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National Honey Show

Skep Making Workshop

Skep Making Workshop

Workshop Booking

Workshop bookings are now CLOSED. We will not be selling or exchanging tickets at the Show.

There have been some changes in Room allocation; please see the revised timetable below. Cosmetics, Polishes and Candle Making workshops have been moved to the Esher Hall as there is much more space there and social distancing will be easier. The Esher Hall is located downstairs underneath the Canteen and is accessed by stairs or lift from the main foyer.

Download Workshop Room Changes (16/10/21) [26KB PDF]

The National Honey Show holds a number of workshops and demonstrations to assist new or less experienced exhibitors in the art and skills of preparing some items for honey show classes and to help raise the general standard of exhibits as well as other beekeeping related topics.

Please be aware that only National Honey Show Members and those with a daily admission ticket can attend Lectures and book into workshops and or demonstrations.

Booking opens from 1st September 2021. All workshops include a £8.00 non–returnable booking fee. There is a small additional charge for some workshops to cover the cost of materials.

Workshop online booking ENDS one week before the workshop starts.

All workshops are scheduled for 2 ½ hours duration. Please arrive at least 10 minutes prior to the start of the workshop.

e-Tickets are entirely electronic, sent by TicketSource as email attachments (PDF), you can print them out.

Start booking National Honey Show workshops on TicketSource from 1st September or use the individual workshop links below.

Before booking any workshops check the following

1. You have read the Workshop Synopsis?

2. You are a National Honey Show Member or are prepared to purchase a day ticket (needed to gain access to the building on the day).

3. Please book with care to avoid disappointment. Common mistakes to avoid are: "The workshop I booked clashed with a lecture" "I can't come to Thursday's workshop, can I change to Friday's?" "I didn't realise the workshop was for beginners"

Workshops and Booking *Direct Links

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(+) = Additional charge added to cover the cost of materials.

The workshop reception is located on the ground floor of the Eclipse Pavilion and will be open 30 minutes before the start of each session.

Thursday 21st October 14.30 - 17.00

G. 1-2 Encaustic Art Lorraine Priestley +£5

G. 5-7 Mead Making from Start to Drinking Ron Hunter

Esher Hall Super Natural Cosmetics Sara Robb +£5

3. 6-8 Swarms and Swarm Control Megan Seymour

Friday 22nd October 09.30 - 12.00

G. 1-2 Encaustic Art Lorraine Priestley +£5

Esher Hall Making Beeswax Polish Paul Vagg +£5

3. 1-3 Food Safety Side of Honey and Hive Production Andy Pedley

3. 4-5 The BBKA Show Judge Certificate Stuart Roberts and John Goodwin

3. 6-8 Sustainable Planting for Honey Bees Sarah Wyndham Lewis

Brasserie Skep Making (all day) Chris Park +£15

Friday 22nd October 14.30 - 17.00

G. 1-2 Hive Building Oliver St John +£5

G. 5-7 Mead Making from Start to Drinking Ron Hunter

Esher Hall Candle Making Celia and David Rudland +£5

3. 1-3 Create Mixed Media Bee Art Claire Murthy +£5

3. 4-5 NBU Bee Disease and Pest Recognition Sandra Gray

3. 6-8 Showing Honey John Goodwin

Brasserie Skep Making continues with Chris Park

Saturday 23rd October 09.00 - 11.30

G. 1-2 BBKA Exam Techniques Margaret Murdin

Esher Hall Super Natural Cosmetics Sara Robb +£5

3. 1-3 Making Beeswax Wraps Gwyn Marsh +£5

3. 4-5 Showing Wax John Goodwin

3. 6-8 Reproductive Anatomy Marin Anastasov

Brasserie Skep Making (all day) Chris Park +£15

Saturday 23rd October 13.00 - 15.30

Esher Hall Making Beeswax Polish Paul Vagg +£5

G. 5-7 Making Beeswax Wraps Gwyn Marsh +£5

G. 1-2 Making All-Grain Honey Beer at home (includes Beer Tasting) Chris Sweet

3. 6-8 Queen Rearing for the Small Scale Beekeeper Anne Rowberry

Brasserie Skep Making continues with Chris Park

Workshop Synopsis

Making Mead from Start to Drinking, led by Ron Hunter
Ron has been making mead and country wines for several years and has exhibited at his local show and the National Honey Show. The workshop will include several aspects of making mead and melomels, together with discussion about preparation of show exhibits and tasting. Participants may bring a bottle of home made mead to include in the tasting.

