bees, honey and other sticky subjects

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Hampshire's beekeepers celebrate 125 years at Wooton St Lawrence

This may seem like any other English parish church, but it has a particular association for beekeepers and on 10 November 2007, Hampshire Beekeepers Association (HBA) celebrated its 125th birthday there for a very special reason. It is the church of the Rev Charles Butler, sometimes called the Father of English Beekeeping.

Born in 1560, Butler was vicar at Wooton St Lawrence parish church in Hampshire, UK from 1600 to 1648. His book, The Feminine Monarchie was a tour de force and amongst other things popularised the notion that the largest bee in a hive was a female and therefore a queen and that bees made wax from scales on their underbellies.

Butler's achievements are now recognised with a wonderfully detailed stain-glass window installed in 1953.

And, as the Chairman of HBA said at the meal afterwards, what can we do that will last 125 years to emulate our predecessors who established the HBA in 1882.

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