Very nearly award winning honey.

Utterly freezing!   The Great Hall in Winchester was the chilly venue for the Hampshire Beekeepers’ Honey Show last weekend and my small contribution was (wo)manning the Asian Hornet stand.

In this 13th century massive edifice, main doors and side door to Queen Eleanor’s Garden all open, I got my first taste of what life must have been like without central heating.   And what some will be encountering this winter with energy price hikes.

But beekeepers do care: one came up and enquired if I was OK.   He’d realised that I wasn’t seeing anything and was desperately holding my nose!   He was reassured on learning of my blindness and poor attempts to recover circulation in that appendage.   Otherwise, I was regaling visitors with the increasing Asian Hornet threat: recently sighted in Essex; Portsmouth, Gosport and Felixstowe last year.   They seem to be stowing away on the ferries and, if a mated Queen gets here, the increase will be exponential.   Over 140 nests have already been located in Jersey which is tiny in relation to the UK.

Asian Hornet nests can be over a metre wide/long and the entrance hole is at the bottom (wasp nests have side-entrances).   Asian Hornets can defend their nests in droves and each one can give multiple stings which can mean hospital or even death.   Cover your head and run very fast!

The sous-chef was proud to win second prize for his medium-coloured runny honey whereas I regaled anyone who listened about the uses of honey, the health benefits and more.

Latest Covid jab this week.   The pharmacist made soothing noises on hearing about my needle phobia and promised just a touch of cotton wool.   The needle made such a slight pinprick that I barely noticed.   He was a miracle of syringe skills.

My next free on-line baking demo takes place next Monday, 10 October at 10:30 – join me in making a delicious gluten-free frangipane dessert.

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© 2024 - Penny Melville-Brown
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