Ashford Beekeepers celebrated the 50th year of their exchange which started in 1972, with beekeepers from Bad Münstereifel over the weekend of the 9th and 10th July. The visitors stayed with like-minded families in their homes.
The Mayor of Ashford, Cllr Jenny Webb and her Consort, were able to attend the farewell celebrations.
On Saturday 9th the hosts, German guests and members of the club visited Penshurst Place, enjoying the opportunity to take a guided tour and learn more about its history.
A visit to the Apiary of a long-standing member took place on Sunday morning 10th July, who gave a most informative talk about his beekeeping year and how he manages his large number of beehives, followed by delicious refreshments prepared by his wife.
Sunday afternoon concluded with a 50th anniversary Garden party at the home of another member which was attended by past and present participants, including Monika Mann, who helped set up the original exchange with Major Gill in 1972.
The Mayor and Consort were welcomed by Trevor Atkins of Mersham who has organised recent visits. Cllr Webb later cut the Kentish Honey cake made for the occasion before speaking with the chairpersons of both the Ashford and Bad Münstereifel beekeeping groups.
Again, homemade refreshments were much appreciated, as was the honey cake.
Finally, as usual on these occasions, friendship cups commemorating 50 years of Anglo-German Beekeeping events were exchanged and a large photograph of a honeybee mounted on canvas was presented by Willi Classen on behalf of the Eifel group. He also invited the Ashford beekeepers on a return visit to Bad Münstereifel in two years’ time.