Welsh beekeepers will join forces with their global counterparts at a landmark event in London next week to celebrate World Bee Day (May 20th).
Devoted to bees the world over, the free exhibition brings together honey and bee products from countries across the world, including Europe, Africa, South America, Asia, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East.
The Welsh Honey Cluster is a Welsh Government business development programme which by providing sector-specific support aims to help Welsh honey businesses to create jobs and achieve sustainable economic growth.
Visitors will be able to see and sample ‘Mêl Cymreig’ – a premium Welsh honey selection. Also on offer will be traditional Bara Brith infused with Welsh honey, and Buffalo Biscuits made with Pembrokeshire honey, butter, oats and a surprise ingredient!
Said Welsh Honey Cluster Lead, Haf Wyn Hughes, “This is a very exciting – and rare – opportunity for honey producers from such a world-wide spread to get together and learn from each other. It will be a great chance for all the producers to exchange knowledge and experiences.
“Not only will this event showcase Welsh honey but it will show how the Welsh climate and geography is suited to premium honey production. I know that the Welsh Honey Cluster members are looking forward to meeting their fellow producers and hearing about beekeeping techniques and different ways honey is used and produced on other continents.”
The importance of bees to the ecosystem cannot be underestimated with many as 170,000 species of plant rely on pollination by bees. This, in turn, amounts to every third spoonful of food being dependent on pollination.
Designated by the United Nations, World Bee Day was established to acknowledge the role of bees and other pollinators to sustainable development, food security and biodiversity.
The initiative is spearheaded by the Slovenian Beekeepers’ Association, with the date chosen in recognition of Anton Janša – the pioneer of beekeeping – who was born on May 20th 1734.
In addition to representing the Welsh Honey Cluster at the World Bee Day event, the group will take part in a honey ‘Boot Camp’ to help them better understand the London market.
Led by Food and Drink Wales London mentor, Sam Smart, the two-day ‘Boot Camp’ will include store visits to meet managers, review categories, merchandising and activation.
Said Haf Wyn Hughes, “The Welsh honey sector is growing, and it is therefore important for producers to keep up with the latest requirements of the marketplace. The knowledge they gain will be shared with the Welsh Honey Cluster as a whole, enabling more producers to benefit from their experiences.”