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What a lot of bee auction bargains

IMG_0319Last Saturday saw the annual Meon Valley Beekeeping Auction in Hampshire, England.

Two hundred lots were up for auction, some mainstream some quirky, and many bargains

  • a vintage honey extractor (too vintage and with too much tin plate to fetch more than £1!)
  • branding iron (for hives rather than bees, I presume)
  • selection of Langstroth hives (not that popular in Britain, but common in Hampshire because of its preference by a beekeeping college a couple of decades ago).
  • two heather presses (one antique) emphasising the location of the auction as being close to the ling heather of the New Forest
  • and a no longer manufactured Strainaway but very popular system for dealing with oil seed rape. It fetched £80, I think.

As always the lots that attracted most attention: three colonies of live bees. There appeared to be four bidders seeking the bees and the lots fetched (in order of sale): £130, £165, £180 or approx €181, €229, and €250, or $203, $257 and $281 respectively.

Honeybee health was a top priority. The live bees had been inspected for disease and several lots of bees were refused because they had been submitted too late for inspection.  Much if not all of the hive equipment had been scorched to nullify any potential bee disease spread.

IMG_0326And of course there was something that everyone came for: the superb soups, bacon butties and cakes — all delicious and also available at bargain prices.

Turlough
Vita’s Guest Beekeeper Blogger

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