At the National Botanic Garden of Wales we are investigating which flowers honey bees forage on to help us inform future choices when it comes to managing habitats and planting pollinator-friendly flowers. By using DNA metabarcoding we can identify the plants within the honey and we use the Botanic Garden as our study site, sampling from our own apiary throughout the season. By sampling honey from our hives on a monthly basis, and surveying the Botanic Garden for all plant species in flower, we can track honey bee foraging on a monthly basis giving us important information on foraging preferences.
The Botanic Garden provides us with a unique foraging habitat for the honey bees, with a highly diverse floral resource surrounded by a National Nature Reserve. To widen our survey and understanding of honey bee foraging across different habitats we are asking for a 30ml sample of honey from beekeepers across Wales and the UK to include in our analysis. This can be sampled at any point in 2017 when you take your honey off.
We would like approximately 30ml of honey from a single hive collected in 2017. Once collected please send the sample in a clean, secure container with a completed survey form to Laura Jones at Science Department, National Botanic Garden of Wales, Llanarthne, SA32 8HG.
This sampling will feed into our wider study, and if successful the individual results of the flowers your honey bees have foraged on will be sent to you; returned via the contact details given.