Hive and honey pot sale will share expertise of king of the queen bees
Hives, books and other equipment belonging to one of the Westcountry's most respected beekeepers is to be sold by auction at the weekend.
Terry West, who lived at Bathpool, near Launceston, was renowned throughout Cornwall and Devon for his skill as a breeder of queen bees.
With his wife, Angie, the couple were regular exhibitors at events across the region, including Callington Honey Fair, where Terry won numerous awards.
Terry's death earlier this year robbed the beekeeping world of one of its great proponents, and his widow said she hadn't the heart to carry on with the activity on her own. After reluctantly disposing of the bees to professional keepers around the country, she intends to sell the remainder of Terry's equipment on Saturday.
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Around 70 new and old hives, frames, bee feeders, queen-raising accessories, honey pots, solar wax, protection suits and more than 170 books on the subject will be auctioned at Coads Green Village Hall, between Callington and Launceston.
"It is an ideal opportunity for anyone who has wanted to take up beekeeping to buy all they need to start up," said Angie. "And there is also a large amount of equipment and books to interest experienced beekeepers."
Terry, who had more than half a century of experience with bees, first became interested when he was at school in Launceston. An extra-curricular activity introduced students to the business and Terry was instantly hooked. Fortunately, the woman he was to fall in love with and marry happened to be the daughter of another well-known Cornish beekeeper, Phil Sleep of Bathpool.
"My dad used to keep bees – his great love was always bees," said Angie. "So it was funny that I should go on and marry a beekeeper.
"Terry was tip-top at rearing queens. He used the Buckfast strain of bee that was gentle and able to survive our climate. We went to see Brother Adam, the great beekeeper at Buckfast Abbey, and got to know him quite well.
"Terry would spent a huge amount of time on his queen rearing. It wasn't hard work, just time-consuming, and over the years he became an expert."
Viewing is at Coads Green Village Hall from 9.30am on Saturday July 6, with the auction starting at 11.30am.