Horncastle’s very own ‘Mr Bee’ really is buzzing after receiving national recognition for his amazing beekeeping career.
Fred Parker is believed to be the first person in the country to be awarded a certificate from the National Beekeeping Council marking 60 years as a beekeeper.
Mr Parker, the chairman of the highly successful Horncastle Beekeeping Club, says he was ‘shocked but very proud’ to receive the accolade.
He said: “I went along to the monthly meeting of the club and I’d no idea what was going to happen.
“Apparently, the club had contacted the national association – and they sent the certificate.
“I was really shocked and surprised but it is a great honour.
“It’s nice when this kind of thing happens and the work you do is recognised. Not that I do it for that.”
Mr Parker, who is 77, started beekeeping when he was nine.
He’s lost count of the number of beginners he has encouraged over the years.
This year, seven novices signed up at the Horncastle club and Mr Parker is busy helping tutor them
He explained: “They are the future of beekeeping in this country.
“Us older ones can’t go on forever.
“I’ve no plans to pack it in. I tell people the only time I stop is when they put me in my box!”
Mr Parker says beekeeping is more popular than ever.
He has 12 of his own hives and estimates he will get around 80lbs of honey from each one this year.
He sells some of the honey but gives the rest away – much of it to local worthy causes.
He explained: “It’s been a good year and we made the most in this area of the rape seed crop.
“The warm weather forecast for the next few weeks should also help.”
Mr Parker – and some of his bees – will be on duty at the Lincolnshire Show which runs today (Wednesday) and tomorrow.
He’s been displaying bees at the show for almost 20 years and admits he ‘loves it’.
it is one of the highlights of his year.