Norman Chapman Obituary, Death -We extend our condolences to the family & friends of Norman Chapman, whose funeral is today. Norman was well-known throughout the beekeeping world for his interest and books on microscopy and bees and was a long-term supporter Norman Chapman was born and raised in Beckenham, Kent, the youngest of five. His older brother was killed during the war; he had three older sisters. When he was 12 years old, he watched from his bedroom window as the Crystal Palace burned down.

From school he had a tool-making apprenticeship, then was called up to the RAF during the second world war but demobbed before completing navigator training. He then studied as an electronics engineer. His background supported his interest in adapting developing all the gadgets he needed for his beekeeping and resulted in him collecting the ideas, tips and tricks together for his first book, After the war, two of his sisters had a double wedding, where he met his wife, Joan, my mother. She and Connie, one of Dad’s sisters, had been posted together during the war.

Many years later, while I was in my industrial year from college at the Department of Insecticides and Fungicides at Rothamsted Experimental Station, something sparked Dad’s interest in beekeeping. Although Rothamsted no longer had the bee department, there was still a strong interest in bees. Dad couldn’t wait to get his first hives the following spring. Not content with just ‘keeping’ the bees, Dad took a great interest in many aspects of the hobby. He joined the Wimbledon BKA, took part in their meetings and shows, supported by Mum making teas and coffees.

He edited the WBKA newsletter for some years. He attempted his own queen rearing, constructing bits and pieces to make beekeeping jobs easier. He took an interest in the bees’ forage, and particularly pollen. Over many years Dad collected pollen from a wide variety of flowers, made his own microscope slides, and made drawings of the grains he viewed using a microscope, keeping meticulous records. He made sets of pollen slides for the BBKA pollen identification exam.