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20 May 2024

Welsh Honey Producers Nurturing Next Generation of Talent with Apprenticeships

The next generation of apicultural talent is being nurtured by bee farmers in Wales through the offering of apprenticeships.

May 20th is World Bee Day, a day designated by the United Nations to acknowledge the role of bees and other pollinators in sustainable development, food security, and biodiversity. The date was chosen to coincide with the birthday of Anton Janša, an 18th-century Slovenian apiarist who is acknowledged as the pioneer of beekeeping.

Welsh honey is in demand, and according to the National Bee Unit’s BeeBase there were almost 4,000 beekeeper registrations from Wales in 2022. Also, last year the Bee Farmers’ Association recorded 51 registrations from Wales.

Two Welsh honey businesses – Gwenyn Gruffydd Ltd and Border Honey – are currently training apprentices, who will then take up full-time posts.

Both businesses are members of the Food & Drink Wales Honey Cluster, part of the Welsh Government’s Clustering initiative which fosters connections between businesses in the sector.

Honey Cluster Lead Haf Wyn Hughes said:

“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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