This summer has seen some very important changes to the ecosystem at Parc Bryn Bach in Tredegar, as staff have worked with Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council’s Biodiversity team on a variety of projects designed to improve the park’s biodiversity, the latest phase of which is designed to help the country’s declining bee populations.

Over the last couple of months, two top-bar bee hives have been installed on one of the islands at the centre of Parc Bryn Bach’s 36 acre freshwater lake, to help increase the number of pollinators.  Top bar hives are a more natural and sustainable way of bee keeping, allowing the bees to build their combs natural within the hive.

Grounds staff from Parc Bryn Bach first began their preparation for the project in April 2017, receiving training and learning about sustainable top bar hive bee keeping and the importance of pollinators at an allotment in Abertillery.

A bee colony was then purchased from a bee keeper in Abergavenny and the bees were installed into their new home at the end of June 2017.  We’re happy to report that the bees are currently building comb, raising brood and storing honey to see them through the winter.

Contact has also been made with other local bee keepers within Blaenau Gwent which will help to locate and catch wild swarms to install into the second hive.  At the beginning of August, a swarm that had previously made its home in a compost bin on an allotment in Cwmtillery, was successfully removed and rehomed in the second hive at Parc Bryn Bach.

The ongoing biodiversity project at Parc Bryn Bach has been funded by the Postcode Lottery, and has also included the installation of a variety of bird and bat boxes throughout the park, the planting of native tree species and sowing of wildflower mixes which will create vital foraging opportunities for the new bee colonies.

Anthony Hughes, Managing Director of Aneurin Leisure, the charitable Trust that manages Parc Bryn Bach said; “We’re very grateful to the Biodiversity Team at Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council and the local community of bee keepers for all the help and support they’ve given us to make these improvements, which we hope will enhance the biodiversity and sustainability at the park for years to come.  We’d also like to thank Groundwork Wales for their invaluable support and the Postcode Lottery for their funding which has made all this possible.”

Nadine Morgan, Biodiversity Officer for Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council added: “It’s been a fantastic opportunity to work with all the staff at Parc Bryn Bach to be able to install bee hives on the island. Our main aim is to help increase the number of pollinators which is vital for biodiversity and to create a sustainable future.  We endeavour to protect and enhance the natural environment not only for biodiversity but also for future generations to enjoy.”

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