Waveney beekeepers prepare for anniversary celebration
IT started with an appeal in the Beccles and Bungay Journal in February 1987.
Michael Venn had moved to the area from Hampshire and hoped to find other beekeepers to start a group in the Waveney area.
And now as the Waveney Beekeepers Group prepares to celebrate its 25th anniversary, life president Mr Venn, of Worlingham, is delighted to see it is thriving.
'I am very proud,' he said. 'It is a wonderful group and I am delighted that it has gone from such small beginnings.
'It would not have been possible without the enthusiasm of all the members of an excellent committee.'
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Mr Venn moved to the region from Hampshire, where he was the vice chairman of the Hampshire Beekeepers association, having picked up the hobby that his grandfather and father enjoyed.
He joined the Norfolk Beekeepers but with meetings regularly in north Norfolk, he appealed through the pages of the Beccles and Bungay Journal for anyone interested in beekeeping to visit him in Geldeston.
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Between 20 and 30 people attended and from there the club grew, meeting in Bungay, Ellingham Mill and All Saints, before settling at Esmerelda's, in Barsham.
Today there are more than 130 members and even an offshoot in the form of a microscopy group.
'It is excellent,' he said. 'What I like is that the original object of the group is still what it is now – to encourage and improve beekeeping and hold meetings for lectures and discussions on beekeeping, and where practicable arrange for demonstrations.'
Mr Venn, 79, gave up his bees when he moved to Worlingham 10 years ago, but has remained active in the club and a lover of bees.
'It is a hobby which provides a very good product at the end of the day,' he said.
'It also helps the environment as without bees there would be a problem with pollination.'
On Sunday the Waveney Beekeepers Group will mark their 25th anniversary with a public open day from noon onwards.
Entry at the centre, at Grange Farm, Hall Road, Barsham, is free and there will also be the Iceni Morris Minor Club Eastern Region, the Waveney Valley Model Railway Club and the Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth Poultry Club.