Amgueddfa Cymru

Hafan


Astudiaeth newid hinsawdd ar dir eich ysgol!
Daearyddiaeth & Gwyddoniaeth (CA2)


Defnyddiwch eich dosbarth awyr agored! Ymunwch â'r 175 o ysgolion sy'n cymryd rhan yn yr arbrawf arbennig hwn!


Mae Bylbiau'r Gwanwyn i Ysgolion yn rhoi cyfle i ddisgyblion cynradd fabwysiadu, astudio a chofnodi datblygiad bylbiau'r gwanwyn fel rhan o rwydwaith gwylio'r gwanwyn. Caiff pob disgybl fwlb Cennin Pedr Dinbych, Crocws ac photyn gardd er mwyn cofnodi'r tyfiant a'r amserau blodeuo.

Trwy gasglu a chymharu data mae disgyblion yn darganfod sut mae'r newid yn ein hinsawdd yn effeithio ar ein tymhorau, a beth mae hyn yn ei olygu i ni ac i'r natur o'n cwmpas. Mae disgyblion yn cymryd rhan yn Her Athro'r Ardd i gael tystysgrif gwyddonydd gwych.

Gall ysgolion ledled Cymru gymryd rhan gan bod y canlyniadau yn cael eu casglu drwy'r we (neu'r post os oes rhaid). Mae'r prosiect yn un parhaus a gall ysgolion gymryd rhan yn flynyddol.

Er mwyn gwneud cais i gymryd rhan yn Bylbiau’r Gwanwyn i Ysgolion 2015-2016 llenwch y ffurflen gais ar-lein drwy ddilyn y ddolen isod.

Ceisiadau nawr ar agor ond mae niferoedd yn gyfyngedig felly wnewch gais yn fuan i sicrhau eich lle ar y prosiect! Ceisiadau ar agor i ysgolion yng Nghymru yn unig. Mae’r dyddiad cau wedi pasio ar gyfer ysgolion o’r Alban a Lloegr ond mae croeso i chi gysylltu ag Ymddiriedolaeth Edina am wybodaeth ar sut i gymryd rhan yn y project yn 2016-2017.

Bylbiau’r Gwanwyn i Ysgolion – Ffurflen Gais.

E-bost SCAN

Well last week we posted about the Beehives up on the roof at National Museum Cardiff and how they fared over the winter. Today we have another exert from our Beekeeper’s diary. Has the weaker colony survived? Let’s find out: The weather in late March and early April was fantastic and the strong colony went from strength to strength.

During the next weekly (9th April) inspection we decided to place our first super (a set of shallow frames from which the queen is excluded, used to collect honey) on the strong colony and moved another frame of brood across to the weaker colony. This moving of frames serves two purposes, it helps reinforce the struggling colony whilst limiting the size and growth of the strong colony and thus lessens the risk of having to deal with the colony growing to such an extent that the bees swarm. Every time a frame of brood is removed the frame is replaced with a fresh frame of new foundation (a sheet of patterned wax on which bees build their comb). The rate of productivity is currently so high in the strong colony that a new frame of foundation is being drawn out and prepared for laying within a week!

At the next inspection (16th April) another frame of brood was moved across and the contact feeder in the weaker colony was refilled with more honey. Whilst honey might not be the most cost effective feed the bees certainly like it!

We noticed that the weaker colony certainly had more activity with more bees flying in and out than has been seen recently, hopefully the translocation of brood is working and the colony is growing in strength and numbers.

Whist inspecting the strong colony, a large elongated brood cell called a queen cup was noted- it wasn’t sealed and contained a grub. We removed the cup and grub in order to minimise the chances of a new queen bee hatching and the colony swarming. We inspected the rest of the frames looking particularly closely at the abundance of dome shaped, capped drone (male) cells! There were quite a number of hatched drone bees too, which may be indicative of the colony getting ready to swarm? Hopefully our regular removal of brood should limit the expansion and development of the colony and reduce the risk of having to deal with swarming this year.

