I have taken the decision to shelve all my face-to-face courses as the uncertainty continues, and the possibility attendees–or me–needing to self-isolate on an ad hoc basis as the lockdown lifts makes trying to plan dates rather a nightmare, and that’s before the social distancing measures that need to be in place. I am very aware that lots of people come to my courses and workshops for the convivial atmosphere: tea, homemade cake, and chatting to other people are an important part of what I do when discussing bees, and even more so with the chicken and gardening courses. It is something that despite all our new-found familiarity with Zoom, Skype, and other videoconferencing platforms, doesn’t translate well for those who are just interested or have purchased the course as a gift, although the Beekeeping in a Box is great for those happy to work through it at their leisure. The Patreon site is proving brilliant for those who already have bees, as it is a great way for me to show what I’m doing in real time; I don’t open the hives on demand so it has been a really useful tool for ongoing tuition.
With all this distance and exclusion in mind, I have started a vlog on my YouTube channel so that I can share some of the day-to-day happenings here at my home. It’s called The Shawpits Diaries and you can find the first episode here. I hope this means I can carry on connecting with like-minded people, as often the chats during the tea-break show how an interest in sustainable beekeeping overlaps with many other aspects of life.
I will still be uploading here on the website as, call me old-fashioned, I do really enjoy writing blogposts!