Why Dafydd would be an effective mentor

  • Dr Dafydd Jones is a serious full-time beekeeper and businessman!  What was a hobby – albeit a 30 year hobby - when he took early retirement from a long academic career, is now a full-time commitment. The successful company, Anglesey Bees, which he set up with his wife Dawn in 2019 from their smallholding in Llanddaniel, not only produces premium artisan honey on a commercial scale, but perhaps not surprisingly for this experienced former teacher, it offers training on ‘all things bees’ too.
  • Dafydd studied ecology, soil science and entomology at London University.  His first role was as a research scientist with Aberystwyth University’s IBERS division.   Armed with a BSc, Ph.D and PGCE he then moved into the teaching profession, becoming head of biology at secondary schools in Wrexham and then Llangefni.  
  • He draws on a wealth of experience as a teacher, together with 30 years of beekeeping, to deliver award-winning bespoke beekeeping experiences, events and training courses from dedicated beekeeping classrooms and a training apiary. 
  • Participant numbers are kept low, ensuring that each person benefits from tuition and progresses quickly.  The business attracts tourists looking for a unique ‘experience’ as well as student beekeepers and farmers or horticulturists seeking an additional stream of income. And with purpose-built indoor facilities, the uncertainty of our Welsh weather is never cause for rescheduling! 
  • Passionate about the plight of honeybees and biodiversity, sustainable food production, science education and connecting with nature, Dafydd, whose first language is Welsh, is a persuasive and inspiring advocate for all those interested in keeping bees commercially.  
  • Together with his wife, Dafydd handles all marketing and sales, has a website and is active on social media. He’s looking forward to his role as a Farming Connect mentor on the topic closest to his heart. Whether you’ve yet to dip your toe into this expanding market, or are already a beekeeper, expect to be inspired by his significant breadth of knowledge and enthusiasm! 

Current farm business

  • Eight-acre smallholding which includes a one-acre lake and honeybee-friendly woodland 
  • 100 hives of docile, productive healthy colonies, spread over five locations on Anglesey, which produce around 1,000 lbs of honey annually.  
  • Honey and beeswax products including candles and wax melts are sold directly to customers, in markets and at craft fairs.  
  • Closed flock of 12 pedigree Shropshire sheep for grazing under trees
  • Fruit and vegetables grown for the table 
  • Luxury B&B and glamping enterprise ‘The Sweet Escape Retreat’ 

Qualifications/achievements/ experience

  • BSc 2:1 (hons) Plant Biotechnology, Wye College, University of London
  • Ph.D The recycling of radiocaesium in key upland plant species, Aberystwyth University
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Education - PGCE (Secondary) Bangor University
  • Member of Conwy Beekeeping Association

Top tips for business success

“Plan a campaign for the year ahead. For example, decide on a strategy to increase your numbers of colonies or your honey yield or a management strategy to prevent swarming losses.” 

“There is more than one way of doing things. Question everything you are told and read about!  Be prepared to experiment, try things out and stick with what works for you.”