bees, honey and other sticky subjects

Monday, September 05, 2005

Apimondia closes amid high drama

I'm just back from Apimondia 2005 in Dublin, Ireland. Dublin is a great city to visit at the moment -- it's enjoying a huge boom right now (doubtless thanks to relatively low Euro interest rates) and I do hope reality doesn't return too abruptly. If you go, do try the literary pub crawl -- it's a real treat.

I have quite a few stories about Apimondia, but let me start with the rather dramatic ending.

The closing session was a mixture of tedious bureaucracy and high drama. Apimondia is held every two years and the next one will be in Melbourne in 2007. But at the closing ceremony, voting delegates had to select the venue for 2009.

Five candidate cities gave two-minute presentations (there had been lots of other information and visits for voting delegates). France (Montpelier), Austria, Spain (Madrid and Granada -- separately), Bulgaria, and Argentina were the candidates.

The French two-minute summariser was backed by what looked like local heavies; the Granada advocate had more than verbal charms; the Bulgarian representative looked like an Eastern Bloc Grand Dame (and I thought gave the most relevant presentation); the Austrians sent an almost totally irrelevant but mildly entertaining video; and the Madrid team sent a letter that wasn't read out in its entirety because its Irish reader couldn't manage to do that in the time available.

The French make an offer you can't refuse Posted by Picasa

A plea from Granada Posted by Picasa

The Argentinians -- who seemed confident and were there in force -- came with a short video, but the wrong one was played. After some tense discussions, the oficials asked voters and competitors if there were any objections to the correct one being shown. Someone seems to have objected and to the general dismay of the audience the correct one was not shown.

So the voting began -- amidst some hilarity about the overt display of empty ballet boxes.

Apimondia's magician Posted by Picasa

No candidate city received more than half the votes, so it went to a second head-to-head round between France and Argentina. Although Argentina had most votes in the first round, they barely gained any more in the second and Montpelier emerged as the winner. The French seemed rather surprised. The thoroughly disappointed Argentinians appeared to stage a mass walk-out. It was a sad if dramatic end to what appeared to be a very sucessful Apimondia.


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