Somerset Beekeepers elect Cheddar woman Caroline Butter as new president
The new president of Somerset Beekeepers is only the fourth woman in its history to hold the post.
Caroline Butter, from Cheddar, became only the fourth woman in the history of Somerset Beekeepers to be was elected president at the organisation’s annual meeting at North Wootton, near Shepton Mallet, on Saturday, March 9.
Mrs Butter has been involved with the association for more than 30 years and has served as its education officer for 12 years. She will hold the post of Somerset president for three years and succeeds Ken Edwards. She has been involved with her local division of Wedmore and Cheddar since 1998, serving as secretary, chairman and president.
The meeting was opened by Glastonbury Festival founder and farmer Michael Eavis, who thanked the assembled group of beekeepers for their work. He told them: “I really value what you do for wildlife and nature. It is so important and no one values it more than I do.”
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Guest speaker Dr Margaret Couvillon, from the University of Sussex, went on to give beekeepers a master class in decoding the honeybee waggle dance. University researchers are deciphering the dances to help scientists study the foraging patterns of bees and how they change over time.
While Somerset’s beekeepers, like those throughout the country, have had to contend with one of the worst years in living memory, the county association is nevertheless in good shape, with membership numbers and finances remaining strong. The West Country Honey Farms Award was won by retiring President Ken Edwards from Spaxton, who has become the only beekeeper in Somerset to receive the prestigious award twice.