Food Safety Side of Honey and Hive Production, led by Andy Pedley
Andy is a retired EHO with 30 years of bee keeping and honey processing experience! He'll be going through the food safety side of honey and hive production, aiming to give you sufficient knowledge to get a 5 star Food Hygiene Safety Rating System (Scores on the Doors) score.

Making Beeswax Polish, led by Dr Paul J Vagg
Dr Paul Vagg is well known for his charitable work and is a former LBKA committee member and author. Having begun beekeeping some years ago, and completely falling in love with everything involved, he established Bee Naturals, making natural products from beeswax shoe polish and candles, to soap and shampoo bars. Bee Naturals has currently been awarded two British Small business awards for its community/ charitable work, and its natural product range. This workshop will cover the simple basics, and ingredients required, to make a simple natural, non-chemical beeswax cream. Each participant will leave with their own beeswax crème they made during the workshop. The best part? You can use this simple product on everything from wood and leather to dry skin. In addition, the workshop will cover various beeswax recipes, covering items like making beeswax crayons or soap. A handout with the recipes shown will be provided to all participants.

Making Beeswax Wraps, led by Gwyn Marsh
Plastic is a huge problem. The search for alternatives is on. This is an opportunity to learn how to make an alternative cling film food covering. All material will be provided and you will go home with 3 wax wraps to experiment with. Places limited to 10. Gwyn is an experienced teacher, lecturer and education researcher, with a speciality in environmental science, She is an engaging and informative speaker who enjoys combining theory with practical activities in a workshop environment. Gwyn is also an enthusiastic bee-keeper, who is curious to explore and develop the many ways bee products can be put to beneficial use. Her wax wraps, a sustainable alternative to cling film, have attracted considerable interest at her local bee society’s stall at fairs and fetes and sell well.

Swarms and Swarm Control, led by Megan Seymour
This workshop will cover reasons for swarming but have greater emphasis on the practical methods of its control/prevention using various artificial swarming methods, use of the Horsley and Snelgrove boards, Nucleus colonies and the associated benefits of simple queen rearing.

BBKA Exam Techniques, led by Margaret Murdin
This workshop will cover the examination techniques that will help you to be successful in the written module exams of the BBKA. Sometimes candidates fail their exam, not because they did not know the material but because of unfamiliarity with exams. Margaret is Assistant Moderator for the BBKA and until recently moderated the written papers. Too often candidates failed because they ran out of time, or did not read the question properly. Margaret will go through the pitfalls and explain how to avoid them.

Skep Making, led by Chris Park
Chris Park is a skep maker and skep beekeeper. He lives on an organic farm in the Vale of the White Horse. His work is wide and varied, from arts and craft, ancient technologies, experimental archaeology and educational projects to eco-building, professional story telling and raising the awareness of heritage beekeeping. You can see some of his work at He is chairman of the newly formed British Beekeeping Heritage Society and gives entertaining lectures. Chris aims to teach how to make skeps and not just run a production line. Few will finish their skeps on the day but we hope all will go home with the knowledge and materials needed to finish the job.

BBKA Show Judge Certificate, led by Stuart Roberts and John Goodwin
Stuart is a beekeeper with 10+ years of experience and a desire of becoming a Show Judge in the future. He sits on the BBKA Examination Board - and wants to listen to the concerns of members and hopefully address them. Feedback from potential candidates has indicated that: people don't seem to understand the syllabus, have said that the process is very complicated people and that it is too hard and not achievable. John is a BBKA National Honey Judge and a BBKA Honey Judge Assessor. He will cover the experience required prior to the application for the portfolio booklet and the journey of learning and passing the assessments afterwards:

  • What skills are needed prior to starting the portfolio
  • How to network to find the right shows and judges
  • The need to find shows to show that cover all the categories that are needed to pass the final assessment
  • Show in the best shows in the country
  • Gain experience of stewarding with national assessment judges and what to look for to learn
  • How to handle disputes and give opinion on your judging decisions.

The workshop format will consist of power point presentations and interactive participation and discussion with the delegates John Goodwin is a BBKA National Honey Judge and a BBKA Honey Judge Assessor. A normal year involves judging between 10 and 15 honey shows per year and he will normally enter and exhibit at a number of shows within the year. He is a Director of Nantwich Show and manages the honey show and the honey /bee displays at the show. He also manages the annual Cheshire beekeepers honey show, which is held within the Cheshire Beekeepers Autumn Convention - both the above shows are sizeable shows with up to 2 to 400 entries.

