorium, Clive’s bees were told the sad news. It was a moving ceremony attended by his family and many friends from the beekeeping community as well as the two allotments he worked so diligently for.
Clive will be missed by all who knew him. Our condolences go to his wife Barbara and their family.
Thank you to everyone who came to our Open Day, helped out or ran a stall.
We had lots of stall holders selling everything from jams and preserves to teddy bears, (including stalls raising money for charity). The Woodcraft Folk were back showing how to cook on an open fire and doing various crafts with the children. Our Beekeepers did an excellent display and were on hand to answer questions and Thames 21 did some pond and river dipping and showed us what was living there. And we had the usual tea, cakes, and BBQ plus lots of kids activities. It was an excellent day!
I’m looking forward to our Annual Open Day next week. As well as being able to tour our site, visit the wildlife garden there will be our wide range of regular stalls and events such as the Dog agility show, Bee demonstration, bouncy castle, Morris and Clog dancing, craft stalls, plant sales, Bodging demonstration, candle rolling, raffle and home made cakes. This year we’re also pleased to be having the Bromley Woodcraft Folk along to do woodcraft and cookery demonstrations (find out more about them at Bromley woodcraft folk).
The Open Day is on Sunday 19th May at 11am – 3pm. It’s free entry and there’s something for everyone. Hope to see you there!