First Prize! Well done Gerry and the bees…

First prize in the Galway honey competition, what a fantastic result and testament to the amazing work of Gerry who looks after the bees who have been residents on our farm for close to 10 years now.

Gerry has a deep understanding and respect for the bees and is constantly checking in to make sure they are alright and by all accounts they are certainly that! In fact, they are a level of magnitude above alright.

A couple of weeks back while having a chat with Gerry he mentioned that out of the 6 apiaries under his supervision the hives on our farm are producing 3 times the amount of honey compared with the others!

We all know we need to look after our pollinators without them the world would be a very different place, our apple trees, the courgettes, tomatoes, cucumbers and many other flowering plants rely on our flying friends to produce food. So, it’s only right we keep an eye on their welfare too.

It seems that the wildflowers and the weeds and the general high level of biodiversity on our farm has had a very positive impact on bees and the honey they make. A great example of a healthy environment leading to healthy food. The honey was judged on colour, texture and flavour.

This year though the impact of a changing climate has had a negative effect on the bees and the professional judges all said the same thing, in show after show there was a lack of honey due to the wettest July ever recorded.

Gerry and the bees did extremely well, but we won’t be handing out little mini trophies to all the queen bees on our farm just yet though, as it seems there was one rogue amongst all the hard workers.

One of the queen bees turned rogue.  Apparently, it does happen and when it does it is not at all pleasant. For some reason one of the queens became extremely aggressive and as a result the whole hive followed suit. It really wasn’t nice, these bees were chasing people out of the fields, and Emmanuel and his farm team were stung on multiple occasions and as a result the harvest had to start before the bees came out!

Gerry stepped in and removed the rogue queen and rehoused her to a far way bog where hopefully she will live out a long angry life away from human beings!

The amazing thing is once the belligerent queen was removed everything settled down almost immediately, seems all groups are the same…..

I am delighted that the judges held Gerry’s honey in such high regard and I am also delighted to have nice calm bees back buzzing around again and that our nearly always happy bees are happy again.


PS We are seeing the change now in the weather and are moving more heartily into the autumnal crops, you will see our first harvest of parsnips fresh from the fields, and we are excited about the first main crop floury potatoes coming soon, lots of cauliflower and broccoli too, as always thank you for your support.