FREE Activities at NBCW

23rd, 24th & 25th August—Candle Rolling

Perfect for busy little hands! Great for grown-ups too.

30th & 31st August—Seedballs

6th & 7th September—Seedballs and planting for Bees

Make your own wildflower seedballs to take home and plant in your garden, and discover which bee-friendly plants are best suited to your garden. Bring a soil sample for a free test!

20th & 21st September—Traditional Beeswax Candles

Beeswax burns very slowly, smells deliciously sweet and may benefit those with asthma and breathing problems. Come and see how traditional dipped and moulded beeswax candles are made and try your hand at dipping or rolling your own.

27th & 28th September—Products From The Hive

There is more to Bees than honey. Wax has so may uses and we will how you how simple ingredients can be used to turn wax into lip balms, polish and rolled candles, all of which are ideal as gifts or presents!

Beekeeping Course for Beginners 2014 / 2015

This highly successful course is now in its eighth year.

Conwy Beekeepers and the National Beekeeping Centre for Wales are offering the next course, starting on Tuesday 16th September. The course runs over ten sessions, two in the apiary and eight Tuesday evening classes, led by master beekeeper Geoff Critchley.

Full course details can be found at

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August 2014 – News

Dennis Adams

dennis_adamsWe are very sorry to report that Dennis Adams died on 12th August at the age of 83. He was a founder member of Conwy BKA in 1978 and a former chairman. He kept bees for over 65 years, and he was our most enthusiastic beekeeping instructor. He loved sharing his knowledge with new beekeepers. You would always learn something new when you watched Dennis Adams working with bees.

This picture shows Dennis Adams (on the right) at a taster day at Tal y Cafn. Notice the van slogan.

Thursday 21st August—Bumblebees and Solitary bees in your garden

6.30pm for 7pm start. A talk by George Pilkington, Warrington upstairs at the Bodnant Welsh Food Centre, Tal y Cafn LL28 5RP.

Tickets £2.50 per person, plus raffle. Pay on the door. Proceeds in aid of National Beekeeping Centre Wales.

Saturday 23rd August—Last of the summer Apiary meetings

Tal y Cafn at 2.30pm. Contact our apiary manager Chris Clarke for Apiguard.

Honey jars

Are available for collection from Peter McFadden. Standard 454g pounds and hexagon 227g half pounds.


Now is the time to start preparing your bees for successful wintering (not mid October). See our website page Preparing the bees for winter.

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July 2014 News

Saturday 2nd August—Apiary meeting

Tal y Cafn at 2.30pm.
Late season inspection. Is the queen laying OK? Is there honey to harvest?

Saturday 9th August—Eglwysbach Show

Don’t worry if you haven’t exhibited honey before, just jump in and show your honey. You’ll soon be winning prizes.

See our tips on Winning Prizes and our website page Honey Shows, which includes the schedule for Eglwysbach Show. If you wish, you can bring your entries for the honey classes to the apiary meeting, and we will stage them for you. Just post your entry form to the Show secretary.

Why not try a frame of honey? The bees have made some good combs this year. Or maybe an invention.

The standard recipe for Honey Cake is shown on our recipes website page under Resources->Recipes.

Saturday 16th August—Llanrwst Show

See the honey classes schedule on our Honey Shows page. Another great day out. The Fur and Feather tent is always worth a visit.

Honey Extractors for hire

We have two extractors and settling tanks with Hazel Jones, Dwygyfylchi; and one with Peter McFadden near Rowen. See instructions for use on our website.

Honey Jars

454g glass jars with gold plastic lids @ £20 per box of 72 from Peter McFadden.

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June 2014 News

Friday 13th June—Local Produce Market

Glasdir, Llanrwst LL26 0DF 9.30am to 1.30pm.
Wide variety of local food, plants and crafts, direct from the producers. Well recommended! Free parking.

Free workshops at Corn Helyg Permaculture

Anglesey next week.
Straw bale building, biochar, hotbox composting Click here for details.

Apiary meetings

Tal y Cafn
Saturdays at 2.30pm on 28th June, 19th July, 2nd August and 23rd August.

Looking for a straw skep made in Wales?

skepsPractical skeps for beekeepers now available, made to order. Created using the medieval craft of Lippy work (coiling straw).

Popular sizes include 14 x 14 inches, 18 x 18 inches, 24 x 24 inches, with or without entrances for the bees.
Swarm collecting baskets also available 14 inch x 9 inch. Lippy basket traditional and contemporary. This is a rare and beautiful traditional craft.


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May 2014 News

Saturday 10th May—Apiary Meeting

Tal y Cafn at 2.30pm
Three groups and three instructors: Barry Griffiths with the new beekeepers, Holly Pinkney and Chris Clarke.
Topics will include…

  • Welcome to beekeeping
  • Supering
  • Checking for queen cells and taking appropriate action
  • Checking last month’s Bailey frame change. Has it worked?

Frames and foundation Order now from Chris Clarke for collection on Saturday.

Nuc hives available

Available for members to hire from the association for the summer @ £10 plus £20 returnable deposit.

