Sunday, 16 April 2017

Hey Honey! Buzzin' over bees

For March's meeting, Beekeeper Bronwen White joined us to teach us all about the art and skill involved in keeping bees, an essential part of our ecosystem. 

We heard all about the different types of bee we may find in our gardens (including my personal favourite - the hairy-footed flower bee), the life cycle of a bee, and we were shown all of the components required to provide a hive for them to thrive. 

Toni and the bee!
Here are some fun facts we learnt about our humble bumbles! 
  • A Queen bee can lay up to 1500 eggs per day...them's some hardworking ovaries!
  • Bees communicate by waggle dance! The direction of the waggle lets the other bees know which way to go, with the speed of the waggle telling them how far they need to go to reach their pollen-y destination
  • Bees can't see red, but can see in UV - so you should notice that when petals on flowers are lined, the lines will always point to the pollen which help the bee find it's way.
Bronwen brought with her a bee hive and some honey samples

We also held a honey-themed bake off - sampling honey glazed chicken, an array of honey cakes, tiny honeyed doughnuts and more. Mary's baklava was judged by Bronwen to be the star bake of the day and she was rewarded with a jar of honey to take home.

Anyway, time for me to buzz off.

Bee Happy!

Laura Rangeley
Committee member

Friday, 10 March 2017

Girl Gang Sheffield and our new charity of the year

Our February meeting was a miserable, cold and wet night, several Committee members were ill, but it was the night we discovered our church has some sort of underfloor heating system. It was like winning the lottery, warm parquet is a actual thing. 

We opened our doors and were greeted by our ladies laden with cakes and full of chatter; I can only comment on Karin's incredible kladd kaka (like chocolate brownie) with orange and cayenne pepper - wow!! Our meeting for this month was made brighter by our friends from Girl Gang Sheffield who led our meeting on positivity and self celebration. 

Before we got down to positivity and feeling great, Grace ran through some SHWI business, passing on thanks from Light Sheffield for our fundraising efforts in 2016 and informing us of her successful negotiations in securing a stall for Sheffield Food Festival.

In February we traditionally vote for our charity of the year, this year we had 7 amazing nominations; Ashiana Sheffield, Golddigger Trust, Haven House, Memories from Isla, MHAGS Sheffield, Snowdrop Project and Whirlow Hall Farm Trust. Following a wholly democratic sticky dot led voting process (watch out Electoral Reform Commission) I was delighted to announce that our support for 2017 will be MHAGS Sheffield.  Watch out for our fundraising ideas over the coming months - one definite already in the diary is the Food Fest in May, so get your bake on!

After a swift break, Vanhessa, Ellie and Charly from Girl Gang Sheffield introduced their manifesto to our group and shared the reasons why they set up Girl Gang - their focus being to shine a light on women in Sheffield and support and promote the work they are doing.  

Girl Gang started by a core group of like minded women in Sheffield and has now expanded to Leeds and Manchester where their events centre around creativity, artistry, music and talent, and have a feminist undercurrent to encourage us all to value ourselves more.  The Girl Gang website states that a girl gang can be whatever you want it to be - encouraging skills sharing, self love and the power of female friendships - all of which I get from our fantastic SHWI girl gang.

Our activity for the evening was poster making focusing on making a positive statement to ourselves, taking back the negative perceptions and opinions we have about ourselves; the little voice in your head which can appear to be shouting you down and making you feel crappy.  What followed was an hour of positive reinforcement, shared experiences and laughter; and what resulted was a whole array of amazing posters, many adorned with a vast repertoire of swear words.

When I joined SHWI in November 2015 it was because I was missing nights like this. I was existing in a city I had called home for over 10 years with friends living 40 miles away becoming more and more remote, what I craved was the company of like-minded people, women supporting women, sharing experiences and offering advice.  We all lead such busy professional and social lives, living in a digital era where the restorative power of an actual conversation can often be forgotten.  Thank you Girl Gang for your support in delivering such an inspirational and uplifting evening!

Rachel White