Fayre details

Our Weekend Celebrations of Charles Butler 400th anniversary bring together the whole bee story, so that children, families, and communities, can share and experience with beekeepers the wonderful and amazing secret lives of bees.
We combine telling the ‘bee story’ inside the church with presentations and workshops, and outside in the Church Meadows with specialists, beekeepers, and stall-holders to help everyone understand the need to create a sustainable environment for bees to thrive.

Saturday 19th August 2023
Meadows open for visitors from 10.30 am to 5.00 pm
Presentation starting times: 11.30 am, 1.00 pm, 3.00 pm
Download weekend programme and site map, click here

Presentations inside Wootton St Lawrence Church

Saturday am Session 1 – MC Jane Ridler, Master Beekeeper

11.30 am For the love of Honey!
A family favourite as the honey story unfolds with Betsie Valentine and her honeybees, why honey tastes so good, and how the blue borage flowers produce the tastiest honey ever!

  • Meriet Duncan Author Beekeeper: Betsie Valentine and her honeybees
  • Sarah Wyndham Lewis Author Honey Sommelier: The Magic of Honey
  • Giacomo Ciriello Wainwright’s Bee Farms: Borage to Honey – Farmer’s Story
  • Q & A speaker panel discussion

Saturday pm Session 2 – MC Richard Ridler, Master Beekeeper

1:00 pm The Bee Story Part 1: Bees, Trees and Flowers: The Pollinators
Discover the huge importance of bumble bees and honey bees as pollinators in our gardens, fields and forests. Our survival depends upon ensuring bees and all pollinators thrive.

  • Clive Hill Bumble Bee Trust: Introducing Tree Bumble Bee
  • Rachel Monger Bees Abroad: Bees and Honey – Africa Story
  • Matthew Elmes Pollenize: Bees, Pollination, and Conservation
  • Q & A speaker panel discussion

Saturday pm Session 3 – MC John Lauwerys Hamphire Beekeepers Association

3.00 pm The Bee Story Part 2: Charles Butler – Parson, Musicologist and Beekeeper
A truly enthralling finale to bring you the legacy and influence of Charles Butler – father of English Beekeepers – in words, music and song
We are delighted that the 12 singers of Stile Antico will be performing Charles Butler’s Bee Madrigal and other pieces, in his pastoral home to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the publication of “Feminine Monarchie” in 1623.

  • Meriem Hammal Algerian BKA: Beekeeping in Extreme Conditions
  • Chris Park Acorn Education: Charles Butler and the Feminine Monarchie
  • Stile Antico, live performances of:
    • William Byrd Retire my soul
    • John Wilbye Sweet honey sucking bees
    • Charles Butler Melissomelos Bee Madrigal

Saturday in the Church Meadows 11:00 am to 5.30 pm

  • Hive Education Centre – experience the honey bee and pollinator story
  • Craft, honey, wildlife & environment, along with sustainable stallholders to welcome you.
  • Speakers Corner: meet the speakers and get your book signed
  • Children’s activities, Morris dancers, relax and picnic in the Meadows
  • Enjoy hot food, real ale, refreshments, teas, coffee and cakes

Charles Butler Prize Draw Raffle
Buy tickets at Friends of St Lawrence stall and from our friendly roaming helpers

4.45 pm Prize draw takes place after the conclusion of presentations inside the church.

Sunday 20th August 2023
Wootton St Lawrence Church – Charles Butler Celebration Service

Church Service start time: 10:00 am
Revd Ben Kautzer: Rector of Oakley with Wootton, Area Dean of Basingstoke

All welcome to give thanks, listen and hear:

  • Video message: Most Revd Justin Welby Archbishop of Canterbury
  • Revd John Owen: Charles Butler ”The Feminine Monarchie” address
  • Stile Antico performing Charles Butler: Melissomelos Bee Madrigal
  • Beekeeper blessing of the new honey harvest

Sunday in the Church Meadows 11:00 am to 3.30 pm

  • Hive Education Centre – experience the honey bee and pollinator story
  • Craft demonstrations, honey, wildlife & environmental awareness
  • Speakers Corner: meet the speakers and get your book signed
  • Children’s activities, Morris dancers, relax and picnic in the Meadows
  • Enjoy hog roast, real ale, refreshments, teas, coffee and cakes

Admission to the Bee Fayre
Car Parking Free

All proceeds from your generous donation support of the Charles Butler 400 anniversary Bee Fayre Celebrations will benefit our charitable causes Bees Abroad, Friends of St Lawrence, and Charles Butler 400 Foundation.

Saturday entrance charges per person: Saturday presentations inside the Church

Adults £4 admission 11:30 am  £1 per ticket (minimum donation)
Child 5 -15s £1 admission 1:00 pm    £2 per ticket (minimum donation)
Child U5s Free Admission 3:00 pm    £5 per ticket (minimum donation)

Saturday presentations inside the church

11:30 am:  For the love of Honey£1 minimum donation per seat
1:00 pm:  Bee Trees and Flowers – the pollinators£2 minimum donation per seat
3:00pm: Charles Butler: Parson, Musicologist, Beekeeper£5 minimum donation per seat

To reserve your seats please visit www.charles-butler400.co.uk

Sunday Charles Butler Celebration Service, Wootton St Lawrence Church
Admission is free to all (no parking and entrance tickets)

10:00 am Charles Butler Celebration Service: All welcome
A donation collection will be taking place during the service, and all proceeds will go towards Bee Fayre nominated causes

“ To a bee, a flower is a fountain of life …..To a flower, a bee is a messenger of love ”