Fascinated by bees? Meet the Irish beekeepers

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Support these Irish producers who are passionate about bees, and discover some locally-made honey and beeswax products

Bees are fascinating, play such a vital role in our eco-system and honey and beeswax have endless uses. These creatures are really incredible, and there are Irish producers and makers all over the country who are making the most of what bees have to offer. Here are some of the gorgeous, locally produced products to buy from beekeepers across the country, and the experts who are sharing their knowledge and passion for beekeeping.

Olly’s Farm

Olly Nolan produces award-winning 100% raw Irish honey, including heather, blossom & softset honey from his many different apiaries around Dublin and Wicklow. The honey is cold-filtered to preserve the healthy nutrients in the honey. He also produces grass fed Dexter beef, vegetables and eggs at his smallholding in Dublin. See more at ollysfarm.ie.

Coolmore Bees

This farm in Cork is focused on conservation of the native Irish black bee. Mark Newenham and his three daughters Helena, Zoe and Rebecca breed and sell bees and run beekeeping courses. It is a hands on course where you will learn to keep the bees calm and stress-free, and how to smoke and open the hive with the least amount of disturbance. They are now talking bookings for courses in 2021.

Galtee Honey Farm

Galtee Honey Farm is home to 170 hives of native Irish black bees. Michaél and Aoife Mac Giolla Coda provide queen bees to beekeepers around Ireland every year to ensure the survival of this threatened species. You can buy a variety of honeys and beeswax candles from them here.

Brookfield Farm

Ailbhe Gerrard runs Brookfield Farm in Tipperary, and sells a range of gifts including raw honey, beeswax candles and lip balms. Another cool element of Brookfield Farm is the Hiveshare, a subscription which helps support a hive on the farm. In return, you receive a gift box of products from the hive you are supporting as well as regular updates on the bees.

Millbee Studio

Maker Jennifer Doyle combines organic cotton with beeswax, organic jojoba oil, and tree resin to make reusable and washable beeswax wraps. A sustainably-minded business, Jennifer makes everything by hand in Tullamore, Co Offaly, and she prides herself on sourcing the finest raw Irish produced honey. She has even become a beginner beekeeper herself (it takes years to be an expert).

Trish’s Honey Products

As well as honey and natural skincare products, Trish O’Neill makes natural beeswax candles by hand in Dunhill, Co Waterford. Some candles can contain nasty synthetic ingredients which can affect the air quality in your home, and beeswax candles are a safe and natural alternative. She also found that her sensitive skin was irritated by traditional skincare products, so made natural alternatives using honey. Find out more at trishshoneyproducts.com.

Why do we need to help the bees?

You’ve probably heard that we need to ‘save the bees’. While honey bees are looked after by their beekeepers, wild Irish bees are at risk. Bees are essential to the process of pollination, which is necessary for the growth of food and plant life. But human behaviours like construction and even just simple acts like mowing lawns too frequently all contribute to the destruction of their habitats and food sources.

All-Ireland Pollinator Plan

The go-to authority on everything Irish people can do to help bees, the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan website is a packed with information. Discover what you can do in your own garden, in your business, in schools and in the community to help make the local environment more livable for wild bees.

Main image: Arwin Neil Baichoo on Unsplash