Mead making and bee keeping

Mead making – and of course bee keeping – have been an integral part of English country life for hundreds of years. Long before the introduction of sugar, honey was a valued commodity for sweetening and for medicinal purposes.

There’s another link between bees and Agincourt – beeswax is the lubricant used to keep bowstrings in good condition, and some of our local beeswax has been supplied to archers for this purpose.

The mead making and bee keeping display – including a live bee observation unit – will be provided by David Maslen, June Powell and Shirley, Lady Codrington.

David Maslen is a well-known bee expert who is President of the Avon Beekeepers Association and has been a DEFRA Bee Inspector. He manages 60 colonies of bees and is a member of the Bee Farmers Association.

June Powell is the Chairman of the Bristol Branch of the Avon Beekeepers Association and is passionate about maintaining the population of honey bees, which are vital for pollinating our food crops and other plants – there’s an interesting Western Daily Press feature here.

The late Sir Simon Codrington was a bee keeping enthusiast, winning a trophy at the National Honey Show in London in 1992 for “A practical invention relating to bees and bee keeping” – as Shirley, Lady Codrington says, “Inventors are obviously drawn to Dodington!”


Sir Simon Codrington in armour

Sir Simon Codrington donned armour to celebrate his famous ancester, when he rode from Wapley Churchyard to Dodington House despite a broken leg suffered in a skiing accident. Apparently the hardest part was getting on and off the horse.