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Merioneth Bee Bole Project

This started as a joint project between our Association and the Merioneth Historical and Record Society (MHRS), with help from the Snowdonia National Park Authority's Community Fund. The project began on 28 May 2012.

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Bee boles were sheltered cavities built into walls and other structures where skeps were kept to keep bees to produce honey. As hives became more widely used from the mid 1800s the use of skeps, and therefore bee boles, declined.

The International Bee Research Association (IBRA) maintains a website of bee boles in the UK and elsewhere. At present there are nine bee bole sites recorded in Merioneth, but the project has now recorded another 12 and there are probably more as yet unrecorded. It is important to try and find and record them before they are lost forever.

For further details see our bilingual Information Sheet by clicking here.

Progress Report - 16 July 2014

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As said, nine sites had been previously recorded in Merioneth, the most well-known being at the Oakeley Arms Hotel, Maentwrog, Rhiw Goch Hotel, Bronaber and Dolmelynllyn Hall, Ganllwyd. The information sheet about the project was circulated to members of both the MHRS and MBKA as well as other interested parties and the media.

So far there have been some 25 responses identifying possible new sites. Most have now been visited, a few are possibly for poultry and not bees - one is a bread oven - but the majority appear to be bee boles. The team need to visit three more sites - two of which are in upland areas and may have been used for access to heather. Two exceptional sets of previously unrecorded bee shelves have been found at one site. The project will be written up later in the year and the online database at IBRA will be updated.