LLANGENNECH based beekeepers are building Wales’ first dedicated bee farm from scratch.
Award-winning honey producers Fferm Cilgwenyn will be building a new extracting and bottling facility on the outskirts of Llanelli having taken over an old coal mine that closed nearly a hundred years ago.
Beekeeper Rhodri Owen said: “We’ve been producing around 2 tonnes of award-winning honey per year with some basic facilities and we still can’t keep up with demand with more and more retailers wanting to stock our products.
“The only option was to build a new farm that was dedicated purely to beekeeping and the production of honey, a first for Wales. No existing farms could facilitate our needs without demolition and building new and provide a place to live too. We’ve got the plans, we just need to get the building process started.”
Rhodri said: “With the new facilities we will be creating the operational space to breed and place an extra 23 million bees into our county as well as to provide employment opportunities in the future – but people shouldn’t be alarmed at that as most people will not notice any difference. The biggest affect will be seen by farmers and gardeners alike with increased pollination as bee numbers have diminished over the last few decades. It’s a good way to transform a former coal mine into productive agricultural and food producing land again.
“Our county has produced some of the very best honey available and we have been lucky to have won a Great Taste Award both in 2016, 2017 and yet again announced today for 2018, one of only 2 winners in Wales for Welsh honey for each of those years. The only way we can produce more honey without losing our distinctive Carmarthenshire taste is to have more bees in the area, and that means a big investment in facilities as well as bee colonies.
“More bees and better facilities will not only result in more honey but it will form part of a sustainable environment as well as offer employment opportunities.
“We will need specialist skills in beekeeping as well as staff that can handle stock control as well as honey analysis.”
The new facilities had the green light from Carmarthenshire County Council members and planners and has also been successful in obtaining a Welsh Government grant for the new facility.
The project has received funding through the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and Welsh Government.
The Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths, said: “I’m delighted to see the Welsh Government supporting this new and exciting opportunity, helping support rural jobs and having a positive effect on the environment and biodiversity. Bees play a vital part in our ecosystem and I’m proud Wales is leading the way in helping protect our insect pollinators while creating new opportunities within our food industry.”
On the new build Rhodri said: “We are now starting the process going out to builders for the new facility and domestic space, so if you are a tradesperson in the building industry and would like to participate in the tender process please contact me through firstname.lastname@example.org.”
The new facility is expected to be up and running in 2019.
Recovery efforts underway in aftermath of floods
A HUGE clean-up operation is underway to deal with the aftermath of the worst flooding Carmarthenshire has seen in decades.
Carmarthenshire County Council’s operational team has now switched its efforts from emergency response to recovery and supporting affected communities and businesses.
Additional resources have been put in place to collect ruined carpets, furniture and other waste, with cages and skips being dispatched to worst hit areas. People are advised to check with their insurers before disposing of any items.
Dehumidifers have been provided to as many homes as possible.
A hardship fund has been established for residents most in need of financial support, and housing officers will be visiting homes and helping people to complete and submit insurance claims.
Business support officers are also making contact with retailers and businesses to support them, and rate relief is also being sought from Welsh Government.
Highways, cleansing and refuse crews continue to sweep and clean debris left by the receding floods, and inspections will take place on all affected road surfaces, verges and bridges.
Specialist teams are being drafted in to support crews, including divers to inspect underwater structures and areas that have experienced land slide.
The council continues to urge people to take extra care and to allow extra time for their journeys as a number of diversions will remain in place.
Carmarthenshire County Council Chief Executive Mark James said: “Our staff have been working hard to respond in extremely difficult conditions. Now that the flood waters have subsided we have shifted our focus from response to recovery and we are doing all we can to support everyone affected.
“A full assessment of the damage is underway, and, as well as working with partner agencies, we are also speaking with Welsh Government to ensure appropriate resources are in place.”
· Follow updates on the council’s Newsroom, Facebook and Twitter
· Anyone in need of assistance should call 01267 234567 or email email@example.com
· Apply for support for flooding recovery: https://myaccount.carmarthenshire.gov.wales/en/service/Support_for_flooding_recovery
Llandysul: Fire service cordoned off gas cylinders
ON SUNDAY (Oct 14) at 11:45am, firefighters from Llandysul were called to a flood-related incident in Station Road, near the Tyweli River.
On attendance to the incident, firefighters were confronted with a strong smell of gas, where approximately 60 gas cylinders had entered the river and accumulated in a culvert. Western Power were also in attendance to make safe a live electrical wire, from a three-phase electrical pumping station.
The Fire Service evacuated 12 properties from either side of the river and cordoned off Station Road for public safety.
Firefighters retrieved approximately 40 cylinders from the river and monitored the incident until the level of the flood water dropped.
The Police Service were also in attendance.
The cordons have now been lifted and business owners and residents have returned to their properties.
The Fire Service received the stop message at 09:02am this morning (Oct 15).
Police say ‘stop protecting’ murder suspect Steve Baxter
JUST over two weeks ago Simon Clark, aged 54, was found dead at Grove Caravan Park in Pendine, Carmarthenshire.
Dyfed-Powys Police is continuing its manhunt for Steve Baxter, who is wanted on suspicion of Simon’s murder.
Baxter also known as Steve Tidy, Steve Rowley, Wayne Tidy or William Tidy, is aged 52, 5’5” (1.65cm) tall and has tattoos on his forearms – the name Chez and entwined circles on his left arm and a serpent on his right arm.
He has connections in the West Wales, South Wales, South West and North England areas of the UK.
Officers and staff are working round the clock to follow all possible lines of enquiry.
The independent charity Crimestoppers is also offering a reward of up to £5,000 for information leading to the arrest of Steve Baxter and he has been added to the Most Wanted section of their website. Information would be taken by the charity anonymously.
Detective Superintendent Huw Davies said: “It’s over two weeks since Simon Clark was murdered at Grove Caravan Park, Pendine.
“The manhunt for Steve Baxter is ongoing and I must stress to the public that officers and staff are working round the clock to investigate all possible lines of enquiry that could lead us to him.
“I urge anyone with information of Baxter’s whereabouts to come forward. If you do not want to speak to police directly, you can speak to the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously, which is also offering a reward of up to £5,000 for information leading to his arrest.
“Someone knows where he is or has been in the last two weeks. Please stop protecting him. Simon Clark’s family deserve to see all those involved in his death brought to justice.”
Four people have been charged in connection with the murder: Jeffrey Stephen Ward, aged 40, from Pendine, has been charged with murder; Linda Mary Rowley, aged 52, from Pendine, has been charged with assisting an offender (murder); Kirston Macklin, aged 52, from Newport, Gwent, has been charged with assisting an offender (murder) and Julie Louise Harris, aged 46, from Tonypandy, has been charged with assisting an offender (murder).
If you see Steve Baxter call Dyfed-Powys Police on 999. Do not approach him.
If you have any information on the whereabouts of Steve Baxter call Dyfed-Powys Police on 101 immediately.
To pass on information anonymously, contact Crimestoppers 100 per cent anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through the non-traceable anonymous online form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.
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