Amgueddfa Cymru


Dros y chwe mis diwethaf, ceir sawl cyfeiriad gan @DyddiadurKate am bobi bara ceirch:

   23 Chwefror: “Pobi bara ceirch y boreu.”

   23 Mawrth: “Bobi bara ceirch y boreu.”

   26 Mai: ”Pobi bara ceirch y boreu.”

   7 Mehefin: “Pobi bara ceirch yn y boreu.”

Ddoe, bu hi’n “Pobi bara ceirch dros y cynheuaf.”

Mae gwneud bara ceirch yn hen grefft sy’n perthyn i’r  Alban, Lloegr, Cymru ac Iwerddon. Er bod ‘na fân amrywiaethau rhwng y gwledydd, a hyd yn oed rhwng siroedd ac ardaloedd o fewn yr un wlad, yr un ydi’r grefft yn ei hanfod – creu toes allan o gymysgedd hynod o syml o flawd ceirch a dŵr, ei lunio’n dorthau, a’u crasu.  Y gamp oedd creu torth denau, gron gyda’i hymyl mor llyfn â phlât. Eto i gyd, ni chyfrai Kate hyn yn grefft:

“oedde ni’m yn gyfri o’n grefft nag o’dd e nachos o’e ni ‘di ca’l y magu iddo fo doedden. Mi fydde Mam yn gneud y chi, ie, o Nain yn gneud, dene o’n i weld erioed ‘n te.”

Yn ôl y dystiolaeth a gasglwyd, mae’n debyg fod ‘na ddau ddull gwahanol o lunio bara ceirch yng Nghymru – un oedd dal yn bodoli yn sir Feirionnydd yng nghyfnod gwaith maes Minwel Tibbott (ac oedd yn nodweddiadol o ogledd Cymru), a’r llall oedd yn perthyn i siroedd Caerfyrddin ac Aberteifi.

Dyma rysáit o ardal Y Bala a gofnodwyd gan Minwel yn ei chasgliad o ryseitiau traddodiadol, Amser Bwyd:

llond cwpan wy o ddŵr claear

hanner llond llwy de o doddion cig moch

tua thri llond dwrn o flawd ceirch

Toddi’r saim yn y dŵr a gollwng y blawd ceirch iddo yn raddol gan dylino’r cymysgedd yn does meddal.

Taenu ychydig o flawd ceirch ar fwrdd pren, rhoi’r toes arno a’i foldio rhwng y ddwy law i ffurf ‘cocyn’ bychan.  Yna ei ledu â chledr y llaw a’i ffurfio’n dorth gron o dua maint soser go fawr.

Yn awr defnyddier rholbren i yrru’r dorth, ac wrth ei gyrru ei lletroi bob hyn a hyn, sef rhoi rhyw chwarter tro iddi ar y bwrdd, gan wasgu ymyl y dorth â blaen bysedd y llaw dde i’w rhwystro rhag cracio.

Rhoi’r dorth derfynol (o’r un maint â phlât cinio go fawr) o’r neilltu i galedu rhyw gymaint cyn ei chrasu.

Crasu’r dorth ar radell weddol boeth a’i throi i’w chrasu’n gyson ar y ddwy ochr.  Yna rhoi’r dorth i sychu a chaledu mewn lle cynnes.

Paratoid ail fath o fara ceirch yn siroedd y Gogledd, sef bara caled. 'Doedd y rhain ddim yn cynnwys saim, dim ond dŵr a blawd ceirch. Prif reswm gwneud y bara ceirch yma ym Meirionnydd oedd i baratoi siot. Yng ngeiriau Kate: “Ca’l y bara a’i falu o’n te ac wedyn ca’l y malwr ‘te – peth pwrpasol o’ hwnnw eto’n te yn Tŷ Hen. Rhywbeth fel rholbren ond bo ne ricie yn ‘o fo er mwyn i’r bara dorri’n fân wychi’n te … A roi o yn y fywlen a llaeth enwyn am i ben o a’i gymysgu o. Ma’ rhai’n licio fo ‘di adel o am dipyn ‘te a lleill yn licio fo’n syth.” Byddent yn ei fwyta “o flaen ‘i te bob amser bron … ‘im yn geua w’rach ‘n te ‘chos o rai chi dw’mo llaeth enwyn yn gûa’n bydde.”

