Our annual Honey Festival is Not to Bee in September 2020   which  is disappointing for members and  our supporters.    Looking forward already to 2021!

Some of our members can be contacted   for honey sales and  look out for your local  beekeeper's product   in your local store.  

 

 Not to Bee!

While many events and festivals have gone virtual in very innovative ways this year, you simply cannot taste local honey on Zoom!   The Ashford Beekeepers’ Association annual Honey Festival is cancelled this September due to Covid-19 restrictions.  Carole Anne Vermeulen, Festival Organizer, says the cancellation is very disappointing but entirely necessary.  ‘Our Association has a clear vision for our Honey Festival as being a truly unique community event, and we certainly achieved this last year when the sun shone down on the 2000+ happy visitors of all ages who gathered together to soak up the atmosphere.  There was a little jazz, a lot of colour and the Heritage Centre was buzzing with side events - the demonstration hives give an insight into the fascinating world of our native bees and their invaluable role as pollinators.  Honey Sales are always a huge draw with the best of local honey from our beekeepers available”.

As if the bees knew there would be no Honey Festival this year, a cold and wet summer across Ireland has caused a dramatic fall in the amount of honey produced by native Irish honey bees this season.  According to Alan Pierce, a member of ABKA and beekeeper for more than 30 years, after the  beautiful early Summer in April, May into June the rain and cold weather that followed in July and August was the main reason the harvest is so poor.  Yields are down considerably – the average hive would produce up to 12 kg in a good year and this year it is down to an average of 3 kg.”

“The bees came out in the early sunshine and gathered nectar from early flowering crops but the main honey production crop in Ireland is the blackberry and white clover in July. When that was not available because of the inclement weather the honey crop for the year was in trouble. As a result the bees had to feed on their early stores.  Usually by July a colony of bees would have increased from 15,000 to close to 50,000 so there were a lot of bees to feed” said Alan. 

“On the bright side, we have been having a super September for the ivy crop which will help the bees fill the brood chamber for their long winter season. So, while we as beekeepers are down some delicious honey, the bees are safe going into the last season of the year”.

ABKA are already planning a great Festival programme for 2021 when hopefully the bees, the weather and the world will be in harmony once again and ready for a great Festival.

If you want to get the best of Wicklow Honey, check out the website here http://wicklowbees.com/Honey-Sales.php   or look out for local producers’ stock in your village store.