Volunteers from Lampeter & District Beekeepers’ Association recently rolled up their sleeves, got back to nature and gave bees and butterflies a helping hand in their Association apiary near Talsarn, Ceredigion.

They were successful in applying for £150 of National Garden Centre vouchers which they used to buy fruit trees, hedging plants, compost and wild flower seeds.

More than 230 applicants from across Wales applied for free National Garden Centre vouchers as part of Keep Wales Tidy’s ‘Have a Wild Weekend for Wales’ campaign.

Funded by Welsh Government, Natural Resources Wales and the proceeds from the single use carrier bag charge, the aim of the weekend-long campaign was to encourage people to improve food sources and natural habitat for pollinators in Wales.

During Wild Weekend they cleared an area of grass, tidied up the apiary grounds, planted several fruit trees and wildlife friendly hedging plants which will grow and fill two large gaps in a mature hedge helping to keep the hives sheltered. Old wood was stacked to make a wildlife shelter for all kinds of small animals and insects.

Seed trays of pollinator friendly plants were given out to the younger helpers to look after until they have grown large enough to transplant them back into the wild where they should multiply and thrive. By the end of the day, the apiary area had been transformed and ready for the start of the new beekeeping season.

Ron Lockham, apiary manager, said “How wonderful it is to see so many people of all ages helping us to improve the apiary site for honey bees & beekeepers alike. We have managed to repair gaps in hedgerows and transformed a substantial area of grass by planting pollinator friendly trees and shrubs. In a few months when we plant out the wild flowers that the children have grown from seeds it will look wonderful.

"Getting involved in this project ‘Wild Weekend’ has enabled us to make a huge improvement to the pollen and nectar that’s on offer in a small corner of Ceredigion near Talsarn and hopefully this will benefit our local environment and wildlife.”

For more information email tidy.towns@keepwalestidy.org or visit www.keepwalestidy.org.