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Four Have Fun In Münster : 29

International Meeting of Young Beekeepers at Prague in 2012, the German team hosting the 2013 event in Münster from 20 to 23 June had a lot to live up to. But they certainly delivered, putting on a superbly run event held in the Rieselfeldhof, a 450-hectare nature reserve and beekeeping centre north of Münster, with the participants staying in a nearby Youth Hostel.

F The English Team

The English team consisted of Elsa Cavill (aged 14) from Fleet Beekeepers in Hampshire, Georgia Sellars (16) from Horncastle Beekeepers in Lincolnshire and Lewis Thomas (15) from Slough, Windsor and Maidenhead Beekeepers in Berkshire. They were accompanied by Serena Watts, an experienced beekeeper from Newbury Beekeepers. The team has enjoyed the strong support of the British Beekeepers’ Association (BBKA) from the outset, especially from two Trustees, Peter Sutcliffe and Julian Routh, who assisted with team selection and helped make the whole event possible for the current team.

The Event

Unlike last year in Prague, where the skills tests were all conducted on one day, at Münster the three-day event was much more of a mixture of social events and skills tests. There was plenty of time for the young beekeepers to socialise with each other as well as share beekeeping experiences and knowledge informally. The organisers were also to be commended for providing the

August 2013 Vol 95 No 8

ollowing the huge success of the previous


Four Have Fun in Münster

Simon Cavill

endless amount of food required by large numbers of physically active young folk who were on the go from 7.30 am till late at night each day of the event! In addition to the social events and skills tests, each team had to give a brief presentation on some aspect of their home country. This year the English team chose the English Rose as their theme, talking about how it became adopted as the national fl ower combining both red and white roses after the famous ‘War of the Roses’ in the 1400s. In addition, each team presented gifts to the others and, again, we were very privileged to be supported by Vita (Europe) Ltd who donated enough Swarm Attractant Wipes to enable us to give one to each participant. They were very warmly received as highly useful gifts.

Skills Tests

There were a number of skills tests for the teams that included bee-related botany, honey tasting, bee anatomy,

handling skills and a general bee knowledge quiz, mostly held in a giant tepee to protect the participants from the variable weather. During the bee handling tests, Elsa commented, ‘The bees were incredibly docile and nothing like anything I had ever seen in England. When we were asked to mark drones as part of the skills tests, you could just pick them up at will and the rest of the colony seemed quite content – even when it started

Making beeswax torches IMYB logo with solitary bee nests

raining on the open hives. There were dozens of hives open all at the same time, but nobody got stung even though we were all in our yellow IMYB T-shirts with just veils for protection’. As before, each team member

received a commemorative medal and certifi cate of their participation and at the end of the event the Austrian team was declared the winner of the skills tests, with Germany second and the Czech team third.

Closing Ceremony

At the closing ceremony, as well as thanking the German hosts for a superbly effi cient event, it was announced that Poland would be the host for the IMYB event in 2014. This looks to be even bigger with participants invited from over 40 countries across the world. At the end of the event, the team left Germany tired, but

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