Bee Fayre Celebration Wootton St Lawrence

Bees Abroad was delighted to be invited to participate in the Bee Fayre Celebration held on 6th August.

The event was a family day organised by the Basingstoke and District Beekeepers Association with numerous stands on the themes of bees and wildlife, crafts, eco-gardening and local history as well as family activities and of course, refreshments.

Over 500 visitors came to event held at Wootton St Lawrence church and adjacent meadow, which is a significant location as Charles Butler, the ‘father’ of English beekeeping was vicar of the church when he published his ground-breaking book, “The Feminine Monarchie” in 1623. Our stand could well have stood on the exact spot where Charles Butler kept some of his numerous hives 400 years ago!

On a gloriously sunny day, visitors to the Fayre were able to come to the Bees Abroad stand hosted by Rachel Monger and Geoff Redwood to learn more about how beekeeping can help alleviate poverty in low-income countries.

Visitors were able to purchase a range of products produced by the Upendo wa Mama women’s group in Tanzania as well as a selection of cards and other gifts items. We were also able to demonstrate the simplicity of the hive equipment we promote using a model top bar hive.

Apart from the Bees Abroad stand, we were invited to give one of the four Bee Fayre ‘Bee Story’ presentations inside the church so had a further opportunity to promote the work of Bees Abroad to a large audience of interested visitors and local dignitaries. Geoff’s talk gave a brief overview of the charity, the benefits of beekeeping and how it can make a real difference to livelihoods.

Through lots of photographs the presentation also showed how Bees Abroad works with local partners to deliver hands-on practical training and support over the life of a project so that a sustainable beekeeping enterprise can be established. The talk was followed by some interesting questions on our work and clearly sparked a great deal of interest in listeners as they came to the stall afterwards to find out more!

The Fayre was a great platform to promote Bees Abroad and we were pleased to also be nominated as one of the three beneficiaries to receive a share of the proceeds from the event admission charges and raffle. Here we benefitted from the generous donation by Camilla the Duchess of Cornwall of a beautiful, gold-plated bee broach.

Next year will be the 400th anniversary of Charles’ Butler’s book and we’ve already been invited to participate in the anniversary Bee Fayre.