Fantastic news this week! For the forth time in a row our honey has once again been judged one of the best in Wales. With only two recipients in Wales for Welsh honey we are up there as the very best. Many thanks to the #GreatTasteAwards team for their support, the judges and customers. The only way we can grow is to get this facility up and running – good for bees, good for honey lovers and good for gardeners and farming.
Having run out of space with our existing facilities we will be building a brand new large honey extracting and bottling facility from scratch sited at our main breeding apiary in Llangennech, Carmarthenshire. With additional space to be used as an office as well as a new laboratory the facility, purposely built for modern day beekeeping, will be a first for Wales. It will be large – a whopping 411 m2 (4,424 sq ft) in area.
Rhodri said “we’ve been producing around 2 tonnes of award winning honey per year with some basic facilities and we still can’t keep up with demand with more and more retailers wanting to stock our products”.
“The only option was to build a new farm that was dedicated purely to beekeeping and the production of honey, a first for Wales. No existing farms could facilitate our needs without demolition and building new and provide a place to live too. We’ve got the plans, we just need to get the building process started”.
We were delighted to host a visit from the Leader of Carmarthenshire County Council Councillor Emlyn Dole as well as our local County Councillor Gwyneth Thomas. They were shown our existing facilities as well as plans of the site and why we desperately needed a new building.
I am totally supportive of the new farm and I welcome the first dedicated bee farm to be built in Wales in here in Llangennech Carmarthenshire. It’s both good for the environment, inspirational use of the land whilst being supportive of the local economy by employing more staff and helping to bolster local retailers by offering a taste of the region. For them to win a Great Taste Award again this year they are evidently doing something right. I look forward to supporting it in its entirety and to the next visit when facilities are completed.
As we will be employing staff there is an opportunity for us to receive funding to support the project from the local authority. An application will be made and a site visit by officers – we will give you updates on any progression!
Planning has been approved and funding is in place with help from the Welsh Government Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and Welsh Government.
I’m delighted to see the Welsh Government supporting this new and exciting opportunity, helping support rural jobs and having a positive effect on the environment and biodiversity. Bees play a vital part in our ecosystem and I’m proud Wales is leading the way in helping protect our insect pollinators while creating new opportunities within our food industry.
With the new facilities we will be creating the operational space to breed and place an extra 23 million bees into our county. More bees and better facilities will not only result in more honey but it will form part of a sustainable environment as well as offer employment opportunities. Rhodri said “we will need specialist skills in beekeeping as well as technicians for honey analysis”. However 23 million bees sounds like a lot of bees for the county – but there’s no need to worry, most people won’t notice the difference except through pollination. So it’s good news for all gardeners and farmers in our county as bee numbers have diminished over the last few decades. We think beekeeping is a great way to transform a former coal mine into a productive agricultural primary food producing land again.