Amgueddfa Cymru

Hafan

Following on from our last beekeeper's report, Ben tells us what has been happening:

11th June: “Returning from my travels it was exciting to go see the bees again. I must admit I was anxious, mainly because earlier in the week there had been reports on Wales Online of a swarm in the City Centre. The reported swarm had caused mayhem in the brewery quarter when a few thousand bees descended on a table outside the Yard public house.  When I’d heard about this swarm I feared the worst, were they our bees? Had we missed something? I’d heard reports from some of the museum technicians that there had been clouds of bees up near our hives on that Monday – perhaps that was them swarming!

I can’t describe my relief when I opened the hive of our strong colony to discover that it was full of bees. They were there, all present and correct! The weather was perfect, warm and still, ideal for thoroughly going through the hive! So, removing the heavy super full of honey, I delved straight into the brood box with the help of Sally and lots of smoke! I must admit though, hearing of Nigel’s six stings didn’t fill me with confidence! There are a lot of bees in this hive now and actually seeing what’s happening on the frame is really quite difficult! Going through each frame carefully revealed two Supersedence type queen cups and several play cells (unlaid cells where the bees practice making queen cells). These were removed and the hive was carefully put back together and some of the bees coaxed back inside! Interestingly, now the hive is very full, bees seem to accumulate at the entrance and around the lip of the brood box and they often need a bit of smoke to encourage them back inside.

On opening the weaker hive I was delighted to see that the bees have substantially increased in number and activity. The colony has increased in strength from the 1.5 frames of bees to 5 full frames of bees. Without wanting to disrupt the bees too much, I quickly went through the hive to check the brood pattern and food supplies. Seeing that there were adequate capped reserves of honey and that lots of the bees were returning covered in pollen I closed the hive up and strapped it back down.  Just as we were finishing up Sally was stung! I think the first time for the female bee keepers! Rather painfully she’d been stung right on her heal, somewhere I’d been stung previously so I can vouch for the fact that it really does hurt!

Perhaps our bees aren’t so choosy about who they sting after all!”

Every week on #FossilFriday we like to highlight specimens from the palaeontological collections of the Natural Sciences Department at Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales, via our @CardiffCurator Twitter account. Sometimes they are fossils on display at National Museum Cardiff, whilst at other times they form part of the collections behind the scenes.

Interested in trilobites, ammonites and dinosaurs? Then why not find out what we have been tweeting over the last year or so in the following two Storify Stories: ‘Friday is Fossil Time’ and ‘Fantastic Fossils’.

If you find these interesting why not follow us on Twitter.

On the 5th June undeterred by his previous stinging incident Nigel ventured up to the rooftop hives, this time accompanied by Sally.  The weather was much better for this visit, a nice sunny warm day with temperatures about 17 °C and very light winds.  The pair started checking the hives, the weaker colony was its usual slightly depressed self, it was noted that there were reserves of honey and a reasonable number of capped brood on the central frames of the hive. The beekeepers went through the frames one at a time and inspected the bees and despite there being far fewer bees in this hive the queen couldn’t be spotted! She’s unmarked and really quite a small queen bee compared to our other one, so it’s not unsurprising that she’s hard to spot even if there are only a few bees!

The strong colony was thriving and incredibly busy as usual. The small frames in the super are getting heavy with honey and some of the frames are almost full and the bees are sealing them with a cap of wax. Looking through the large Deep National brood box frames it was clear that there were more queen cells being produced. Sally and Nigel removed 11 cells – some which were definitely queen cells and some others were suspect drone or play cells (cells where the bees test building queen cups but never lay any eggs), clearly our bees are intent on producing a new queen but why? Queen cups/cells can be several different types: Emergency Queen Cells- produced when the queen is dead or lost; Swarm Cells, produced around the bottom of the frames and are completely vertical and lastly and the type we seem to have most of, are Supersedence Cells. These long vertical cells are produced mid frame on the face of the comb. The intention of these cells is to produce a replacement queen, usually when the existing queen is old or is running out of sperm. Really there should be no need to remove these Supersedence cells but with a young queen, bred last year, and lots of healthy brood being produced, removal of these cells seems like a wise precaution. In the next few weeks we’ll be bringing our bee keeping mentors from Natures Little Helpers to advise on how best to deal with them in the long term. 

There was more pain for Nigel this inspection, although he was wearing a smock and veil over the top half of his body he only had thin suit flannel trousers on!

