West Cork, Ireland
The GreenFriends members in Ireland started bee farming. A devotee has provided space on her land for organic growing.
On ‘Bee Day’ 2009, Greenfriends Ireland beekeeper gave a practical course, including a visit to some hives and detailed presentations. The course was held in a house made of natural building materials, like straw and clay.
The Bee Day participants were keen as the beekeeper explains how the honeycomb is divided into areas of storage and breeding. The hive entrance designed as a very narrow gap to prevent others from stealing honey. A new double-sided plastic sheet known as ‘a foundation’ ensures that the hexagonal cells fit the dimensions of the hive. Individual wax combs were used to make honey extraction simpler; no need to destroy the colony’s hive, the method once used in beekeeping.
A healthy hive contains about 60,000 bees. A wild hive is known as a bees’ nest; to make one, bees use their hanging bodies as scaffolding. In manufactured hives, the upper part stores honey, the lower the brood and queen. In a natural beehive space, cells face outwards which explains the sheltered location under the eaves of the building or a tree.
Through these classes the participants were motivated to take up bee farming seriously and scientifically.