September 2013 – News

Wednesday 4th September—History of beekeeping

Eagles Hotel, Llanrwst LL26 0LG at 7pm.
honey fairHistory of beekeeping in the Conwy Valley a talk by Kevin Jones, Maenan, Conwy BKA member. There is lots of fresh information, and previously unseen old photos of the Conwy Honey Fair. This is a Llanrwst Historical Society meeting, visitors welcome @ £2 per person.

Saturday 7th September—Apiary Meeting

Your last Apiary meeting of the summer at Tal y Cafn at 2.30pm. Check for winter and treating the bees with Apiguard.

Friday 13th September—Conwy Honey Fair

9am to 4pm. Good quality pics wanted for publicizing next year’s event, our 25th year!

Tuesday 24th September—Maximizing your honey crop

A talk by Joanna Schup, Shropshire BKA at Craig y Don Community Centre. Welcome and tea/coffee at 7.20pm, meeting starts at 7.40pm

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July 2013 News

New members

Conwy BKA now has a record 160 members (with a family counting as one member). Welcome to all our new members! If you are a new member, and you would like to know who else keeps bees near you please contact us. Think about volunteering to help with the bees at the BeeCentre at Bodnant Welsh Food. It’s a great way to meet other beekeepers and to learn about beekeeping.
See and

Sun 7th July—Garden Open

Penysychnant, Sychnant Pass, Conwy
11am to 5pm Click here for info.

Sun 14th July—Moelyci Open Day

Moelyci Environmental Centre, Tregarth
From midday. Click here for info.

Sat 20t July—Apiary Meeting

Tal y Cafn

Warmer weather is forecast for July. Be in time with your supers.

Happy beekeeping.
Peter McFadden

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April 2013 News

Welsh Beekeeper magazine

The new editor is Sue Closs. She would be delighted to receive articles or pictures for publication.

Sat 13th April—BBKA Spring Convention

Newport, Shropshire

Sun 14th April—Gardeners’ Market

Conwy RSPB Reserve
10am to 4pm. Ten specialist local nurseries with a wide variety of plants for sale. Free admission, free advice and information.

Sat 27th April—Beekeeping Taster Day

Rowen and Tal y Cafn
Still a few places available. See website under Courses.

Tues 30th April—Beekeeping in ancient Egypt

Craig y Don Community Centre
A talk by Pauline Norris, Montgomery BKA, starts at 7.40pm.

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Cold Weather Starvation Risk

An important message from the National Bee Unit.

March 2013 Bee colony Starvation Risk. Important Information about Colony Food Levels.

With the continued poor weather looking to persist through to the end of March, colonies may be starting to run out of food (if they haven’t already). It would be advisable to check the food levels by opening the hive and making a very quick observation on their store levels. Key points to remember are:

  • The colony may still have stores available which are at the other end of the brood chamber to the cluster of bees. If there are ‘empty’ frames between the two then the bees could still starve, despite food being in the chamber. Move the frames of food directly next to the outer frame where the cluster resides, ensuring that you score each frame of food (not excessively, but enough to stimulate feeding). Be sure not to knock or roll the bees when doing this and to be as quick as possible.
  • If the colony has little or no frames of food then give them a block of candy or fondant. You want to aim for about 2.5 kg per hive and although this may seem to be a great expense, it is far less than the money you will have wasted should the bees die.
  • Mini plastic bags that are used to store loose fruit in from the supermarket are perfectly acceptable for holding the fondant and cost nothing. Pack the candy in the bag and then pierce holes in the appropriate place once you get to the hive. If the bag seems fragile then you can double bag it (just be sure to pierce both bags).
  • At this time of the year we would usually start feeding sugar syrup but with these temperatures it is still too cold. Place the fondant directly above the bees, turning the crownboard if necessary so that one of the porter bee escape holes is above the cluster.

Please be aware that this should be done as quickly and carefully as possible and although it may seem too cold to open the hive now, it is far better to do so knowing the bees are ok than not to and find later that they have died.

Kind regards,

National Bee Unit.

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Conwy Seed Fair

Tuesday 26th March 2013

In Conwy High Street and Lancaster Square, 9am to 4pm, free admission.

Plant stalls, seeds, local crafts, honey, home produce. See Conwy Fairs page for information.


  • Conwy Farmers’ Market on the Quay, all day.
  • Conwy Country Market at the British Legion, Rosehill Street, near the Vicarage Gardens (town centre) car park. Tea/coffee and crafts stalls, 9.45am to mid afternoon. St. John’s Methodist Church, opposite the Vicarage Gardens car park.
  • Coffee morning and Fair Trade stall in the morning. Church open in the afternoon. Royal Cambrian Academy, Crown Lane, off High Street.
  • Exhibition of paintings and sculpture by Diane Lawrenson and Louise Payne, 11am to 5pm, free admission.
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March 2013 News

Tuesday 19th March—What we know (and don’t know) about Swarms

Craig y Don Community Centre
A talk by Wally Shaw, Anglesey BKA. Tea/coffee and cake from 7.20pm. Meeting starts at 7.40pm.