Over many of the past inspections it has seemed like the bees are preferentially attracted to or angered by male beekeepers. The guys have been stung with far greater frequency than our female beekeepers. This time Nigel must have really aggravated them – he was stung 6 times through his thin trousers! Six times! That must have really hurt- I bet there was some choice language used!

Yn wobr am gymryd rhan ym mhroject Bylbiau’r Gwanwyn i Ysgolion 2014-15 enillodd Ysgol Gynradd Santes Ffraid yn Sir Ddinbych daith i Amgueddfa Lechi Cymru yn Llanberis. Gweithiodd dosbarth blwyddyn 6 yn galed iawn ar y project eleni gan gymryd mesuriadau dyddiol a’u cofnodi ar wefan Amgueddfa Cymru yn wythnosol. Gofalodd pob disgybl am ei blanhigion a chofnodi eu dyddiau blodeuo a’u taldra ar y wefan.

Gwaith anodd oedd dewis enillwyr eleni oherwydd bod sawl ysgol wedi darparu cofnodion tywydd oedd bron yn gyflawn. Er mwyn dewis yn deg, rhoddwyd enwau’r ysgolion gorau i gyd mewn het cyn tynnu enillydd ar hap ar gyfer Cymru, Lloegr a’r Alban. Derbyniodd yr ysgolion oedd yn dal yn yr het docynnau gwerth £40 i wario ar offer garddio ar gyfer yr ysgol. Dyma’r ysgolion gyda ‘chlod uchel’ yn derbyn pecynnau Adnodd Addysg y Ddôl Drefol a hadau ar gyfer y ddôl. Er mwyn cydnabod eu gwaith gwych yn helpu Amgueddfa Cymru gyda’r ymchwiliad, derbyniodd bob ysgol a gyflwynodd eu data dystysgrifau Gwyddonwyr Gwych a phensiliau.

Ymwelodd disgyblion Santes Ffraid â Llanberis ar 22 Mai, a chael eu croesawu gan Dafydd Roberts, Ceidwad yr Amgueddfa, a fi, Cydlynydd Project Bylbiau’r Gwanwyn. Dyma ni’n trafod canlyniadau project 2014-15 ac yn eu cymharu â blynyddoedd blaenorol. Gallwch chi astudio adroddiad 2005-2015 yma.

Yna dyma ni’n cael ein harwain at Dai Chwarelwyr Fron Haul a mwynhau gwrando ar Wyn Lloyd-Hughes yn esbonio sut y byddai bywyd y trigolion wedi newid dros 100 mlynedd. Roedd e’n wych yn dod â hanesion trigolion bro’r chwareli yn fyw i ni a dyma’r plant yn mwynhau chwilio drwy’r tai a thrafod y newid yn y dodrefn rhwng 1861, 1901 a 1969.

Wedi gadael Fron Haul, dyma ni’n rhuthro draw i’r iard i wylio ffilm fer am hanes diwydiant llechi gogledd Cymru –  ‘Dwyn y Mynydd’. Wrth wylio’r ffilm llawn naws yn y tywyllwch aeth y dosbarth i gyd yn dawel, ond dyma nhw’n neidio yn ystod y digwyddiadau dramatig (swnllyd). Wedi hyn dyma’r grŵp yn gwylio Carwyn Price, yn hollti a naddu llechi i siâp calon. Dyma fe’n dangos esiamplau o gelf wedi’i greu yn yr un dull, fel gwyntyll a llwyau caru. Roedd Carwyn yn barod i roi cyfle i rywun roi cynnig ar hollti llechi a dyma’r plant yn enwebu eu hathro, Mr Madog! Roedd e’n dda iawn a’r plant yn gweiddi eu cefnogaeth!

Yna, dyma Peredur Hughes yn mynd â ni i weld olwyn ddŵr yr Amgueddfa gan esbonio sut mae hi’n troi a sut y byddai’r pŵer yn cael ei ddefnyddio i droi peiriannau yng ngweithdai Gilfach Ddu. Gyda diamedr o 15.4 metr, dyma’r olwyn ddŵr fwyaf ar dir mawr Prydain, ac roedd mewn defnydd rhwng 1870 a 1925 pan ddaeth olwyn Pelton i gymryd ei lle. Mae sefyll dan yr olwyn wrth iddi droi, gyda’r dŵr yn tasgu a’r metel yn gwegian, yn brofiad a hanner ac mae’n gwneud i chi werthfawrogi sgiliau dylunio ac adeiladu’r peirianwyr. Fel rhan o broject Bylbiau’r Gwanwyn mae’r ysgolion yn derbyn adnoddau i sbarduno trafodaeth am newid hinsawdd a ffynonellau ynni – roedd gweld olwyn ddŵr anferth wrth ei gwaith yn helpu’r plant i ddeall y gwaith hwnnw’n well.

