Stables & Pembrokeshire Beekeeping Centre
Situated at the back of the Manor House, towards the Walled Garden, the stables originally consisted of two series of stalls, a coach house, and two smaller rooms for ‘tack' and accommodation for the groom. The loft was for storing fodder and may also have provided lodgings for the stable boy. The stable building on the right hand side of the arch contains the original floors and partitions marked with the names of the last horses to have been kept here. The horses were used by the Higgon family for riding, hunting and for pulling vehicles. The high status of horses is reflected in the elegance of the building.
The Pembrokeshire Beekeeping Centre
Managed by Pembrokeshire Beekeepers' Association, is the centre of excellence for beekeeping in Pembrokeshire.
Opened by Welsh Government Minister Edwina Hart in 2014, the Beekeeping Centre comprises:
- The Pine Tree Apiary with live hives for training beekeepers.
- The Bee Hive exhibition which, among other fascinating exhibits, includes a live ‘bee cam' straight from one of the hives.
- The Honey Kitchen for extracting and bottling honey.
The Pine Tree Apiary is adjacent to the Stable Block and allows the public to view the beekeeping taking place behind a bee-proof fence. The Bee Hive exhibition features award winning graphics, scooping the ‘Best Wide Format' category at the annual APCOM (Association of Print and Communication Managers) awards in 2014.
The delicious honey extracted and bottled at the Honey Kitchen is available to purchase from the gift shop.
Pembrokeshire Beekeepers' Association (PBKA) is a charitable organisation, which has been in existence since 1919, actively encouraging and supporting the craft of beekeeping in Pembrokeshire. The long term strategy of the PBKA is to improve the conservation and sustainability of honey bees and beekeeping in Pembrokeshire for future generations and for the benefit of the local environment.
The Prince's Countryside Fund has enabled the establishment of the ‘Pembrokeshire Beekeepers' Centre'.
Bees have been of interest to people for thousands of years, using the honey produced as a sweetener, or to make mead. Bees' wax has been used for a variety of purposes, such as making candles. Bees used to be kept in straw ‘Skeps', but the development of modern hives meant that bees could be managed more effectively and enable effective disease control.
At the height of the season, a modern beehive can have 50,000+ bees living in it as a colony. This colony typically comprises of:
- a Queen bee, who lays the eggs and maintains stability in the hive
- a few hundred male drone bees, whose role is to mate with virgin queens
- worker bees which make up the vast majority and whose role includes looking after the young, keeping the hive clean, making and repairing the wax comb for stores and brood, guarding the hive and foraging for nectar (to make honey), pollen (to feed the young) and propolis (or 'bee glue') to make repairs to the hive
- "Had a lovely day, good value for money and plenty to see and do."
- "A wonderful house and collection - very enjoyable."
- "Lovely peaceful place, would come again."
- "A wonderful place, good food, very helpful staff, excellent day out."
- "Very interesting - well worth the money."
- "Loved looking around the house, got a real feel for life through the years."
- "Brilliant, lovely ambience and memory trail to early childhood. Thank you."
- "We've been before, but every visit we see something new!"
- "Brilliant - one of the best furnished old houses I've seen in the UK."
- "A fascinating insight into Victorian domestic life. Excellent guidance from the printed literature and a relaxed, unforbidding atmosphere."
- "Perfect for a family day out."