AROUND 300 people attended the Wiltshire Bee & Honey Day, which took place in Devizes on Saturday.

Hosted by the Wiltshire Beekeepers Association, national judges, including the mayor of Devizes Councillor Andy Geddes, had their work cut out for them with 311 entries from beekeepers all over the county competing to be named the producers of the best honey.

Classes ranging from clear honey to cut comb and from candles to mead received many entries.

At the event, Rosie Boyd of Chippenham became the youngest beekeeper in Wiltshire to be awarded the basic certificate in beekeeping.

Richard Oliver, chairman of Wiltshire Beekeepers Association, said: “She is an inspiration to all beekeepers and will go far.”

Her father, Angus Boyd, won the title for the best jar of honey out of 80 entries.

The open classes received more than 50 entries from members of the public, most of whom are pupils from three local schools, All Cannings C of E Primary School, Nursteed Community Primary School, and Rowdeford School.

Many stalls sold various honey products, and some even gave demonstrations on how it is made.

Speakers on the day included Phil Stevenson, who gave a talk on the ecological functions of nectar and pollen toxins, covering some aspects of his recent research into nectar and pollen toxins, showing how they have some surprising effects on bees, and may actually help increase pollination success and even the health of bees

Robert Smith, who has been keeping bees since the 1970s, spoke to a packed audience on two vital aspects of managing honeybee colonies, managing brood-rearing to produce a bumper honey crop, and managing when the colony decides to reproduce itself and swarm.

The event was supported by Corsham Print of Corsham.