Downham’s home and garden business is partnering with the West Norfolk Beekeepers Association (WNKLBA) to get the bee weekend going.
The event will take place for the first time on 18th and 19th June at the Bexwell Road Store.
The WNKLBA normally hosts its annual honey show at the Sandringham Flower Show, but after two cancellations the Society began looking for an alternative venue and Downham Home and Garden Center agreed to help.
Last year the honey show took place on the premises and was a complete success.
This year the group will raise awareness for the Bees Abroad project. Bees Abroad supports farmers and beekeepers in third world countries like Africa.
Several members of the WNKLBA are also members of Bees Abroad and have relationships with beekeepers in other parts of the world.
Some beekeepers in Sierra Leone who are part of Bees Abroad’s awareness program lost limbs during the civil war but continue to keep and raise bees to support their families.
Bees Abroad works with the Sierra Leone Amputee Sports Association and the Sierra Leone Permaculture and Agro-ecological Farm to provide beekeeping training combined with sustainable agricultural education on a purpose-built farm. The project will raise awareness for rural changemakers on ecological, conservation and environmental issues in the local context.
WNKLBA member Phil Cane said: “The event allowed members to showcase their passion for beekeeping and showcase their products, which are the result of an age-old relationship between beekeepers and bees.
“The fair was so successful that we have decided to repeat the beekeeping show this year, although the honey show will return to its ancestral home at the Sandringham Flower Show on 27th July.
“This year’s event at the Downham Home and Garden Store is free to the public on both days and takes place in a marquee. People interested in beekeeping can learn what it takes to become a beekeeper and all the equipment involved through interactive exhibits of the craft.
“Exhibits include: live bees in ‘observation hives’, which allow people to observe up close, in a completely safe manner, what is happening in a bee colony, horticultural exhibits identifying the plants necessary for honey bees and other beneficial pollinators are insects and a variety of paraphernalia for beekeeping with exhibits such as “from hive to jar”.
Videos showing the upkeep and maintenance of the equipment needed to run an apiary and process beeswax including some products made from it.
Members of WNKLBA will be on hand to explain all the processes and exhibitions and there will be the opportunity to purchase honey produced at our local training apiary, all proceeds of which will go towards running the apiary which this year saw 48 new beekeepers begin their journey into our fascinating craft.
One aspect of this year’s event will be a fundraising raffle in support of Bees Abroad.