Bit of a Do – 27 November 2021, 9.30-17.00

Cornwall’s Convention goes on line for the day, featuring four world class speakers, plus charities and organisations related to the craft.

About this event

A full day of talks, market stalls and exhibit areas, plus a chance to catch up with what’s buzzing – All from the comfort of your own arm chair!

This year we are online via Zoom, and have produced a full calendar featuring four outstanding speakers, plus Breakout rooms to meet charities, special interest groups, tradestands, or simply have a chat.

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On The Day:

  • A single registration for a nominal fee gives you access to a full day of events
  • Drop in and out as you please
  • Main speakers will use Zoom to present their talks
  • Four slots of an hour each, plus 15 minutes for questions. Please note that questions will be taken ONLY via the chat facility. Only the speakers’ microphones will be enabled in the Main Zoom window.
  • During the talks, the “breakout” rooms will be closed
  • Breaks: 15 minutes in the morning, 30 in the afternoon, one hour at lunchtime
  • Breakout rooms open during the breaks in three categories:

    Market Place

    Each trader will have a breakout room under their own control, to present their wares, engage with customers by video chat, present a slideshow of their offers – whatever they chose to do within the confines of screen share and Zoom. Attendees can move freely from stall to stall.Exhibition Hall
    Charities and special interest groups have the same facilities as the traders, where they can show slideshows, videos and/ or engage with their audience by video chat. Attendees can move freely from stall to stall.Coffee Bar
    Bring your own coffee! This is an area with “open mic” video chatting, to allow the usual business of bemoaning the season, agonising over honey sales and generally engaging in the wagging of chins. When talks are due to start, the Breakout rooms will be closed. All participants will be returned to the “lecture theatre” and will be muted.The staffroom / the Green Room
    Breakout rooms reserved for the organisers to manage any back stage issues and prepare any IT for the speakers.
BOAD Online

BOAD Online

Biographies and synopses:

“Biodiversity, Crop Diversity and Pollination” – John Warren
Professor John Warren has a PhD based on a study of the sex-life of Groundsel (a weed, whose Latin name translates as, the common old man). From there he went on to, quite literally sow wild oats, at the University of Liverpool (while never fully understanding the origin of the phrase). He is a life-long back-yard beekeeper, with a long-term interest in pollination ecology. He has been employed as a geneticist working on the international gene-bank for cacao at the University of the West Indies, Trinidad. John Warren was Director of Learning and Teaching at the Institute of Biological Environmental and Rural Sciences at Aberystwyth University, before moving to become the Vice Chancellor of the University of Natural Resources and Environment in Papua New Guinea. He retired back to the UK in 2018 and now runs a small holding (with bees of course) and is writing a new flora of the more challenging plants of Britain.

“A Taste of Honey” – Peter Lewis
Peter Lewis is the YAS appointed Chief Hives and Honey Steward at the annual Great Yorkshire Show. A keen (though not fanatical) exhibitor, with some modest show success – if / when it’s good – stewarding at competitions inevitably resulted in an interest in judging honey. Through invitation based on referral, recommendation, reputation, repeat return he now regularly judges using both ‘traditional’ show and taste approach methods at national and international honey competitions.

His “A Taste of Honey” talk on the sensory analysis of honey (called ‘organoleptics’) will focus on what was learnt attending an international honey tasting course, broadening his taste palate experience in a careful precise structured way. Gustatory appreciation involves systematically evaluating what’s actually ‘in the jar’ as the principal point of interest; which honey’s might be preferred when and why, across a range of different varieties, as well as conformity to distinct model unifloral “types”.

What’s involved, how it’s done, will be explained, together with some possible implications and wider practical applications directly relevant to ourselves as UK based beekeepers, honey purveyors and connoisseurs’.

“Bait Hives” – David Evans – “The Apiarist”
David Evans is Professor of Virology in the School of Biology, University of St. Andrews. His research interests include the replication and evolution of important human and animal viral pathogens including poliovirus, Zika virus and both deformed wing virus (DWV) and chronic bee paralysis virus (CBPV) of honeybees.

David is an enthusiastic beekeeper and a member of Fife Beekeepers, the East of Scotland BKA and Lochaber BKA. He runs about twenty colonies for research and pleasure and is particularly interested in queen rearing and ‘pottering in the shed with bits of wood and a nail gun’.

His involvement in DIY for beekeeping resulted in a regular column in the Warwick and Leamington Beekeepers newsletter Bee Talk which, over time, evolved into his personal beekeeping website On this he covers topics as diverse as Varroa management, responsible mentoring, the price of honey and waspkeeping. New posts appear every Friday afternoon and he regularly discusses recent scientific advances in the biology of honey bees.

His presentation covers theoretical and practical aspects of swarms and bait hives. It covers the role of scout bees in identifying a new nest site, the process of swarming, bivouacking and then relocation to the chosen location.

The talk discusses setting up bait hives, the choice of box, its location and contents. This covers both scientific studies and how these findings can best be applied to practical beekeeping. Discussion of the contents of bait hive necessitates another digression into building and using foundationless frames, which offer particular benefits for bait hives. The talk closes with a discussion of what you can expect to observe when scout bees find and favour your bait hive, and the things you need to do having attracted a swarm – these include moving it somewhere else and managing the Varroa that also arrive with the swarm.

“The Truth About Honey” – Lynne Ingram
Lynne is a Master beekeeper, holds the National Diploma in Beekeeping, is a member of the BBKA Exam Board, and an assessor for the Basic, Bee Health, General Husbandry assessments and module exams. Lynne has been keeping bees for over 30 years, and currently manages 25 colonies in 3 apiaries. She is always keen to encourage others into the fascinating world of beekeeping.

Honey adulteration and fraud is a growing problem worldwide and also in the UK. Britain imports a huge amount of extremely cheap honey from China and tests on many ‘own brand’ honeys in the UK have shown them to be adulterated.

Whilst many countries are working hard to combat this worldwide problem, the UK is lagging behind the rest of the world in dealing with it. Honey fraud deceives the consumer and ultimately affects beekeepers by undermining the true cost of producing honey.

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