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Exciting times in the Digital Media department. I can finally share this with you, an updated Museum Social Media Policy for museum tweeters, facebookers, tumblrerers and so on. I've tried my best to keep it readable, common-sensical and useful - so please do give it a go and let me know if there's something amiss or awry. 

Download Social Media Policy for Museum Wales

The previous policy had been in place since 2009 - and since then, our expectations and the devices we use to access social media have come along a fair way. I hope to keep it up to date as we're faced with the endless barrage of new platforms, retroactively amended ts and cs, high-profile fails and fads.

It's a companion to the Social Media Toolkit - I'm still working on that, since I want it to look a bit more user-friendly (not to mention sexier), so I'll post that up when it's ready. I hope the toolkit will be used a working reference - something that shows the possibilities of social media for museums, where the policy defines the boundaries within which we work, and is a bit more schoolmarmish. Thanks to everyone who has contributed to the document, especially our social media account holders for their feedback.

Let me know what you think in the comments!

Climate-change study in your own school yard
Science & Geography (KS2)


Make use of your outdoor classroom! Join the 175 schools taking part in this exciting investigation.


Spring Bulbs for Schools provides primary school pupils with the opportunity to adopt, study and record the development of spring bulbs as part of a spring watch network. Each pupil will receive a Tenby Daffodil, Crocus bulb and garden pot to record growth and flowering times.

Through collecting and comparing real data pupils discover how our changing climate is affecting our seasons and what this means for ourselves and the nature around us. Pupils take part in Professor Plant's Challenges to receive a super scientist certificate.

Any schools in Wales can take part as results are collected over the internet (or by post if necessary). This is an on-going investigation which means schools can take part year after year.

To apply for Spring Bulbs for Schools 2015-2016 please fill out the online application form by following the link below.

Application are now open but numbers are limited so apply soon to ensure your place on the project! Application is only open to schools in Wales. Recruitment for English and Scottish schools has closed but please contact The Edina Trust for information about taking part in the project 2016-2017.

Spring Bulbs for Schools - Application form

For enquiries please Email SCAN

We are currently recruiting housekeeping volunteers at St.Fagans to help look after the displays in the historic houses and Castle. This is a new scheme that is open to anyone who would like to get involved and learn more about traditional housekeeping techniques. Many of which still have a use today, such as using natural herbs and flowers to repel moths from precious woollen jumpers.


With your help we would also like to enhance the interpretation of the buildings by putting more of the collections on display and reintroduce traditional crafts to create replica items, such as rag rugs, baskets and wicker carpet beaters.


Training will be provided, so no previous experience is required, all we ask in return is a few hours of your time a week.  This is a pilot project, so even if the days currently on offer are not suitable please do still get in contact and register your interest.


As part of the project we have converted one of the cottages at Llwyn yr Eos farm into a base for housekeeping volunteers, with studios and a comfortable place to relax.


If you are interested in becoming a housekeeping volunteer please follow this link and we look forward to hearing from you.

One of the joys of working in the world of contemporary art is the opportunity it presents to hear information directly from the artist.

On Friday we are lucky enough to have such an opportunity from two artists who were commissioned to make works for Fragile? Clare Twomey and Claire Curneen (12/06/2015 at 1.05pm).

Fragile? In Conversation with the Artists, Clare Twomey and Claire Curneen

In preparation for this we have collated sources of information on the two artists:

Clare Twomey

Clare Twomey is a British artist and a research fellow at the University of Westminster who works with clay in large-scale installations, Sculpture and site-specific works. Her work in Fragile? is a version of "Consciousness/Conscience" (claretwomey.com).

A statement on her University of Westminster Research Fellow profile reads:

"A great deal of my projects my practice can be understood as "post-studio ceramics", my work engages with clay yet often at a critical distance. I have in the past five years negotiated the realms of performance, serial production, and transience, and often involve site-specific installations. I am especially concerned with the affective relations that bind people and things, and how objects can enable a dialogue with the viewer. Clay is my constant medium as it embodies notions of permanence and inheritance, and has a profound connection with the everyday."

Over the past 10 years she has exhibited at the Victoria and Albert Museum, Tate, Crafts Council, Museum of Modern Art Kyoto Japan, the Eden Project, York Museum, Denver Art Museum and the Royal Academy of Arts.

Information sourced (and further available) from the following websites:

Claire Curneen

Claire Curneen is a tutor at Cardiff School of Art and Design. Her work is distinct for its figurative representation which draws us into a world of narrative. She has two works in Fragile? one piece already owned by the museum 'In the Tradition of Smiling Angels' from 2007 (View work in Art Online) and a work commissioned by the Derek Williams Trust called 'Touched'.

A statement on her website reads: " As one of the UK's foremost ceramic artists Curneen draws us into a world of narrative, where the tension between the real and the imagined is played out before us. Her ceramic figures have an imposing presence which tap into our desires, fears and mysteries....These figures bear bold narratives of human experiences and explore themes around death, rebirth and the sublime, which are both subtle and dramatic."

