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Up on the roof with the bees!

Annette Townsend, 26 May 2015

Last week I got the chance to go up on the roof of National Museum Cardiff to see the two Natural Sciences beehives. Since the bees arrived last year, Ben Evans and his team of trained staff from across the Cathays Park site have been responsible for the weekly maintenance of the hives. On this occasion Ben was able to sign me in as a visitor and we collected the box of beekeeping equipment and made our way up and out onto the roof. Next we put on our beekeeping gear; a half suit with an integral hat and face net and some thick gauntlet gloves. Ben lit up the smoker and waved it near the entrance of the hives to calm the bees. He then took the top off the hive and carefully pulled out the individual layers so that we could have a clear look inside. Each layer was covered in hundreds of bees and underneath we could see the beautiful hexagonal formations where the bees store their food and larvae. We also checked through each layer to locate the queen. She is marked with a green spot on her back so she can be clearly identified. The two hives are very different, in one the bees are quite subdued so Ben is feeding them with a sugary syrup to help them along.  In the other hive the bees seem very active and are starting to produce honey. I actually got to taste the honey and it was gorgeous! Ben plans to produce a beekeepers diary, so keep an eye out for further updates about the bees on our blog pages and our Twitter Feeds (@NatHistConseve or @CardiffCurator). Let’s hope they produce more honey so we can eventually sell it in the museum shop!    


Sara Amgueddfa Cymru – Museum Wales Staff
8 May 2018, 13:11

Hi there Kayleigh,

Thanks for your comment. Our Natural Sciences team recommend a visit to the Welsh Botanic Garden - they have a bee garden which is family-friendly, with an observation screen so you can safely get close to the bees.

Our Curator is happy to answer any questions you might have - so feel free to follow up on this page and I will put you in touch.


Digital Team

Kayleigh Parfitt
3 May 2018, 20:23
Hi my son's topic this term at school is bees and why they are important to us , I was wondering if I could possibly bring him to see the bees at work or if you know somewhere I could take him , many thanks
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