Showing Wax, led by John Goodwin
The Wax workshop will cover the preparation and which wax to use for showing: wax blocks, commercial wax, candles, models, wax flowers. We will discuss and John will demonstrate via power point: The moulding of wax blocks to win, mould release, finishing the blocks for showing, commercial blocks, small blocks, interpretation of the schedule.

Showing Honey, led by John Goodwin
The Honey workshop will cover four show categories: heather, comb, creamed/granulated and runny honey. We will discuss and John will demonstrate: how to enter exhibits to win rather than just compete, which honey to show, preparation of the honey, correct packaging, hygiene, interpretation of the schedule.

NBU Bee Disease and Pest Recognition, led by Sandra Gray
Sandra is the Regional Bee Inspector for the South East Region and is in her twelfth year working for the National Bee Unit Inspectorate. Sandra worked as a Seasonal Bee Inspector in Suffolk from 2010 to 2017, and was appointed Regional Bee Inspector for the South East in 2017. From February 2019 to February 2021 Sandra was the temporary National Bee Inspector and has now returned to her role as Regional Bee Inspector. While a Seasonal Bee Inspector Sandra worked for the Plant Health Seeds Inspectorate and trained as an Imports Inspector at Stansted airport. The workshop will consist of looking out for signs of both EFB and AFB as well as minor brood disorders. There will be the opportunity to look at Nosema spore under the microscope as well as Small Hive Beetle and Tropilaelaps.

Candle Making, led by Celia and David Rudland
Celia and David own ‘EastSurreyBees’. They provide honey, wax products and nucleus colonies for sale and run a number of courses throughout the year for beginners and beekeepers with all levels of experience. Starting from collecting wax from your hive, through the initial cleaning processes, to the production of clean slab wax blocks and making rolled, moulded and dipped candles. We also look at, safety issues, the equipment needed, showing at the local division honey shows and briefly the history of beeswax candles.

Making All Grain Honey Beer at Home, led by Chris Sweet
This workshop will introduce you to the wonderful world of beer making. Come and meet Chris, the brewer of Zepto Brewhouse, (probably) Wales' smallest commercial brewery. Learn how to create a honey beer using just water, malted grains, hops, yeast and of course, honey. Chris will guide you through the brewing process, offer advice on sourcing equipment and ingredients and share his experience and tips on producing award-winning ales. You'll have an opportunity to sample a home brewed honey beer (or two). You will also receive a copy of the recipe and brewing instructions so that you can reproduce the beer at home. The workshop is best suited to brewing novices, but those with experience are also welcome to attend. Participants may, if they wish, bring their own homemade honey beers to form part of the tasting/discussion. Chris is an award winning brewer and the founder and owner of Zepto Brewhouse - Based in the mountains of Caerphilly, South Wales, Zepto (which means really small) has become locally known as a producer of quality, flavoursome real ales that are suitable for vegetarians and vegans. Chris started his Brewing journey as a keen home brewer. He still regularly brews small batches of all-grain beer at home for friends and family, often using hops and honey sourced from his, and wife Tracy's, organic allotment. Both Chris and Tracy are also new and enthusiastic beekeepers!

Sustainable Planting for Honeybees, led by Sarah Wyndham Lewis
I'd like to address the challenge that so many beekeepers face in ensuring that their bees have enough to eat and that it is supplied from a wide variety of forage sources. Only if bees are well nourished can the colony be strong in the face of mounting external stresses like pests, diseases and climate change. Green space is shrinking rapidly in urban/suburban areas and, in rural areas, monoculture and other modern farming practices negatively impact both honeybees and the even more vulnerable wild bees. We need to look beyond our own gardens and into the wider community for constructive support in planting for all our bee species. And that does not mean sprinkling packets of wildflower seeds. We'll be looking at what really counts in forage provision and how to make even small spaces highly productive. I'll share some case histories of community planting projects which my husband Dale Gibson and I have initiated and then open the workshop up. Pooling knowledge and personal experiences, we can look at ways in which we, as hobby or professional beekeepers, can inform and educate the public to help “Save the Bees'” in the most constructive way possible. By helping to feed them. Sarah Wyndham Lewis co-founded the sustainable beekeeping practice Bermondsey Street Bees with her husband Dale Gibson in 2007. Today they have around 90 hives in urban and rural settings and were named the UK’s 'Small Artisan Producer of the Year' in 2016. A professional writer and Bologna-trained Honey Sommelier, Sarah's role centres on offering a wide range of bee-related information resources, educational initiatives and events. Her book 'Planting for Honeybees' is published in five languages by Quadrille.

