Guest post and photos by Education Officer – Cilla Platt

The weekend of Thursday 23rd May to Sunday 26th May was a busy one at the Marown Apiary and at Esther and Norry’s Richmond Hill Apiary.

Fifteen of our members took the Basic Beekeeping Practical Assessment over those few days.

Linda Cain examinee and secretary, received the entry forms and payments and sorted out who was to take the exam and when! Not easy tasks.

John Hendry, and then a second examiner Paul Roberts, kindly accepted the challenge of coming to the IOM from the BBKA examining board, to examine our candidates.

Janet Thompson put together a mailing list and brought the group together to attend some meetings to get an idea what was expected from the BBKA syllabus. She has done the Basic Assessment before continuing and doing several further modules some years ago, and had a good idea of what was needed.

A lot of discussion then went on between Roger, Linda, Janet and Cilla as to how to organise the weekend. Esther and Norry Mills with extraordinary kindness, offered the use of their Apiary so we did not have to open the bees at Marown several times a day!

We were now able to divide the examinees in half and Paul Roberts was detailed to the Mills Apiary on Friday and Saturday, and John Hendry was at Marown on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

The weekend was quite a logistical problem, but Roger Putman the Marown Apiary manager, was a star and drove the examiners from Cilla’s on Friday and Saturday mornings, and stayed at Marown until Lunch time, when Cilla took over and then drove them home. Esther and Norry were the helpers at their own apiary with Paul.

Cilla had fetched John from the airport on Thursday. Janet fetched Paul from the airport on Friday. The weather was not perfect, but good enough to give all examinees their hour long exams without having to extend into Sunday which had been held in reserve. Phew!

And even though we had the threat of both the Southern Hundred and TT Practice, we did not get bound up travelling!

After a little local site seeing and a fish and chip lunch on Port Erin Harbour wall in lovely sunshine, the two examiners left the Island by air at 3.00 on Sunday.

I would like to thank John and Paul for giving their time for free to examine our candidates, and give so much helpful advice.

The BBKA paid for their flights.

I would also like to mention how lucky we were to have John Hendry who is a past president of the BBKA, and has vast reserves of knowledge.

Good luck to our examinees who should know their results in about two weeks time, 10th June ish.

Examiner John Hendry (left) and Tim Goodliffe after his exam
Examiner Paul Roberts (left), George Platt and John Hendry eating chips at Port Erin Harbour on Sunday before the examiners left the island
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