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Great buzz around the formation of new Mizen beekeepers’ group

December 16th, 2019 10:17 PM

By Brian Moore

Mairead and Michael at their home near Goleen and, right, a bumble bee gathering nectar from wild flowers.

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A new association designed to promote and champion the importance of bees is being formed in West Cork. It’s never been more timely – with the little insect having been declared the most important living being on the planet

A NEW association designed to promote and champion the importance of bees is about to get underway in West Cork.

Award-winning beekeeper Mairead Love and her husband Michael who have a number of hives at their home near Goleen are the driving force behind the new association called the Fastnet Area Beekeepers Association (FABKA).

‘Bees have been declared the most important living beings on the planet by the Earthwatch Institute,’ Mairead told The Southern Star.

‘But many here in West Cork have always known the vitally important part bees play in our environment and of course in the production of the food we eat.’

Mairead’s late father, Finbarr Dineen, hailed from Newcestown and was an award-winning master of the craft of beekeeping and a qualified lecturer.

It might be a bit of a dream but wouldn’t it be fantastic if every farm had at least one hive?

Her husband Michael, who hails from Enaughter near Goleen, says that West Cork provides one of the most ideal locations for bees in the whole country.

The aims of FABKA will be to support those beekeepers who are already up and running, as well as educating those who want to get a hive of their own.

‘It might be a bit of a dream but wouldn’t it be fantastic if every farm had at least one hive?’ Michael asked.

‘More and more farmers are becoming aware of the importance of bees to their land and we want to give the beekeepers of West Cork a voice as well.’

FABKA, which is due to begin operating in February 2020, will provide education and support for all who are interested in the craft of beekeeping by running educational lectures, which will enable people to have hands-on practical experience in the FABKA apiary.

The classes will take place in Skibbereen’s Teagasc office on a monthly basis, with beginner courses launching in the Riverside Studio on North Street in Skibbereen each Sunday in March 2020.

Mairead said: ‘There are already a lot of beekeepers in West Cork and with more and more people eager to look after our environment for future generations, we must all do what we can to promote and ensure the survival of these incredible insects that are so important – not only for us but for our planet as well.’

FABKA is being instituted under the auspices of The Federation of Irish Beekeepers Association.

For more information email Mairead and Michael at [email protected]   

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