Basic Beekeepers Certificate in pocket, I thought I might be ready to volunteer at the Kent County Show and share my newly gained knowledge with the unsuspecting Kent public.
To be honest, I had no idea what to expect, so after listing my meagre credentials, I left it to the organisers to allocate my two daily sessions as they saw fit: observation hive and badge making!
Situated between the traditional fairground and the woodland activity area I arrived to a warm welcome offer of a cuppa and went straight to 'work' in the large tent with my fellow volunteers.
Educating the public about beekeeping turned out to be easier than expected: I suppose one doesn't quite realise how much one knows after a season or two of trying to hold on to a couple of colonies. The public was eager and seemed suitably impressed with my bee factoids that the time passed quickly until a fellow volunteer took over and I had a couple of hours to look around the show, which was a fabulous perk!
Everyone was in high spirits, even after their second turn at the stands, and there were plenty of offers to spell volunteers for tea and comfort breaks - and plenty of time to meet fellow beekeepers for a disagreement on the best way of keeping bees........
The public demonstrations were very well attended and there can't be many hives in the county that have received such thorough inspections as those at the show!
After all that work, a delicious lunch awaited the volunteers - no limp sandwiches for Kent Beekeepers! A large buffet on the Friday and home cooked roasts at the week-end. All rounded off, of course with puddings and a cuppa! Yummy!
Afterwards, I had more time to look around the county show and left the whole event feeling terribly guilty. Why? Well, because the whole day felt like a Grand Day out with a yummy luncheon rather than a hard day's volunteering, though I am not complaining and will definitely be putting my name back on that list next year!