Her work has been exhibited both in Britain (Mission Gallery, Swansea, London and Ruthin Craft Centre to name a few) and internationally in Switzerland, the USA and France.

Information sourced (and further available) from the following websites:

Well last week we posted about the Beehives up on the roof at National Museum Cardiff and how they fared over the winter. Today we have another exert from our Beekeeper’s diary. Has the weaker colony survived? Let’s find out: The weather in late March and early April was fantastic and the strong colony went from strength to strength.

During the next weekly (9th April) inspection we decided to place our first super (a set of shallow frames from which the queen is excluded, used to collect honey) on the strong colony and moved another frame of brood across to the weaker colony. This moving of frames serves two purposes, it helps reinforce the struggling colony whilst limiting the size and growth of the strong colony and thus lessens the risk of having to deal with the colony growing to such an extent that the bees swarm. Every time a frame of brood is removed the frame is replaced with a fresh frame of new foundation (a sheet of patterned wax on which bees build their comb). The rate of productivity is currently so high in the strong colony that a new frame of foundation is being drawn out and prepared for laying within a week!

At the next inspection (16th April) another frame of brood was moved across and the contact feeder in the weaker colony was refilled with more honey. Whilst honey might not be the most cost effective feed the bees certainly like it!

We noticed that the weaker colony certainly had more activity with more bees flying in and out than has been seen recently, hopefully the translocation of brood is working and the colony is growing in strength and numbers.

Whist inspecting the strong colony, a large elongated brood cell called a queen cup was noted- it wasn’t sealed and contained a grub. We removed the cup and grub in order to minimise the chances of a new queen bee hatching and the colony swarming. We inspected the rest of the frames looking particularly closely at the abundance of dome shaped, capped drone (male) cells! There were quite a number of hatched drone bees too, which may be indicative of the colony getting ready to swarm? Hopefully our regular removal of brood should limit the expansion and development of the colony and reduce the risk of having to deal with swarming this year.

Beekeepers use the term drawn-out to describe the process where bees build their honeycomb structures on a base of fresh foundation wax. The bees build up hexagonal honeycomb until the honeycomb cells are 12-15mm deep. This process of building comb outwards from the flat foundation is called drawing-out. The super that we placed on the strong colony is gradually getting filled with honey too.

The bees are gradually filling the fully drawn-out comb in the centre of the super although all the frames have been drawn out to some extent. The super frames that have been partial filled have been moved one or two positions out towards the edge of the super and the more empty frames have been moved inwards to a more central position in order to encourage the bees to work evenly across all the frames within the super.

During this inspection we also installed a third hive on the roof. In this third hive we placed pheromone swarm lures. The idea being that a passing swarm of bees might find and settle in this hive if we’re lucky. The lure hive is essentially a normal hive loaded with foundation filled frames. We have used some of the old, drawn-out frames from our other hives in order to give it a lived in feel and scent (apparently swarms don’t typically settle in new unused hives). If we aren’t successful in catching a wild swarm the hive can be used to home a third colony of bees that we currently have on order with Natures Little Helpers.

29th April inspection – it was a lovely sunny warm day although perhaps in hindsight a little windy for bee keeping inspections. I took the opportunity to take Annette Townsend up onto the roof to see the bees. Not only was it tough to hold the frames of bees still in the breeze, but Annette’s hair and bee keeping suit was being buffeted around so much that she could hardly see a thing! The bees weren’t keen either, there were lots flying around and they were generally grumpy. Annette has blogged her experience, so you can see how she found beekeeping here. Anyway another lesson learned – too much wind makes life tricky – heavy frames of bees and a strong breeze aren’t compatible!  

Bee inspection 6th May, another sunny but slightly breezy day again but not as bad as the previous windy hive inspection. Again the weaker colony wasn’t inspected particularly intensively, we just quickly refilled the feeder with honey and once again transferred a frame of brood and juvenile bees into the hive from the stronger colony. Our efforts certainly seem to be paying off, once again there seemed to be significantly more bees flying in and out of the hive plus at least four of the frames now seemed to be covered in bees! The feeder obviously is still being used by the bees but they also seem to be flying out to find natural sources of food too.

The strong colony seems to have stepped up a gear too! Another two queen cups were removed and several suspect other dome shaped cells were removed just in case! A section of brace comb was cut at the edge of the hive in order to allow all the frames to be removed freely. Brace comb is extra honeycomb that is built between frames, it is perfectly normal for wild bee colonies but for managed hives, brace comb prevents frames being removed. The brood now extends almost to the outside frames and there is a considerable amount of capped honey surrounding the brood. The small honey collecting frames inside the super were moved around once again to ensure an even honey fill. None of the honey filled comb in the super is actually capped (the honey sealed in with a wax cover) yet but you get the impression that within a few weeks another super might need to be added!