We’ve been lucky enough to visit the Welsh Beekeepers’ Association Convention for the past two years and, in order to enlist help from beekeepers with my PhD project, this year we had a stand. Our honey bee research uses the Garden as a study site, providing our hives with a wide horticultural resource as well as the nature reserve habitat. We’re widening this survey out to beekeepers across Wales and the UK, to find out what plants bees are visiting in different landscapes.
To get started on this we took along survey forms and sample kits to the beekeeping convention and handed them out from our stand. Our science interns Lucy and Alice, and myself, spent the day chatting to beekeepers, who all were very keen to help our work and find out what their bees are busy on.
Meanwhile Natasha, our Head of Science and Education, as well as Lynda our Head Beekeeper and Finance Clerk joined to visit the stands and watch the lectures. Natasha is a new beekeeper, having set out bait hives last season to tempt out the honey bees that had taken up residence in her cavity wall.
The big hit of our stand was the amazing work by the Stitching Botanicals group who illustrated every plant found in the Garden’s honey for April and May, in embroidery. Each plant is stitched onto a hexagon, creating a movable and adjustable piece of art, that helps us to communicate the research and our findings. Keep an eye out for their work being displayed in the gallery in June with their pollinating insects exhibition.
Check out the video in the slideshow above to see a quick run through of our day.
If you are a beekeeper and would like to contribute honey to the project, please contact Laura Jones at email@example.com