Beekeepers use the term drawn-out to describe the process where bees build their honeycomb structures on a base of fresh foundation wax. The bees build up hexagonal honeycomb until the honeycomb cells are 12-15mm deep. This process of building comb outwards from the flat foundation is called drawing-out. The super that we placed on the strong colony is gradually getting filled with honey too.

The bees are gradually filling the fully drawn-out comb in the centre of the super although all the frames have been drawn out to some extent. The super frames that have been partial filled have been moved one or two positions out towards the edge of the super and the more empty frames have been moved inwards to a more central position in order to encourage the bees to work evenly across all the frames within the super.

During this inspection we also installed a third hive on the roof. In this third hive we placed pheromone swarm lures. The idea being that a passing swarm of bees might find and settle in this hive if we’re lucky. The lure hive is essentially a normal hive loaded with foundation filled frames. We have used some of the old, drawn-out frames from our other hives in order to give it a lived in feel and scent (apparently swarms don’t typically settle in new unused hives). If we aren’t successful in catching a wild swarm the hive can be used to home a third colony of bees that we currently have on order with Natures Little Helpers.

29th April inspection – it was a lovely sunny warm day although perhaps in hindsight a little windy for bee keeping inspections. I took the opportunity to take Annette Townsend up onto the roof to see the bees. Not only was it tough to hold the frames of bees still in the breeze, but Annette’s hair and bee keeping suit was being buffeted around so much that she could hardly see a thing! The bees weren’t keen either, there were lots flying around and they were generally grumpy. Annette has blogged her experience, so you can see how she found beekeeping here. Anyway another lesson learned – too much wind makes life tricky – heavy frames of bees and a strong breeze aren’t compatible!  

Bee inspection 6th May, another sunny but slightly breezy day again but not as bad as the previous windy hive inspection. Again the weaker colony wasn’t inspected particularly intensively, we just quickly refilled the feeder with honey and once again transferred a frame of brood and juvenile bees into the hive from the stronger colony. Our efforts certainly seem to be paying off, once again there seemed to be significantly more bees flying in and out of the hive plus at least four of the frames now seemed to be covered in bees! The feeder obviously is still being used by the bees but they also seem to be flying out to find natural sources of food too.

The strong colony seems to have stepped up a gear too! Another two queen cups were removed and several suspect other dome shaped cells were removed just in case! A section of brace comb was cut at the edge of the hive in order to allow all the frames to be removed freely. Brace comb is extra honeycomb that is built between frames, it is perfectly normal for wild bee colonies but for managed hives, brace comb prevents frames being removed. The brood now extends almost to the outside frames and there is a considerable amount of capped honey surrounding the brood. The small honey collecting frames inside the super were moved around once again to ensure an even honey fill. None of the honey filled comb in the super is actually capped (the honey sealed in with a wax cover) yet but you get the impression that within a few weeks another super might need to be added!

 

Back in August 2014 the National Museum Cardiff received its two newly bred colonies of honeybees.  Due to the timing of the bee keepers training and the specific needs for colonies to be bred on Deep National frames the bees arrived much later in the season than we were anticipating.  The two new “nucs” (nuclei of bees) were rehomed in new hives situated on the roof of the Museum where there is adequate space for the beekeepers to work safely and have adequate shelter from the worst of the weather. From the outset we realized that production of honey wasn’t likely to be an option in the first year with the bees putting all their efforts into building their numbers and storing adequate reserves to see them through the Welsh winter months. During September and October the bees worked hard gathering nectar and storing honey for the months ahead however even from the outset it was immediately clear that one hive was far more productive that the other. The bees in our better hive probably tripled in numbers, whereas the bees in the other hive were sulking! In late September both the hives were treated for parasitic Varroa mites and we were all astonished that so many mites were present in two relatively new colonies. Along with the Varroa treatment the bees were fed. We placed frame feeders inside the hives and fed invert syrup (a sugar syrup where the sucrose sugar has already been split into glucose and fructose thus allowing the bees to expend less energy metabolizing it). The feeding seemed to be going well until in early October approximately 600+ bees from the weaker of the two hives drowned in the feeder. This occurrence is unusual but not completely unheard of, however our sulking colony was further weakened by this unfortunate incident. Fearing for the weaker of the two colonies we readied the hives for the winter and closed them up until the spring.

