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Beekeeping at Otley Science Fair

The 10th Otley Science Fair livened up the Otley Courthouse on Saturday 11th November. Leeds Beekeepers were invited to participate together with a host of other organisations with a scientific interest including the Institute of Physics, Leeds University School of Engineering, Leeds City College Computer Science, Leeds Geological Association, Leeds Museums & Galleries and many others. Marty Jopson, BBC’s One Show science expert, was there to encourage audience participation at the various stands.

A few LBKA volunteers namely Andy Gowdy, Aileen Lang, Cath Graham and Malcolm Graham fought amongst the crowds to try and put beekeeping to the forefront of the minds of the youngsters and adults alike.

By far the biggest attraction at the LBKA stand was Andy’s microscope with slides of various bee parts, varroa mites and the odd poisoned bee.

A few of the younger attendees tried on the beesuits to ‘show granny’ or upload to Facebook. The keener ones investigated the structure of the beehive and bee activity within it using our full size beehive with the corner cut away. For many this was the first time they realised that removal of the honey frames was a relatively simple process.

The video clips on the laptop were used to demonstrate bee activity as it wasn’t possible to use an observation hive at this time of year.

Conditions in the hall were a little cramped as we jostled for space with our neighbours however by the end of the day we were satisfied that beekeeping had been awakened as a possible future hobby in the minds of several children and their parents, over 8,000 attended the fair throughout the day, quite an achievement for the small town of Otley.

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