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Harry Riches: An Appreciation : 41


benefi ted from Harry’s involvement. He was a member of the Central Association of Beekeepers, served a period on the organising committee and, from 1989, was President for a lengthy period. He served on the Council of the International Bee Research Association (IBRA). He was also a council member and on the board of the National Honey Show Ltd, where, for a time, he was Public Relations Offi cer. He was President from 2008 until 2010.


Wax Chandlers


For a considerable period of time, Harry was a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Wax Chandlers. In 1993 he had the honour of being elected Master; an offi ce he held for two years. His infl uence benefi ted the BBKA and the National Honey Show fi nancially, both of which the Company was pleased to support.


Author Author of several books,


his fi rst, Beekeeping (Foyles Handbook), published in 1976, is worthy of revision for today’s beekeepers. Here he stresses that a single National brood chamber is not suffi ciently large for today’s colonies and advocates using a hive that takes a larger frame size. Honey Marketing (Bee Books New and Old, BBNO, 1989) is another useful book though some statutory regulations have altered. A Handbook of Beekeeping was published in 1992 by Northern Bee Books. Medical Aspects of Beekeeping was published in 2003 by the Central Association of Beekeepers subsequent to the lecture Harry delivered at the Wax Chandlers’ Hall. A new edition by Northern Bee Books appeared in 2009. Insect Bites


August 2013 Vol 95 No 8


and Stings was published by IBRA in 2003. An article by Harry on this topic appeared in Bee World in 1982. A BBKA honey judge himself and specialising in mead, Harry wrote Mead- making, Exhibiting and Judging, published by BBNO in 1997 with a new edition by Northern Bee Books in 2009. In addition to these books, Harry wrote numerous articles and lectured widely throughout the country.


Fond Memories


It was in February this year that I last had a very pleasant conversation with Harry at the Holsworthy Branch lecture day. Those who had the pleasure and privilege of knowing him will remember him fondly and with gratitude for his great contribution to beekeeping. He set in place many of the building blocks for beekeeping organisations with which he was involved.


Kind, considerate, courteous, thoughtful, meticulous, pro- active yet unassuming is a concise description of Harry’s character.


Condolences The Board of Bee Craft Ltd


and readers of Bee Craft extend sincere condolences to Harry’s daughter, Penny, son John and their families. Harry’s funeral was held at the church of St Mary, Rickmansworth on 10 June and he was laid to rest with his wife Pamela.


Postscript from Penny


Harry’s family would like to thank all those from the beekeeping world who so kindly sent him get well cards and messages, all of which I read to him and he greatly appreciated when he was unwell, and then, of course, since, the cards, messages, e-mails of condolence. We really have had a tremendous response from the beekeeping world which is wonderful – from all over the UK and abroad, and from many people who say that they never met him, but felt they must contact me. Several have referred to his medical book on bee venom, saying how he helped them. It’s been a great comfort to know how well he was thought of in beekeeping circles. We have a wonderful display of all the cards here at the farm. When he moved to join me


Representing the Worshipful Company of Wax Chandlers


Harry as President of the National Honey Show


in Devon, the fi rst things he moved were his bees – far more important than his furniture! He hired a van and my brother drove it down here at night, when the bees had gone to bed – they arrived after midnight! They settled in well. He had four hives here and did quite well with honey over the last couple of years.


He joined the local beekeeping


group in Holsworthy and enjoyed attending their meetings. They are a very friendly group and greatly welcomed him. He loved living here in the countryside on my little farm and loved all my animals. I loved him being here. He helped me with jobs that needed doing – mending fences, gates, chainsawing logs, etc. Remarkable for a man in his 80s. He put up lots of bird boxes, in particular for the barn owl, and was thrilled when they were used. He would sit in the evenings looking at the barn owls fl ying over the fi elds. I think it reminded him of his boyhood in the county in Norfolk. His sudden illness was an enormous shock, so completely unexpected. It was very sad and the speed of it all has been overwhelming. We are all missing him greatly. ¤


www.bee-craft.com


David Charles


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