The winter itself wasn’t a particularly cold one and by mid February colleagues were reporting that they had seen bees in the gardens around the museum. Reports from maintenance staff using the roof suggested that both colonies had survived and on the warmer days, were out foraging in the parks surrounding the museum. Robin and I made our first very provisional inspection on a warm sunny day in mid March. We opened the hives and took a look at the numbers of bees inside. Since the air temperature really wasn’t all that high we opted not to remove frames of bees and potentially chill any unhatched brood so instead we just observed and noted the level of activity and numbers of bees in the hives without disturbing them. The difference between the two hives was shocking! The stronger hive had 6 or 7 full frames of bees while the other had only 1 full frame! Despite the less strong hive having plentiful reserves of honey we made an immediate decision to start feeding the colony in an attempt to strengthen and hopefully resurrect it.

 In the last week of March (26th) our beekeeping mentor, Pete from Natures Little Helpers, came to do our first proper inspection.  We went through the strong hive finding the queen looking healthy and laying eggs just as she should be. The numbers of bees in this hive was already growing and the hive was filling up quickly. The weaker hive was very different, Pete initially suspected that the queen might not be present but a quick inspection of the brood area of the hive suggested that eggs were being laid and that a mated queen was present. The hunt for the queen commenced and since we didn’t have lots of bees to look through we eventually found her. She was a new queen, different to that when we got the colony and had never been marked. Our other queen carries a lovely green spot on her back making her quite obvious, however finding this unmarked queen was quite a task. What we noticed immediately was that some of the cells contained not one egg as you’d normally expect but two or three. Pete explained that this sometimes happens when there are not enough worker bees in the colony to prepare brood cells ready for the queen. These multiple laid cells were not going to be viable and ultimately no bees would result from that those eggs. In order to help this weaker colony we decided to try and reinforce the worker bee numbers by moving some frames of unhatched and juvenile bees from our rapidly growing strong hive into the weeker hive. It seems incredible that this is possible but apparently the new bees will become accustomed to the new scent of their adopted queen and switch their allegiance. We carefully, making sure not to move the queen, moved one good full frame of unhatched brood from the centre of our strong hive into the centre of the weaker hive. We then installed a homemade contact feeder  (made from a jar with a perforated top), which in the absence of syrup we filled with honey.

Our weekly inspections then began on good warm days when the wind wasn’t too strong! Keep posted for further updates from our Museum's Beekeepers.

The first ever Murder Mystery evening at National Museum Cardiff took place on 19th May 2015 and was linked to the ‘Museums at Night’ festival, which ran from 13-16th May and will run again 30th-31st October. The evening was organised by staff from the Department of Natural Sciences and was attended by over 90 adults.

Visitors were invited to attend a grand gala evening to witness the unveiling of the largest and most beautiful diamond in the world, being shown in Wales for the first time. However, the evening began with a missing diamond, a dead body and six potential suspects. The Museum was now in lock down for three hours with the killer trapped inside! After the Crime Scene Investigators had collected evidence from the murder scene and suspects, scientific tests were set-up throughout the Natural History galleries and visitors were requested to help with testing the evidence. They also had the opportunity to interrogate the six suspects and to try and determine ‘Whodunnit?’ before the killer struck again! Fortunately the event ended in the successful capture of the murderer and the diamond returned, with all visitors fortunately  unharmed.

This was a fantastic opportunity for visitors to explore the atmospheric galleries and main hall and see our galleries in a completely different atmosphere. We have received requests to run this event and other mysteries in the future, so check out the museum's What's on pages to see future events.