Apprenticeships sweeten the deal for future Welsh beekeepers

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These actions come in line with World Bees’ Day on Monday, May 20.

The United Nations recognises this day to highlight the crucial role that bees and other pollinators play in sustainable development, food security, and biodiversity. The selected date corresponds with the birthday of Anton Janša, an 18th-century Slovenian bee-keeper.

In Wales, people relish their honey. The National Bee Unit’s BeeBase recorded almost 4,000 beekeeper registrations from Wales in 2022. Plus, the Bee Farmers’ Association noted 51 registrations from Wales in 2023.

Currently, two Welsh honey businesses, Gwenyn Gruffydd Ltd and Border Honey, are providing training to the apprentices, who will soon occupy full-time posts. Both these businesses belong to the Food & Drink Wales Honey Cluster, a part of the Welsh government’s Clustering initiative. This initiative aims to promote networking between businesses in the sector.

Honey Cluster lead Haf Wyn Hughes emphasises the efforts being put in by both businesses, saying: “The Honey Cluster is dedicated to raising the profile and production of Welsh honey and bringing together bee farmers with a business vision and an ambition to grow.

“This is precisely what Border Honey and Gwenyn Gruffydd Ltd are doing in Wales by their forward-looking and ambitious approach. By offering apprenticeships, they are nurturing the next generation of bee farmers – vital to the Welsh honey sector and protecting the honeybee environment.

“I have worked alongside both companies over the years through the Honey Cluster, and it is wonderful to see them grow their enterprises and become employers. They work incredibly hard and are determined to drive the Welsh honey sector forward.

“Their work in the beekeeping and honey sector is inspiring, and the Honey Cluster is there to provide support, where possible, for them and all our members.”

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