Flat Stanley visits London

Over the past few weeks I have had a very special visitor. He goes by the name of Flat Stanley. As suggested by his name, he’s a slightly unusual visitor, in that he’s not just slim but 2D.

Flat Stanley in alkanet

See what I mean?

This might all seem somewhat eccentric so far, but there is a reason for this, honest. See his beautifully drawn cowboy boots? Flat Stanley is actually visiting from Texas! He’s been sent for a stay by beekeeper Karl Arcuri, whose niece Riya created him as part of the Flat Stanley literacy project. Flat Stanley is now doing a tour of the world, and I am lucky enough to be the first beekeeper to have him.

Stanley fell lightly through the door with a letter which said:

Dear English Beekeepers,

Thank you for hosting me in your lovely country. While I can’t wait to visit some English beehives, I particularly look forward to the tea and cake. Please note I prefer an Assam blend, but any strong black tea will do. Clotted cream is also a must since it is impossible to find in the United States. I hope the bees are in good health and good spirits.

Many thanks
Flat Stanley

After a spot of tea, to celebrate Stanley’s arrival I took him to meet my bees…

Flat Stanley at my hive

And to frolic in buttercups…

Flat Stanley in buttercups

And to meet other beekeepers.

Mark and Flat Stanley

Karl asked if I could share some interesting facts about beekeeping in my country. Well, I would sum up beekeeping here as “tricky”. Since varroa arrived, gone are the days where a beekeeper could check on their hive once or twice a year and take away a few supers of honey each summer. A new pest is on the horizon too – the bee-eating Asian hornet, Vespa Velutina, has reached northern France after its accidental French arrival in boxes of pottery from China in 2004. A strong hornet queen could fly across the channel, or more likely be unwittingly transported here by humans. We must watch out for it.

For now, varroa combined with the constantly up-and-down weather are probably the biggest challenges here. Sometimes, as today, we get a beautiful day or a run of a few beautiful days of sunshine. But there is the constant knowledge that the rain and cold dull days may return at any moment, even in the middle of summer. Ah well, no-one lives here for the weather!

I believe Flat Stanley is off to sample the delights of the Isle of Wight next. To find out more about Flat Stanley and how he can visit you too, see Karl’s blog:

EDIT: Flat Stanley has since gone for a taste of French sophistication: Flat Stanley notches up more air miles.

About Emily Scott

I am a UK beekeeper who has recently moved from London to windswept, wet Cornwall. I first started keeping bees in the Ealing Beekeepers Association’s local apiary in 2008, when I created this blog as a record for myself of my various beekeeping related disasters and - hopefully! - future successes.
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34 Responses to Flat Stanley visits London

  1. disperser says:

    I doubt the Texas origin . . . no six-shooters . . .


  2. Well, I’ve put my name on the list just in case Flat Stanley wants to come visit Australia (is there anyone anywhere that doesn’t want to visit Australia?). Thanks for this sweet post.


  3. cindy knoke says:

    Flat Stanley was so smart to pick the best UK beekeeper to visit. But what I don’t understand is how did he know you would have the best tea and cake?
    He is really smart for a two dimensional guy from Texas!


  4. What a lovely idea!


  5. Alex Jones says:

    Ha ha, Flat Stanley is perfect addition to the world of blogging. The bees in one photo seem interested in him.


  6. karcuri13 says:

    Thanks so much for hosting Flat Stanley. My niece just happened to be visiting Texas this weekend and was very excited to read this post!


  7. theresagreen says:

    Who said Americans don’t understand our humour? Some of them at least are clearly as barking as we Brits! Stanley looks very cute, if rather 50s or 60s camp, and not at all dressed to cope with our weather. He clearly has taste and manners though, so should be OK. The news about yet another potential winged invader after our bees is disturbing though, do you have any pictures of them?


  8. Boorinakis Harper Ranch says:

    How fun — great photos! Lucky guy, to travel the world in an envelope!


  9. Do the airlines charge Stanley full price for a seat?


  10. karcuri13 says:

    Reblogged this on Urban Beekeeping in Austin, Texas and commented:
    Flat Stanley is in London! Read all about it.


  11. hencorner says:

    Fantastic, love it!


  12. One of my favourite books from childhood! Can Flat Stanley please come visit the North London Beekeepers! Tea and cake is waiting!


    • Emily Heath says:

      Ah great! Thanks for reblogging the post. Best thing to do to get on the list is leave Karl a comment on his ‘Flat Stanley wants to visit you’ post that I linked to at the end of my blog.


  13. Reblogged this on hellochanchan and commented:
    Flat Stanley is a beekeeper!


  14. Pingback: Flat Stanley notches up more air miles | Stick To Plan Bee

  15. Stanley is looking great! Beekeeping looks like such an interesting job, thanks for sharing your experience!


  16. Jill says:

    Flat Stanley is so cute. Aside from the hives, I wonder where does he like to go? I love this article. so cute and informative!


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