Margaret Ginman, Guest Speaker at Blackthorn Trust
I was general secretary of the Bee Farmers Association for nearly ten years – a role I have now stepped down from. It gave me a unique perspective on the keeping of honeybees and the issues around honey and wax production. One of the most pleasurable aspects of the role was the invitations I got to speak on the subject.
Now I have stepped down I am surprised that I am still getting those invitations. A particularly interesting one came from the. They provide programmes to help patients with issues like mental health, chronic pain, type 2 diabetes and long Covid. I was interested to look round the beautiful, tranquil gardens and workshops; to see how candle making was just one of the crafts used by the workshop facilitators in their work providing a social-therapeutic environment where people can recover through nurture, health advice and growth. They even have a beehive!
This year Blackthorn has decided to deliver a series of events to raise funds and awareness of their services. I was asked to speak on The History of Honeybees and their Importance to Man. The venue was their humble but friendly deli/café – a haven for patients in the middle of a beautiful biodynamic garden where volunteers, patients and the public can drop in for lunch or coffee. The audience on the day I spoke included supporters, counsellors, friends and patients. There was no lecturing this group. Questions came thick and fast as I whizzed through 30,000 years of honeybees from poems on pyramid walls and ancient honey gatherers to the Wax Chandlers involvement in modern apprenticeships and importance of all doing their bit for pollinators. A thoroughly enjoyable afternoon ended with an invitation to revisit to continue the discussion. Can’t wait to go back.
Margaret Ginman Court Assistant
The Worshipful Company of Wax Chandlers
Wax Chandlers’ Hall
6 Gresham Street
London EC2V 7AD