Create Mixed Media Bee Art, led by Claire Murthy
Claire Murthy paints, illustrates and writes about wildlife, farm animals, birds and pets who reside in and around the garden, local countryside and woods. Mixed media wildlife art, botanical and nature art workshops in and around Surrey, Kent, London and Sussex. Traditional fine art alongside contemporary wildlife and botanical art. This mixed media workshop will provide a space where you can unwind for a couple of hours and immerse yourself in relaxing hands-on, creative activities - whether you are new to art or a seasoned painter. The aim of the session is relaxing enjoyment and you will able to take home your contemporary bee art painting to hang to the wall or give as a special gift to someone else who loves bees!

Hive Building, led by Oliver St John
Oliver has been a beekeeper since 2010. He is a tutor at Plumpton College in Sussex where he holds beekeeping taster days, Basic and Honeybee Health courses and hive assembly courses. Oliver will demonstrate the assemble of a Thorne’s Bees on a Budget flat pack National hive and frames. Attendees will receive a comprehensive handout of full guidance on assembling National, WBC and Langstroth hives, plus many other top tips.

Encaustic Art, led by Lorraine Priestley
Lorraine Priestley is from South West Scotland where she worked as an Occupational Therapist. She has kept bees in her own garden for 20 years and is a keen member of Carlisle BKA Lorraine is leading this encaustic art workshop which involves painting with bees wax using travel iron and heated tools. The art of encaustic wax painting is at least 2,500 years old having been practiced by the Ancient Greeks, Romans and Egyptians. The literal translation of encaustic is to burn in, meaning the new layer must be fused with heat to the layer beneath. Learn from a master of this craft.

Queen rearing for the Small Scale Beekeeper, led by Anne Rowberry
After a career including instructing Outdoor Pursuits in Yorkshire, Head of Physical Eucation in Singapore, gaining an MEd at Bristol University and a Diploma in Counselling at Reading University. I moved from teaching to work for a charity involved in sustainable agriculture in Africa It was then I got my first hive and with Ted Hooper’s book in one hand investigated the boxes. I joined a club and increased my knowledge working through the BBKA modules, microscopy and husbandry exams to gain the Master Beekeeper qualification. I now have around 20 hives, enjoy teaching beekeeping to pupils at a local school where I maintain an observation hive. I Chair Avon County BKA , and I am the Chair of BBKA Anne will outline simple, practical queen rearing methods suitable for beginners and experienced beekeepers alike.

Super Natural Cosmetics led by Dr Sara Robb
Learn to make Super Natural Cosmetics with Dr Sara Robb. In her workshop, Sara will introduce three new formulations containing honey and beeswax. Sugar Plum Soap, a favourite with all the fairies, is a beeswax sugar soap that you can make and used the same day (no waiting 8 weeks to cure). After Sara demonstrates her Same-Day Soap method, participants will make two more cosmetics. The first, Rose Blush Honey Butter, is a petal-soft emollient designed to be used on the face, but you will probably want to use this lovely butter as an all-over moisturiser. The final product you will make is Cranberry Orange Lip Pomade. A festive lip balm containing real cranberry and orange that is a treat to use. CPSRs will be available for all three formulations if you would like to add them to your product line.

Reproductive Anatomy, led by Marin Anastasov, NDB
Marin started beekeeping in his teens and developed his initial beekeeping knowledge and skills while studying towards BSc in Animal Science in Bulgaria, where beekeeping was part of the syllabus. Marin is Trustee of Gloucestershire Beekeepers Association and serves on the BBKA Examinations Board. He is an assessor for the Basic, General Husbandry and Advanced Husbandry certificates and is currently responsible for running the General Husbandry and Advanced Husbandry training programmes for the BBKA. This workshop will study advanced dissection of the honeybee including the anatomy of queens, drones and laying workers. Workshop attendees should already have some experience of dissection of the honeybee, perhaps having studied for the BBKA Microscopy assessment. Participants are required to bring their own dissecting microscope and tools. Please arrange to have microscopes PAT tested prior to the workshop.

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