Honeybees at Abercamlais


Here at Abercamlais, keeping bees and producing honey was a part of the general self-sufficiency of the gardens in years gone by. The bees would help with pollination in the gardens, as well as increasing biodiversity and of course providing a delicious food source. The remains of the beehive stands could still be seen behind the beech hedge in the orchard and an old beehive and beekeeping equipment were stored in the attic.

It has always been our aim to reintroduce honeybees to the Abercamlais Estate and we were absolutely thrilled when beekeepers Nigel and Gaynor Isaksson from Wood Bank Honey and members of the Wye Valley Beekeepers Association visited us and offered to place some of their hives into the gardens.

We started with six tester hives in early spring and waited eagerly to see if the bees settled and if they were happy in their new location.

Nigel and Gaynor checked on the hives regularly and made sure that the surrounding area offered optimal conditions for the bees, offering advice and guidance on their care. After careful monitoring, the bees were then transferred to their permanent wooden hives.

We were delighted when they began to produce honey! Now we have our very own Abercamlais Estate, small-batch, wildflower honey made exclusively from the hives on the estate. The busy bees forage nectar from plants such as Sycamore, Hawthorn, Willow, Rosebay willow-herb, Clover, Blackberry and a wide array of meadow wildflowers, resulting in a delicious honey with a delicate yet complex flavour.

Abercamlais Estate honey is available for visitors to buy in 8oz jars.

The photos below shows the process of extraction from the hives. When they remove the suppers of honey, Nigel and Gaynor keep the handling of the honey to a minimum. This ensures the honey is as close to its natural state in the hive as possible. It is uncapped, extracted, filtered and bottled which all helps to keep the goodness in the honey.


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