6 Apr 2020

Big honour for Lynda, spring clean for the hives

Ardd Fotaneg · Botanic Garden

The Botanic Garden’s beekeeper, Lynda Christie has recently been elected chair of the Welsh Beekeepers’ Association. This is a great honour for her and testament to the work she is doing in the Garden, in Carmarthenshire and all over Wales. She is keeping a close eye on our Bee Garden and writing a weekly blog of her experiences . . .

As I arrive at the Garden Apiary this morning, I am so pleased to see the Cherry trees starting to come into full bloom. One of the many pleasures of being Beekeeper at the National Botanic Garden of Wales is standing under the cherry trees in and around the Japanese Garden and listening and watching the honeybees forage in the canopy.

It is a bit too chilly for hive inspections but there are plenty of other jobs to do, such as tidying the Bee Garden, watering the pots of spring bulbs that are now looking their best, cleaning hive boxes, floors, rooves and crown boards.

This consists of scraping off propolis, wax and other debris and then scorching to sterilise the hive parts. Once cleaned, they are stacked tidily in the store ready to reuse when we make increase in the season ahead.

It is only around 10 degrees Celsius today, so not quite warm enough to open up the hives for a full inspection but, by the afternoon, the sun has warmed up the Science Centre apiary and the bees are flying readily.

The frames that were removed at the last visit have been dismantled and cleaned. The wax has been melted and rendered down in our wax steamer.

This will be melted again at a later date and filtered to clean it further, so that we can reuse it in the future.

This wax is very useful as it can be used for making candles and wax blocks, for use in cosmetics and courses and to make new wax foundation for frames in our hives; or for making items to exhibit at shows throughout the year.

Unfortunately, we may not be able to attend any of the usual shows this year, due to the Corvid-19 pandemic but we can practice and hone our crafts so that are ready for shows in the future.


Lynda Christie