Bees need our help. Their numbers are in decline due to disease, pesticide use and loss of habitat. At the National Beekeeping Centre Wales in Conwy, we firmly believe it is possible to reverse this trend and make the world a better place for honey bees. Find out how you can help the bees too by becoming more bee-friendly in your home and garden, how to become a beekeeper or how you can help us to help the bees.


Conwy has a long history of beekeeping thought to date back perhaps 1,000 years, and bee boles can be found in walls throughout the Conwy Valley. The holding of the annual Conwy Honey Fair is in Conwy Town’s Royal Charter and was granted by Edward I in the 13th century when reports say that he himself bought a cask of honey at the fair.

By helping develop a vigorous, healthy and environmentally responsible beekeeping industry we hope not only to continue the tradition, but also to secure a good future for bees in Wales. We promote good practice, accurate and accessible public information as well as community action.

What are the Honeybees and Beekeepers doing now?

Beekeepers have been preparing their bees for the winter and of course, the bees have just been getting on with it too. Honeybees are different to most bees in that they don’t hibernate, and the workers will cluster together with the queen in the coldest days. There are no drones (male bees) around in the winter, having been massacred in the autumn by the workers (female bees) when the colony has no further use for them.

Daily temperatures are slowly dropping and the days are getting shorter, so there’s less light around! The trees and bushes are losing their leaves and with the notable exception of ivy, the availability of nectar and pollen bearing flowers have massively reduced. Also, the numbers of foraging bees have reduced too, but the bees still come out of the hive on bright days perhaps to collect water or to void themselves of pollen husks.

The beekeepers will have treated their bees for the control of the parasitic varroa mites and checked that their colonies have sufficient stores for the winter. A full-sized colony is likely to need at least 20kg of stores to get through the winter. If there is insufficient honey stored in the honeycomb, then the beekeepers can top-up by feeding with concentrated sugar syrup until later in November and with sugar fondant in the coldest months of December through to March. Hives will be strapped down and mouse guards fitted.

Beekeepers become very conscious of the seasons and the winter is a good time to fettle unused hives and to make up frames for the coming spring. Time to get some good beekeeping books and dream of warm summer days filled with the buzz of insects and the scent of honey and the promise of good crops in the year ahead.


If you’re a beginner and want to learn to keep bees, build a hive or just get close to bees for the first time then we have the course for you. Take a look at the range of courses we have to offer, from a Taster Day to an intensive Beginners’ Weekend

Connect kids with ecology – because the bees need us

A free attraction in glorious countryside that teaches children about the importance of honeybees – with the chance to try lots of local honeys.... read more

Beekeeping courses

From £60 per person

Take a look at the range of courses we have to offer