The next step…

So, you’ve completed a basic beekeeping course, you’ve kept bees for a few years, you attend our meetings, and you can talk endlessly about your bees. What’s the next step?
Well, the next step is to prepare for the WBKA Basic Assessment. Please see WBKA basic assessment details or our website page on Beekeeping Exams. Please contact the association secretary if you think you would like to proceed.

Bees on heather at Crafnant

Bees on heather at Crafnant

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April 2014 News

Volunteers needed

We are looking for volunteers to help tidy up Tal y Cafn Apiary in the next few days. Please contact our apiary manager Chris Clarke.

Saturday 19th April—Easter Apiary Meeting

Tal y Cafn at 2.30pm.


Stephen Thomas, Apiary manager at National Beekeeping Centre.
Jonathan Garratt, Seasonal bee inspector.
Chris Clarke, Apiary manager at Tal y Cafn.


  • Welcome and introduction
  • Assess colony build-up (It’s pretty rapid!)
  • Change manky old brood combs.
  • Bailey frame change. Click here for details.
  • Add honey supers if needed.
  • Informal discussion.

Our Apiary meetings are open to all. Bees suits and gloves avaiable, just bring wellies. Good weather is on offer for the next few weeks! The sycamore will soon be flowering, and there’s no better nectar for drawing out supers of foundation. Be in time with your supers. Contact Chris Clarke to order frames and foundation.

Tuesday 29th April—Simple queen rearing

Craig y Don Community Centre
A talk by Graham Royle NDB at 7.20pm for a 7.40pm start.

We hope to see you at the Bee Cause Day at B&Q Llandudno Saturday 12th April.

Peter McFadden

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March 2014 News

Tuesday 25th March—Beekeeping myths

Craig y Don Community Centre
Pete Sutcliffe vice chair of BBKA will give a talk on Beekeeping myths at Craig y Don Community Centre. A new speaker and a new topic.
Welcome and refreshments from 7.20pm, meeting starts at 7.40pm.


  • “Banging on a dustbin lid will somehow get a swarm to settle where you want it”. True or false?
  • “The acarine mite was responsible for the loss of about 90% of the nation’s honeybees in the early 20th century”. True or false?

There will be plenty of other examples. Do you know of any others from personal experience?

Cleaning Frames

See our new website page on cleaning beehive frames.
2 frame boiling

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Loss of bees as pollinators – film showing

There will be a film about the loss of bees as pollinators on Wednesday Feb 26th at 7:30pm at the TAPE Community Music and Film Centre in Old Colwyn.

The cost is £3:00. For tickets contact Janet Evans (FoE) on 01492 596265.

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AGM 2014 and other news

Tuesday 28th January—Conwy BKA Annual General Meeting

Craig y Don Community Centre
Hope we’ll see you at the Conwy BKA Annual General Meeting 7.20pm for a 7.40pm start. Click for directions

  • Nominations to the committee: Holly Pinkney and Tim Radford.
  • Nicholas Richter would welcome some help with the refreshments. Please arrive at about 7pm.
  • Frames and foundation available at the meeting. Contact Chris Clarke without delay.

Barry Griffiths 22 jan pollen 2

Wednesday 29th January—Conwy Farmers’ Market

Strawbale Building, Conwy RSPB
9.30am to 1pm. Plenty of free parking.

Tuesday 25th February—Bee Diseases in Wales

A talk at Craig y Don Centre by Frank Gellatly, Regional Bee Inspector for Wales

Barry Griffiths 22 jan pollen 3

Wednesday 26th March—Conwy Seed Fair

Stall space available. Click here for information for stallholders.

The pictures, from Barry Griffiths, show honeybees at Kinmel Bay collecting pollen from a Viburnum Tinus on 22nd January. What a lovely sight!

Happy beekeeping.
Peter McFadden

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January 2014 News

Happy New Year to you and your bees.

Saturday 4th January—Apiary Meeting

Tal y Cafn at 1.30pm.
We’ll check the colonies and treat with oxalic acid, to knock down any varroa mites. Bee suits available, please bring wellies. Mince pies for the beekeepers! Please let me know if you can provide some mince pies. Contact Chris Clarke on 01745 832812 for supplies of oxalic acid and Apifonda winter feed, by mid week please. Collect at TyC.


You can renew your subs at the apiary meeting. It’s so easy! Click here to download the Word form (or PDF). Type in your details, print the form and bring it with your cheque.

Thorne’s Online Sale

Starts on 4th January.

Beekeeping in 2014

Are you already planning your beekeeping for 2014, or will you just react to whatever your bees decide to do, and hope to get a few jars of honey?

You can become a well-informed and confident beekeeper by attending our talks, attending our practical sessions with the bees and our honey shows, by preparing for the WBKA Basic Assessment and by volunteering at the Beekeeping Centre. There’s so much to learn.

Why would anyone prefer to be a stay at home beekeeper?

Storm on Bardsey Island

Click here to see a short video of Friday’s 109 mph storm on Bardsey Island, filmed by Conwy BKA members Steve and Ben Porter. The Porter family are spending their 7th New Year on Ynys Enlli.

Best wishes
Peter McFadden

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