Ar ôl cinio cyflym dyma fynd i’r chwarel ar gyfer y gweithgareddau natur. Dyma ddechrau drwy drafod beth oedd i’w weld a’i glywed, ei gyffwrdd a’i arogli yn y coetir. Yna dyma ni’n mynd i chwilio am fwystfilod bach a thrafod sut i ddosbarthu gwahanol rywogaethau a hoff gynefinoedd y bwystfilod. Ar ôl creu ‘persawr y goedwig’ a dysgu sawl coes sydd gan wrachen ludw a’u bod nhw’n codi cyfog ar fechgyn a merched dyma symud at y dasg nesaf – creu nyth! Gweithiodd y plant yn galed iawn, fel y galwch chi weld o faint y brigau/coed yr oedden nhw’n symud gyda’u pigau (dwi’n siŵr bod rhywun wedi bod yn twyllo!). Roedd e’n llawer o hwyl ac yn gyfle gwych i dynnu lluniau.

Daeth Peredur i gyfarfod â ni wrth Chwarel Vivian ac esbonio ychydig o’i hanes i ni, gan ddangos y clogwyni llechi ac esbonio arwyneb y graig a sut fyddai’r chwarelwyr yn gweithio. Dyma fe’n esbonio’r geiriau y byddai’r chwarelwr yn ei ddefnyddio i ddisgrifio gwahanol fathau o lechi, a’r prosesau daeareg a ffurfiodd y graig. Dysgodd y plant sut i adnabod ‘trwyn’ a ‘chefn crwn’ a sut oedd hyn yn helpu’r chwarelwr i ddehongli’r graig, a’i drin i gael y canlyniadau gorau, a lleihau risg drwy ragweld sut byddai’r graig yn chwalu. Roedd hi’n sgwrs ddiddorol mewn lleoliad prydferth, ac yn ddiwedd hyfryd i’r diwrnod.

Dyma fi’n mwynhau cwrdd â disgyblion blwyddyn 6 Ysgol Santes Ffraid a diolch yn bersonol iddyn nhw am eu cyfraniad i broject Bylbiau’r Gwanwyn i Ysgolion. Roedd yn ddiwrnod gwych a hoffwn i ddiolch i staff Amgueddfa Lechi Cymru am eu croeso, eu hamser, a’u hymdrech.

Mae amser o hyd i ysgolion yng Nghymru wneud cais i gymryd rhan ym mhroject Bylbiau’r Gwanwyn 2015-16. Bydd cyfle i’r enillwyr fwynhau taith wych yn llawn gweithgareddau byd natur yn un o leoliadau agosaf Amgueddfa Cymru.

Er mwyn ymgeisio, ewch i: http://www.amgueddfacymru.ac.uk/bylbiau-gwanwyn/


Mae ceisiadau ar gyfer ysgolion yn Lloegr a’r Alban bellach wedi cau, ond gall ysgolion sydd â diddordeb ganfod gwybodaeth am broject 2016-17 ar wefan Ymddiriedolaeth Edina.

The first ever National Meadows Day is tomorrow, Saturday 4th July. You may have noticed National Museum Cardiff now has an Urban Meadow on the east side by the Reardon Smith Lecture Theatre. It gives us a fantastic new outdoor learning space where just a lawn used to be. Check out our programme of events based around the meadow in What's On.

Our Urban Meadow with the bee hives on the roof is a positive approach by the museum to increase pollinators within Cardiff and are funded entirely through landfill tax. Meadows on our other museum sites help pollinators throughout Wales. With a no dig, no chemical policy, as well as introducing plants and seeds from Flora Locale recommended suppliers, we are following sustainable principles. 

Children have used the Urban Meadow to start investigating the natural world, children who may not otherwise have visited a museum. The next event is ‘Family Fun in the Meadow’ on Saturday 11th July: Help our OPAL scientist to survey the bug life in our urban meadow and learn to be a botanical illustrator. See the What’s On guide for further information

You can find further information and links to events for National Meadow Day on the Plantlife webpages

Also you can follow the Twitter hashtag: #magnificentmeadowsday

By Sally Whyman and Kath Slade