7 Feb 2023

Winter Bee Update

Martin Davies

The main show apiary, within the walled garden, contains six hives, and a main apiary is located at Bryn Crwys, where there are sixteen hives.

In late autumn, we successfully relocated the Bryn Crwys apiary to a new location, which we have unofficially named Cae Gwenyn, adjacent to the corporate entrance. This site was prepared by the hard-working maintenance team during the late summer to re-home the apiary, due to the planned future development of Bryn Crwys.

During the relocation, we took the opportunity to quickly inspect the colonies. This was to make sure they were healthy, happy and had enough food stored for them to survive the winter (bees can eat around 40-50 pounds of honey over winter). We added some additional food, in the form of sugar fondant, just to be sure, and let them settle down for the winter.

In early January we carried out a very quick inspection to ensure the colonies were all ok and that the cold snap before Christmas had not caused any problems. The inspection showed that all our hives had, so far, survived the winter and had taken a small amount of the fondant to supplement their honey stores. During the warm spell in mid-January, we were able to perform a more in-depth inspection and we, myself and the volunteer group were very delighted to see that all 22 colonies had not only survived the winter but seemed to be thriving and in a very strong position for the coming spring.

Whilst we probably still have the worst of the winter to come in February, we are optimistic about the coming season and looking forward to developing the Cae Gwenyn site further, once a permanent track is created and our large storage shed is relocated from Bryn Crwys.

It is hoped that once the track is in place, we will be able to open the location to Botanic Garden visitors where they will get the opportunity to see bees in a more natural environment. It will also be a fabulous location to host our Practical Beekeeping classes, planned for April, May and June and our Taster Days in June, July and August.

Further update once spring arrives.

Martin & The Beekeeping Team