Rural Affairs Minister Lesley Griffiths has visited an award-winning honey producer in Builth Wells to celebrate World Bee Day which takes place today (Friday, 20 May).
Designated by the United Nations, World Bee Day was established to acknowledge the role of bees and other pollinators to sustainable development, food security and biodiversity.
Each year, the UK produces around 3,000-4,000 tonnes of honey – of which around 10 per cent comes from Wales.
The Bee Welsh Honey Company in Builth Wells was established by Shane Llewelyn Jones in 2017. Shane started keeping bees aged 12 and has gradually built a business over 30 years.
Specialising in unpasteurised Welsh honey. Bee Welsh Honey currently runs around 200 production hives placed throughout mid Wales and the borders and has won several awards.
Shane is a member of the Honey Cluster, a Welsh Government business development programme aimed at raising the profile and production of Welsh honey.
The Cluster brings together bee farmers who produce 100% Welsh honey and have ambitions to grow.
Rural Affairs Minister, Lesley Griffiths said:
“It has been great to meet Shane and learn more about the work taking place at the Bee Welsh Honey Company.
“Bees are crucial to our ecosystem and World Bee Day, which has been growing year on year, has helped bring them to the forefront.
“In October, we launched our Implementation Plan to achieve the outcomes of the Healthy Bees Plan 2030 which includes maintaining and enhancing biosecurity, supporting beekeepers to be confident in managing their bees and help honeybees and beekeeping to thrive.
“The Honey Cluster plays an important role in encouraging and supporting the production and promotion of Welsh honey. I want to thank them for all their continued hard work, including those who showed their gratitude to carers during the Covid pandemic by delivering jars of Welsh honey to local care homes and hospitals.”
Shane Llewelyn Jones at the Bee Welsh Honey company said:
“I am grateful for the Welsh Government highlighting World Bee Day, which in turn helps highlight difficulties for honey bees and pollinators through Wales and the world.
“By supporting World Bee Day, it puts a spotlight on Welsh honey producers, who produce some of the best quality honey in the world, from lowland clover, to upland heather.”
Welsh Honey Cluster Lead, Haf Wyn Hughes said:
“On behalf of the Cluster, I am very grateful to the Minister for taking time to celebrate beekeepers such as Shane on this important day for the sector. The Welsh climate can be very challenging for our beekeepers, but companies like Bee Welsh Honey are a fantastic example of great passion, the need to protect and hard graft.”