Yn ystod misoedd yr haf arferid ei gario allan i'r caeau adeg y cynhaeaf fel byrbryd rhwng prydau i'r gweithwyr, ac roedd plant yn hoffo'i gario i'r ysgol ar gyfer eu cinio yn yr haf. Yn ôl tystiolaeth y gwragedd a holwyd, ‘doedd dim yn well i dorri syched ar ôl treulio oriau yn y cae gwair. Atega Kate, “pan fydde c’nûa [cynhaeaf] yn ‘i anterth o ni’n mynd â ryw tamed chwech i’dd n’w’n ‘te. ‘Dyn welish i gal siot ne fynd ag uwd w’rach ‘n ‘te.”

Bu’r grefft o yrru bara ceirch bara tan hanner cyntaf yr 1900au. Ond erbyn y cyfnod hwn, moethyn i’w fwyta yn achlysurol oedd o, yn hytrach na bara bob dydd. Y dull mwya cyffredin o fwyta’r bara ceirch hwn yn siroedd gogledd Cymru oedd rhoi darn o dorth geirch unai rhwng dwy frechdan wen neu wyneb yn wyneb ar un frechdan wen.  Amrywiai’r enwau a roddid ar y rhain, e.e., ‘brechdan gaerog,’ ‘brechdan linsi,’ brechdan fetal,’ ‘piogen’ a ‘pioden’. I gloi gyda geiriau  Kate unwaith eto: “Fydde ar y bwr’ bob pryd yn yr amser o’n i’n bodoli amser honno ‘te a’u bwyta o fewn brechdan … bechdan geurog … ‘s’licio cal un heno …”

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!

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

Have you been keeping up to date with our Museum Bee Keeper's diary? Well here is the latest installment of how our bees are getting on:

With a trip to the US meaning I couldn't keep tabs on the bees for three weeks, the other beekeepers are pressed into service to look after the hives. It’s good to know that everything is in safe hands while I’m away, plus my absence gives some of the others a chance to have bit more “bee time”.  In the weeks prior to my departure our strong colony was looking very full of bees, with numerous queen cups having been removed and there being a large number of drones (males) in the hive. We knew that there was always a possibility of swarming and in an attempt to curtail this I’d asked my fellow keepers to keep a close eye on the hives and to check regularly as we can’t risk having a new virgin queen hatch.

On the 22nd May, Catalena and Nigel went to check the hives, here is her report:

"Nigel and I went up to see the bees today, It was an overcast day, not raining and not that windy really and the temperature was about 14 degrees. The strong colony was REALLY full of bees and very busy, there were also LOTS of queen cells being made. We removed SIX active queen cells, 2 of which were much longer than the others. Maybe the other 4 were 'suspect dome shaped Drone cells'. There were also lots more empty queen cells (more than 6 others) which I crushed with the hive tool. The hive is just so full we feel sure that swarming is inevitable. There are lots of drones and drone cells too. We considered moving another frame of brood over to the quieter hive, which would be a good idea but decided to leave that for another visit. We cycled the frames in the super, moving the emptier ones to the middle. We spotted the queen with her big green spot on her back, she nearly crawled out of the hive but we spotted her and we were about to catch here when she turned around and crawled back in.

The less productive hive is still very quiet although there were still bees flying out and bringing back pollen. We took the lid off the hive to have a closer look but didn't disturb anything. There is still lots of syrup/honey in the contact feeder and the bees are still using it, so we left it in the hive.

We checked the new hive with the swarm lure inside but unfortunately it is still empty.

On an eventful note, Nigel got stung on the calf by a bee that crawled up his trouser leg! Not nice at all but Nigel can handle pain!  I think I would have cried if it had happened to me!"

Keep posted for more news about of museum bees.

Today at National Museum Cardiff we are celebrating the very first International Polychaete Day, held in honour of a great polychaetologist, Kristian Fauchald who sadly passed away on the 5th April this year. Today would have been his 80th birthday, and museums and scientists are celebrating the wonderful diversity of marine bristleworms across the globe.

Polychaetes or marine bristleworms are a diverse group of segmented worms related to earthworms and leeches, and are abundant in marine and estuarine environments. Often the dominant animals living in seabed environments, they have important roles in marine food chains and reprocessing of nutrients, but are also indicators of the health of seabed habitats. The Museum has been carrying out research into this fascinating group since the 1980s and is the largest repository of Welsh polychaetes globally.

In honor of the day, we have published a story of our #WormWednesday Tweets for the last six months and we have been tweeting via the #InternationalPolychaeteDay hashtag.

Why not follow @CardiffCurator to find out more.

Inspired by Kristian's famous 'Pink Book' for identifying polychaete worms everywhere, we have today released a special pink version of the logo for the 12th International Polychaete Conference, which will be held at the museum next August.