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Brian P. Dennis

A Northamptonshire Beekeeper

Brian Dennis is an experienced beekeeper from Cogenhoe in Northamptonshire. I have known Brian for some time as a knowledgeable, thoughtful and caring beekeeper. I have never seen him inspect a colony, but from having had many conversations with him, I suspect he is a very gentle handler of bees.

In 1976 Brian attended a beginners' beekeeping course that was run by the Northamptonshire County Beekeeping Instructor George Sommerville at the local Agricultural College. His first colony was purchased from a specialist in flea biology! The bees were excellent, although he did not realize this at the time. His interest in bees & beekeeping increased to total involvement, obtaining the BBKA Certificate in Apiculture under the guidance of Adrian Waring, who had replaced George Sommerville as CBI.

He joined the Northamptonshire BKA, then was elected to the executive committee, where he served continuously for 22 years, holding most posts of responsibility, including President and Chairman (three times). He continues to tutor & mentor beginners.

Brian joined the Bee Improvement and Bee Breeders Association BIBBA at about the same time (influenced by Claire & Adrian Waring) & became a committee member, serving continuously for over 20 years, where at different times he has held the posts of President, Chairman, Secretary and Membership Secretary. In 1992 he was elected as a BBKA Trustee, serving for six years. In 2005 he was again elected as a Trustee. During both spells he was involved in the Education & Husbandry, Publicity & Promotions, Standing Orders and Constitution, Governance, Royal Show and Stoneleigh Shows committees. The latter being responsible for organising display gardens and live bee demonstrations at the Edible Garden Show at Stoneleigh and Gardeners' World Live at the NEC at Birmingham (awarded RHS Best in Show two years running). Since retiring from the BBKA executive committee, Brian continues to be involved with necessary tasks such as proof-reading.

On "retiring" from the committees, Brian was awarded Honorary Memberships of both Northamptonshire BKA and BIBBA, with the Maxime Dedit from the British Beekeepers Association (BBKA), an award for many years valuable service. He has come out of retirement and is currently BIBBA President. At the 2016 BBKA Annual Delegates Meeting (ADM) Brian was awarded Honorary Membership of the BBKA. This is an honour that is only awarded in very special circumstances, but having seen the huge amount of work that Brian has done on behalf of beekeeping, I am satisfied this award was fully justified.

I got to know Brian through the BBKA and BIBBA. I have always admired him because he has performed all his tasks very quietly and efficiently. If he says something, it is always relevant and worth listening to. Unlike some, he is not the sort who makes a loud noise to get noticed, or gets involved with "beekeeping politics" or controversy. He is way above that and the sort who is vital to the development of beekeeping.

Brian Dennis is a very keen gardener. He writes occasional articles on beekeeping, some of which are accessible as PDFs from the buttons on the left. He is also a mead maker and is author of "Good Health & Long Life - Meanderings of a Mead Maker".

Roger Patterson.