Heckington Show Report 2019

Many thanks to all who gave their support in making the 2019 Show another outstanding success. Many people gave their time either at the show or in the buildup to the show at meetings and in gifts of resources. The event itself requires a considerable amount of effort and is only successful if the members support it, many thanks once again to everyone who did.

The stand looked great as it came together on Friday afternoon and into the evening, some minor tweaks completed an eye-catching display on Saturday morning. Alongside the beekeeping display Sleaford members also contributed to the Heckington show on many of the show benches and proved that they are not just beekeepers with many other awards being won through some really nice exhibits, it was particularly rewarding to see the Honey show bench as full as it's ever been.

Throughout the two days of the event it was great to see thousands of people coming to our stand and engaging with our visual display and gleaning information from our enthusiastic members. The whole display was a bombardment on the senses in every way from wonderful visual information, the garden, observation hive, pollen sculptures, local honey display, wonderful facts and information and the interactive activities of the Observation hive, Honey tasting, badge making, Bee and B – Bug hotels, Asian hornet information, virtual hive and we even had two “Queens” walking and talking to our public !

It was pleasing to see the interaction with our members and the general public, who have an almost insatiable appetite for our craft, the buzz of interest and excitement was a two way street with our members having a great time sharing the craft and possibly learning a bit more about our own craft and hobby. The display was rewarded with a Silver Gilt Medal for its overall merit but I’m sure that you will agree, for those who were there, our stand was by far the most visited and engaged with by the public.

A post show meeting was undertaken to help identify any changes or suggestions for next year and feedback was asked for from those who could make the meeting. It’s a difficult time of year as people have other undertaking but 3 who were at the show turned up to discuss all aspects of the show. In no particular order we discussed the following:-

The observation hive – is a great attraction and an almost must have but it is appreciated that it takes a lot of thought and planning to make it happen. The hive was left unattended on a few occasions as volunteers were thin on the ground, just an observation but a situation that needs addressing in future years.

Badges – this was a new attraction and generated a lot of interest and a good income for club funds, it was suggested that in future years that we should ask for a donation rather than charge per badge. We would continue to loan the badge making machine from LBKA show committee whilst we can.

Display of SBKA members honey – This generated a good deal of interest for our visitors and members alike and can be added to in time for next year.

Honey sales and tasters – The tasters and sales generated a lot of interest and the sales of honey has helped boost our club funds. The sales and tasters does take up a lot of volunteer time as it needs to be supervised continuously, booking in and accounting for stock was time consuming.

Pollen structures – This static display was enjoyed by a number of visitors and was a good use of space with minimal supervision, it encouraged visitors to engage with us.

Virtual hive – again a good resource that allowed us to engage with visitors as an ice breaker.

Asian hornet info desk – lots of interest from visitors and other beekeepers, didn’t need constant supervision.

Bug hotels and Bee n B – A wonderful way to engage with visitors, a lot of time and resources to make it happen but a very generous donation made it happen – donations were asked for and lots of funds were generated and a lot of goodwill.

The Bee garden – was, again, a great visual attraction to our stand, a lot of effort and resources were put into the garden but very little supervision was needed during the event – a good use of our allowed space. Our information board that accompanied the garden would benefit from photos next year.

Overall it was agreed that our stand was really impressive and if we aim to improve next year we would benefit from more helpers as we were spread thin this year especially on the Sunday but we came through and provided a very well received edition to the Horticultural Marquee. We may want to make some information changes next year eg change the pollen theme for a wax theme or queen rearing or different hive types, just to have variety.

Some additional thought could be made to the overall “Rough” appearance of some of the wooden structure, which was covered over as best as we could at the last minute – this didn’t detract from our visitors but possibly the judges may have noticed some rough edges.

Please see below the show accounts, prepared by our show treasurer

Simon Croson, Chairman SBKA