This year Bees2Honey Inc created an amazing Honey Month calendar, with over 30 different events over the month, smashing the previous record from 2017 of 10 events! Many of these events were well attended, and more effort next year will be put into marketing these, with increasing success we hope!
After the long running success of the Honey Festival hosted by The House of Honey in Swan Valley, and a new city location in Perth for 2018 hosted by Honey, I’m Home, Bees2Honey accepted the invitation from Gidgegannup Small Farm Field Day to head up the hill and unite under their banner. The Bees2Honey committee felt that this new location would appeal to a broad public interest; current small land holders, those seeking a ‘tree’ change, and members of the public interested in having a ’day out in the country’.
The Festival was greeted warmly, both metaphorically by the amazing committee of the SFFD and literally with the weather gods smiling on us for Festival Day! The sunshine was beeautiful (excuse the pun) with volunteers setting up most of the tents on the Saturday before, facilitated by Emma Leyland, Barry and Debbie Stallman. The new Festival location was nestled under the trees, and with the birds singing on the crisp autumn morning, and everyone setting up their tables, we had a good number of stall holders head up to be with us – both favourites from years past, and a number of new vendors.
The Honey Competition had been judged the day before, by Joy Coy and Brian Wickens, assisted by Tom Coy and Adriana Wickens with an good turn-out for honeys, however, slightly less entries for beeswax entries than previous years. Joy and Brian spent the day judging, hosted by The House of Honey, with both judges impressed with the quality of entries. In fact, there was only a few points between the winning honeys, however Bert Valenti took out the award for ‘Best in Show 2019’ with his Dark Honey entry.
Chef Dale Sniffen once again came to judge the Cake Competition, and although the entries were lower than anticipated, Chef Dale commented on the high quality of entries and how pleased he was with them. Chef Dale enjoyed developing the recipe for the honey inspired cakes this year, and is looking forward to participating again next year.
We provided two speakers for the Sustainability Marquee within the main Showground area for the SFFD – Luke de Laeter and Kit Pendergast. Luke is ‘a teenage beekeeper who is sharing his passion for bees and the environment through presenting a unique Bee Incursion Program’ who packed out the tent with his demonstration. Kit presented her research on Native Bees and their importance as pollinators and spoke to a full house as well, demonstrating the public interest in bees, pollinators and their importance to our biodiversity and food security.
The Slow Food Movement Long Table Lunch was a great success – honey themed and delicious. Rupert Phillips was invited as the guest beekeeper speaker and was his usual engaging self! We also had the Bee Firm Nrg drink team and their adreniline-filled bike display, and Mark Stafford from Ezyloader doing a demo with his loading equipment.
Our major sponsor, Capilano, supported the Festival once more, supplying much needed funds for flyers, marketing, flags and a big truck to move all the things from place to place. Without their support, the Festival could not go ahead. Our sincere thanks to Michael Bellmen for advocating for the funds personally and Capilano for ensuring this much needed support in an economic climate when sponsorships are difficult to secure.
Our thanks to our other faithful sponsors for our raffle prizes, Guilfoyles and Nuplas. Coming on board this year with raffle donations were: Mandurah Pandora with a fabulous bee pendant and Raelene’s Gone Potty with a crafty bee pot. Honey I’m Home Produce donated the honey jars that were sold again this year with our thanks.
To the Gidgegannup Small Farm Field Day who invited us up to join their Show and to our volunteers who came and pitched in over the weekend, we thank you very much. A big shout out to our young people who volunteered – aka mummy made us – and to Emma Leyland who stood in for her mum for bump in!
And of course, none of Honey Month or the Festival could be possible without the dedicated committee who brings all of the Month and Festival together. A huge thanks to Kate, Tina, Kim, Julie, Leilani, Debbie, Christine for your time and effort over the last eight months!
A special thanks must be made to Leilani Leyland, who organized a huge amount of the back end details before heading off for a well earnt holiday. She made so much of the day come together, and worked with the SFFD committee extensively. Such a good job was done, that much of my day was spent telling people ‘I’m not sure, Leilani organized it…’ haha.
Even with a few teething issues being in a new space this year, the Festival came together very well. We very much appreciated the new space, the wonderful weather and the amazing people who came to learn about bees, honey and beekeeping. We look forward to the Festival next year with new stall holders, expanded honey tent and lots more!