Julian Routh remembered (1948 - 2024) 

On 26th January Julian Routh, who was a long-standing member of the Sutton Coldfield & North Birmingham Branch and a valued and multi-talented member of the Warwickshire Association, passed away at home, peacefully and surrounded by his family.  He had kept bees since the 1970s, initially at home and later across Sutton Coldfield, was a BBKA Master Beekeeper and former BBKA Trustee.  

After retirement from Seven Trent Water where he worked as a chemical engineer, Julian became a National Bee Unit Seasonal Bee Inspector and with his wizard-like beard, was easily recognised by many beekeepers both locally and nationally.  He was a regular lecturer on honey bee pests and diseases as well as on other subjects.  Julian was an assessor for the BBKA Basic and General Husbandry examinations and the author of several sections of the BBKA 'Course in a Case' educational material.  His enthusiasm for learning was exemplified by his graduation (in retirement) in 2018, with an MSc with Merit in Entomology from Harper Adams University.

Julian was able to communicate his passion for bees through his lectures, practical demonstrations and general conversation. He was patient and encouraging with newer beekeepers and, as a member of the BBKA Shows Committee, would take time to talk to members of the public at events such as RHS Chatsworth and Gardeners World Live.  There he would encourage them to consider how they could help insects in general - not just honey bees.   

Until his recent illness meant that he had to step back, Julian was also an active member of the BBKA Spring Convention Committee, where he unobtrusively oversaw health and safety at the event.  His Zoom-skills, honed ahead of the curve with quizzes with much-loved grandchildren, were appreciated during 2021's Virtual Convention.  He will be very much missed, but remembered by many.  The Sutton Coldfield Association is honouring these memories with the award of the Routh Challenge Trophy as part of its annual honey show.  

Our condolences go to Julian's wife Linda, daughters Charlotte, Becky, son William and their families.

Jitesh Patel, Chairman of Warwickshire BKA & Joyce Nisbet BBKA Trustee & Chair, BBKA Spring Convention Committee