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 bookNorman Chapman selling a copy of his book

Pollen Microscopy, by Norman ChapmanPollen Microscopy, by Norman Chapman

Norman was also showing his pollen drawings and lots of his slides.

Norman Chapman’s slidesSome 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 visitorsPaul Smith with visitors

Microscopes on the Quekett standMicroscopes 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 microscopeLomo MIN-10 polarising microscope

Paul Smith and Irma Irsara with visitorsPaul 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 exhibitAlan 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.

↑ Top of page


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 honeyLong rows of jars of honey

Labelled honey jarsLabelled honey jars

Photographs for judgingPhotographs for judging

Slides for judgingSlides for judging

Paintings for judgingPaintings for judging

Beeswax flowersBeeswax flowers

Beeswax fruit and vegetablesBeeswax fruit and vegetables

Models of pollen grainsModels of pollen grains (data from confocal microscope fed to 3D printer)

↑ Top of page

Trade Hall

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 MicroscopesBrunel 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”.

Northern Bee BooksNew and used books on bees, beekeeping and pollen from Northern Bee Books

Beekeeping suppliesBeekeeping supplies




Wild flower seedsWild flower seeds from Meadow in my garden

Coloured beeswax for making candlesColoured beeswax for making candles

Wildlife and bee art by Claire MurthyWildlife and bee art by Claire Murthy

Report and photographs by Alan Wood

↑ Top of page