National Honey Show
Thursday 25th to Saturday 27th October 2018
This was our sixth visit to the National Honey Show as part of our microscopy outreach programme, held this year at Sandown Park Racecourse in Esher in Surrey. Joan Bingley, Deborah Bishop, Norman Chapman, Paul Smith, Irma Irsara and Alan Wood manned the Club’s stand in the Trade Hall, which was adjacent to the area where all of the entries were displayed. Many people attending a workshop or lecture passed our stand on their way to the Food Hall, so we had lots of visitors. We had a good selection of specimens, microscopes, leaflets, books, journals and bulletins on the stand, and with 2 tables there was plenty of space for our displays and for visitors.
Norman Chapman attracted a large number of visitors to our stand, and was kept busy signing copies of the revised and enlarged second edition of his book Pollen Microscopy.
Norman Chapman selling a copy of his book
Norman was also showing his pollen drawings and lots of his slides.
Some of Norman Chapman’s slides
Paul Smith brought his Wild M11 compound microscope and one of the Club’s small stereomicroscopes, and used them to show slides of bee parts and pollen, and star sand (composed of exoskeletons of the foram Baculogypsina sphaerulata) from Okinawa.
Paul Smith with visitors
Microscopes on the Quekett stand
Irma Irsara brought her Lomo MIN-10 polarising microscope from the estate of Alastair Smith, and with some careful loosening and tightening of parts by Alan and Paul it was soon working. It has 4 objectives, 3 condenser tops, 4 eyepieces, 2 tint plates and a wedge, and built-in rotating stage, rotating polariser and an analyser. With an LED lamp and a thin section of quartz diorite it produced colourful images that impressed visitors.
Lomo MIN-10 polarising microscope
Paul Smith and Irma Irsara with visitors
Alan Wood brought his Olympus CH-2 with objectives from 2.5× to 40× and used it to show slides of pollen and bee parts, and also showed a stacked photo of mallow pollen from an NBS slide.
Alan Wood’s exhibit
We had lots of visitors interested in microscopy, from beginners to experts, and interesting discussions including obscure Watson accessories and how to take photographs through a microscope. One of the Club’s obligations as a charity is to promote microscopy, and our stand generated a lot of interest from beekeepers, so we should attend the Show again in 2019.
The Club thanks member Norman Chapman and his daughter Val Rhenius (the Publicity Secretary and Trade Hall Booking Secretary) for organising our stand at this very impressive and well-organised event.
The exhibition was in the same room as the sales tables and so lots of people were able to see the displays of honey, beeswax, mead, honeycomb, frames, photographs and microscope slides.
Long rows of jars of honey
Labelled honey jars
Photographs for judging
Slides for judging
Paintings for judging
Beeswax fruit and vegetables
Models of pollen grains (data from confocal microscope fed to 3D printer)
In addition to the Quekett stand, there were lots of stands in the Trade Hall where members of the public could buy almost anything a beekeeper could desire (including microscopes), browse books on bees, find out about associations to join, learn about beekeeping in developing countries and learn about pests and diseases of bees.
Brunel Microscopes had a stand selling microscopes and equipment for beekeepers interested in microscopy
Alan Potter, Managing Director of Brunel Microscopes, led two workshops for beekeepers, “Microscopy – Preparing Pollen Slides” and “Microscopy – Preparing Slides of Honeybee Parts”.
New and used books on bees, beekeeping and pollen from Northern Bee Books
Wild flower seeds from Meadow in my garden
Coloured beeswax for making candles
Wildlife and bee art by Claire Murthy
Report and photographs by Alan Wood