Junior Beekeeping International Meeting of Young Beekeepers IMYB - 2019 8th July 2019This year the IMYB was held in Banská Bystrica Slovakia and our BBKA team representing England consisted of: Left to Right: William Akers - age 14 from Chesham, Bucks, Ben Sullivan - age 15 from Norfolk and Natalie Philips - age 14 from Liverpool We linked up with the other home teams from Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland at Vienna Airport whilst we waited for the coach to collect us and many other teams before we embarked on a 4 hour journey to the venue. This year was the biggest ever, with 30 individual countries sending teams from as far away as Canada, Australia, the Lebanon and Egypt. As usual each of our teens was assigned into a team of around 6 - 7 individuals with a wide range of abilities, beekeeping knowledge and languages. It’s therefore essential that each member is able to get on with their new team and so we deliberately select team members from the BBKA who are confident and outgoing.Over the next three days the new teams take part in a wide variety of beekeeping exercises, and they soon realise that Slovakian bees are incredibly calm with little need for bee suits. However, it's soon clear that there are many ways of working with bees and even the sons and daughters of professional bee farmers elsewhere can struggle when seeing how the local beekeepers perform certain tasks. At the end of the event, the results were announced and as usual the Eastern European countries dominated the results with Slovenia 3rd, Slovakia 2nd and the Czech Republic 1st. However, the biggest prize for the worlds best young beekeeper scoring the highest number of points individually was won by an exceptional Martin Leahy from Scotland. The English team came 22nd out of 29 this year, but Natalie, Ben and William were constantly complimented on their attitude and spirit, taking full advantage in learning the very different ways of beekeeping outside the UK. It’s also important to realise that the winning countries select their teams from several thousand applicants through both regional and national heats whereas we in the BBKA sometimes struggle to get double digits in numbers of candidates coming forward. In 2020, the 11th IMYB will be held in Slovenia - home of the Carolinan bee and a huge beekeeping country, so it’s clear that they will be pulling out all the stops and anticipate 40 - 45 countries taking part. We are therefore starting our 2020 BBKA team recruitment now and want as many candidates who are aged 12 - 17 and members of the BBKA either through their school or local Association to come forward by calling or emailing the BBKA office or by contacting Simon Cavill directly at [email protected]. We will also have a presence at the National Honey Show and probably the Spring Convention where you can meet previous IMYB attendees and find out more about this unique and life changing event. 11th March 2019The IMYB assessment day took place on 10th March at Stoneleigh Headquarters and organiser Simon Cavill says a fine team has been assembled for the meeting in July. As well as the team for this year he said there were some enthusiastic future candidates that attended who will be all set to join future teams as they now have a real feeling for what the meeting is about. Three 14 year old beekeepers were selected at a special recruitment day. They are; Natalie Phillips from Liverpool, William Akers from Buckinghamshire and Ben Sullivan from Norfolk. 5th January 2019Calling all teen beeks… It’s that time of year again when we start recruiting young beekeepers for the 2019 IMYB which is in its 10th year and is being held in Banská Bystrica, Slovakia, on the 3rd - 7th July 2019. As before, we are looking for a team of three teen beeks aged between 12 and 17 with either the BBKA Basic or Junior Assessment (or equivalent experience) to come on an all expenses paid, life-changing trip. You will meet, work and learn from fellow young beekeepers from almost 30 countries around the world and a great time is guaranteed! As before, we are holding our team selection day on Sunday 10th March at the BBKA HQ at Stoneleigh Park in Warwickshire from 10:30am and it will take 4-5 hours. Each candidate will take part in a series of written and practical exercises either individually or in a group and we will make our team selection by the end of the day. We are looking for three candidates plus a reserve and each must have a valid passport with at least 6 months to run after July 2019. We also want to encourage prospective candidates to come forward to find out about the IMYB for future applications, so anyone over 10 years old is welcome on the day with their parents/guardian. Have a look at the IMYB website You can contact Simon Cavill on [email protected] direct with any questions and to sign up now!