Saturday 23rd March—WBKA Spring Convention

Builth Wells
Contact Peter for tickets £6 each.

Tuesday 26th March—Conwy Seed Fair

Stall space still available.

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February 2013 News

Wednesday 20th February—Beekeeping in the Conwy Valley

Maenan Abbey Hotel, Llanrwst LL26 0UL
7.30pm. A talk by Pete Barrar, Conwy BKA and NBCW with honey tasting. This is a Conwy Valley Civic Society meeting, and visitors are warmly welcome. Maenan Abbey Hotel has a popular early evening restaurant menu.

Saturday 23rd February—How to make a Green wooden bench for the garden

Ty Hyll, Capel Curig.

Tuesday 26th February—Maximizing your honey crop

Craig y Don Community Centre
A talk by Joanna Schup, Master beekeeper, Shropshire BKA. Welcome coffee and cake from 7.20pm. Meeting starts at 7.40pm.

  • Why does my neighbour get more honey than me?
  • Why does my honey cost about £20 per jar to produce?
  • How do I plan for the honey flow?
  • What are my potential honey crops? Sycamore/OSR/blackberry/himalayan balsam/heather?
  • How do I prepare my bees to work these crops for honey?

This new talk will get you thinking about your beekeeping in a different way. Or maybe you’re happy with just half a super of honey per hive…

Beekeeping short courses

  • Sat 27th April Conwy BKA Taster Day at Rowen and Tal y Cafn, filling up nicely. See here for details.
  • NBCW courses at Henfaes. Click here or call in at Furnace Farm for details.
  • Sat 16th March Skin creams Workshop
  • Sat 20th April Candlemaking Workshop
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January 2013 News

Tuesday 5th February—Conwy BKA AGM

We hope we’ll see you at the Conwy BKA AGM and Beekeepers’ Question Time with plenty of questions to ask our keen team.

Tuesday 26th March—Conwy Seed Fair

In the Easter school holidays. Stall space available. See our Conwy Fairs page.

National Beekeeping Centre Wales

Volunteer instructors are needed at the popular apiary sessions for the public, which restart at Easter. Could you be one? Why not call in the Visitor Centre at Furnace Farm near Tal y Cafn for a chat. Winter opening Wednesday to Sunday, 10am to 4pm. See the Facebook page Bees Wales.

29th September to 4th October—Apimondia 2013

Kiev, Ukraine

  • The world’s biggest beekeeping event.
  • 12,000 beekeepers expected to attend.
  • Ukraine is the largest honey producer in Europe and 5th in the world.
  • Nine beekeepers per 1000 population. That’s equivalent to 600 beekeepers in Anglesey.
  • Flights from Manchester approx £230 return
  • Early registration fee approx £165. Click here for info.

We’ll soon be back with the bees.

Best wishes.
Peter McFadden

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Association Honey Show 2012

This is a montage of pictures by Barry Griffiths from last night’s very successful Honey Show, which was judged by about 30 members.

Many thanks to Ruth Bethell, Wesley Evans and Chris Clarke for devising and organizing the Show, and well done to Wesley Evans who won Best in Show with A Pair of Candles.

Peter McFadden

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October 2012 News

Conwy Feast

The 9th Conwy Feast was another great success for Conwy town, with the streets thronged with visitors until late on Saturday evening, and still busy on the wet Sunday. Conwy BKA shared the Farming for Food tent with various livestock: cattle, sheep, geese, small pigs, chickens and a very large horse. We made contact with over 20 would-be beekeepers. Many thanks to everybody who supported the event.

Friday November 30th—Candlemaking Workshop

Henfaes Research Centre, Abergwyngregyn 10am until 3.30pm. Open to all.
Learn how to make a variety of beeswax candles for yourself or as Christmas presents for friends and family. Led by Paul and Pauline Aslin, Dolgellau. See their interesting website

Learn how to

  • prepare beeswax, including reclaiming clean wax from old brood combs;
  • make dipped, rolled and moulded candles;
  • make lip balm.

£45 per person including a tasty lunch, and one of each type of candle and some lip balm, all made by you, to take home. Limited to 16 people.

Organized by National Beekeeping Centre Wales.

To book your place and pay by card, please phone the Visitor Centre (open every day except Mondays) on 01492 651106 or call in at Furnace Farm.

Best wishes.
Peter McFadden

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