At our AGM on 4th January 2022, Martyn Farrer was unanimously elected as the new Chair of Hexham Beekeepers’ Association.
Martyn first kept bees on the occasion of his 14th birthday when, by complete coincidence, a local beekeeper came to his family home with a swarm for “the lad who wants the bees”. It was July and the start of some very happy beekeeping adventures in those far-off, pre-varroa times. Reading ‘Bees and Beekeeping – Theory and Practical’ by Frank Cheshire (the gorgeous first edition of 1886 ) had ignited a life-long interest in the Honey Bee two years before. There then followed a long ‘bee-free’ gap but Martyn has now kept bees again for nearly 13 years and enjoyed re-learning the craft with all its new challenges and threats with the help and support of the HBKA’s enthusiastic members.
Martyn follows in the footsteps of Judith Stewart who is standing down after four years in the role. Judith has kindly offered to stay on the committee and will oversee the Bee Mart. Our membership currently stands at about 180 and thanks have been expressed to Judith for her role in maintaining a thriving Association during the recent ‘unusual’ times.
Hexham Beekeepers’ Association is its collective membership. It is a welcoming group of beekeepers with a strong programme for new beekeepers. It encourages those who want to learn about beekeeping – no matter age or ability. It encompasses those who want to practice the craft at a small scale through to those who are willing to keep many colonies, to explore bee behaviour closely, to follow the ambitions of the BIBBA NATBIP programme and ultimately to create better, more locally adapted bees. Martyn will give his energy to supporting the committee and the association to realize these varied goals through education, teaching, and research into bee behaviour and bee health.
Finally, HBKA is interested in documenting and possibly curating its history. The Committee would welcome contact from anyone with past records or memorabilia related to HBKA. We realise that some illustrious predecessor committee members and high profile beekeepers are no longer with us. We would like to reflect our past accurately and in more detail while developing the welcoming future that HBKA members deserve.