Mêl Torfaen Honey


Welcome to Mêl Torfaen Honey

September 20, 2017Posted by Steffan

Lifecycle of the honey bee.

Life Cycle

September 16, 2017Posted by Steffan

New Sites for  Mȇl Torfaen Hives

Mȇl Torfaen Honey has aquired 3 new sites for our hives this month. They are located in the Trefonnen / Nash area near Newport. Because of their proximity to Newport Docks, they have been designated as ENHANCED SENTINEL HIVES.

Sentinel Hives are important in the control of the spread of exotic pests into the bee population of the UK.
Read the article here.

Such hives are an important part of the National Bee Unit’s (NBU’s) apiary inspection programme. The Hives are inspected more rigorously and more often than other hives so that any potential threats to the native bee population is safeguarded.

August 11, 2017Posted by Steffan



The European hornet is the largest eusocial wasp in Europe and the largest vespine in North America. It is actually the  only true hornet found in North America. V. crabro is usually regarded as a pest by those humans who come into contact  with it. (Ref: Wikipedia)

Scientific name: Vespa crabro
Length: Female: 1.8 – 2.4 cm (Adult, Worker)
Higher classification: Hornet
Rank: Species

european hornet


Vespa velutina is slightly smaller than the European hornet. Typically queens are 30 mm in length, and males  about 24 mm. Workers measure about 20 mm in length. [2] The species has distinctive yellow tarsi (legs). The thorax is a  velvety brown or black with a brown abdomen. Each abdominal segment has a narrow posterior yellow border, except for  the fourth segment, which is orange. The head is black and the face yellow. Regional forms vary sufficiently in colour to  cause difficulties in classification, and several subspecies have been variously identified or rejected.

Asian hornet face    Asian

The form that is causing concern about its invasiveness in Europe is Vespa velutina nigrithorax
Vespa velutina opportunistically hunts a very wide range of insects, including flies, dragonflies and Orthoptera, typically  capturing them by pursuit.  The major concern about their invasiveness however, is that when they find a bee colony or  an apiary, they tend to settle down and specialise in honeybees as their prey. A hornet occupies a position above a beehive  as its hunting territory. It flies about within an area of about half a square metre, scanning the direction from which foraging  bees return to the hive. Each hornet vigorously defends its hunting territory, chasing off any rivals. However, as soon as it  catches a bee it flies off and another hornet replaces it, usually within a few seconds.
The circadian activities of the two species of honeybees are similar, and the hunting hornets match them; their most intense  activity is in the morning and afternoon, not near dusk or noon.

April 22, 2017Posted by Trefor


Honey is a sweet, yellow to amber coloured, viscous fluid produced by bees. It has been consumed for centuries as a sweetener. As an alternative to sugar, honey is a sweet, dense, flavourful food that can vary widely in taste and colour, depending on what blossoms the bees are pollinating.

Honey is produced in hives specifically designed for housing bees. A colony of bees includes a single queen, an assortment of drones, and a large number of worker bees. The social structure of a hive is actually quite complex, and naturalists have devoted extensive study to the lives of bees and the ways in which they communicate.

Worker bees travel outside the hive to collect nectar from flowers in the surrounding area. When they return to the hive, the bees convert the nectar into honey, and store it in waxy combs designed to keep it stable until it is needed. Bees use what they produce as a food source when they have difficulty finding other foods. Humans have also been taking advantage of the substance as a food for thousands of years.

Honey is naturally sweet, and it was the only major sweetener in use among humans for hundreds or thousands of years. It can be used in baking, used as a spread on breads, or added to drinks for additional sweetness. Beekeepers can control the flavour to some extent by placing the hives in areas where particular blossoms occur; as a general rule, the darker the product, the more intense the flavour.

Most vegans do not eat honey, since it is an animal product. Many believe that bees are exploited to make commercial products, since their environment is heavily manipulated.

Mêl Torfaen's hives are spread throughout the County of Torfaen in South Wales and the lush green countryside of the neighbouring old county of Monmouthshire. This gives the honey a distinctive rich, deep flavour.


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