Natural Beekeeping and Climate Change - 12th July - 10am - 4pm
The role of pollinators is a key element in agricultural systems. A significant amount of bees have been wiped out by over-use of chemicals in farming systems. All over the world, there is a push to protect and increase numbers of pollinators, as their role in plant and crop production is recognised as vital. This exchange will focus on what's involved in supporting bee colonies on the farm - and the different approaches such as honey bee production and natural beekeeping. The aim is to showcase opportunities and exchange knowledge on beekeeping and new links to carbon sequestration. The Exchange will be led by Aoife Nic Giolla Cuddy from Galtee Bees - noted for Native Irish bees, Catherine Caulwell beekeeper and lecturer at the Organic College and Geraldine Byne Chair Offaly Beekeepers Association.
Aoife Nic Giolla Cuddy, Catherine Caulwell and Geraldine Byrne
Artist: Deirdre O'Mahony
Aoife Nic Giolla Cuddy
Aoife Nic Giolla Coda is a fourth generation beekeeper and has been keeping bees for the last 30 years. She owns and runs Galtee Honey Farm which was established in 1970 by her father Micheál. It is situated in Ireland’s first Voluntary Conservation Area (VCA) for the Native Irish Black Honey Bee Apis mellifera mellifera – a threatened sub-species of honey bee. It is a strain of the Dark European Honey Bee. While this honey bee is extinct in most of its natural range across North and North Western Europe, Ireland has the largest, most genetically diverse populations in the world. With their 170 colonies, Galtee Honey Farm specialises in conserving and breeding and distributing this honey bee due to its importance as a genetic resource. They also focus on honey production from the Galtee Vee Valley region. Aoife is a co-founder and current chairperson of the Native Irish Honey Bee Society (NIHBS). She is a certified beekeeping lecturer with FIBKA and gives talks and workshops throughout the country.
Catherine Caulwell BSc, MAppSc, Dip Org. Farming.
Catherine has been teaching the QQI Beekeeping module which she helped develop for An t-Ionad Glas, the Organic College, since 2013. She is the Education Officer for Duhallow Beekeeping Association, part of the Federation of Irish Beekeeping Associations and manages the Apiary at the Organic College, in Dromcollogher Co. Limerick.
Catherine brings to her understanding of beekeeping work and her knowledge in the Science of Genetics and Biochemistry, in which she had a 15 year career. Retraining in 1999 with a Permaculture Design Certificate with David Holmgren in Australia, she continued to hone her understanding of the complex ecology of Agricultural Systems by studying Organic Horticulture and Farming at An t-Ionad Glas.
Catherine joined the Staff of An Tionad Glas in 2007 and today teaches Beekeeping, Plant Protection, Applied Permaculture and Sustainable Horticulture. She has a special interest in how biodiversity can bring balance to agroecological systems, for food production and soil sustainability.
Geraldine Byrne is the chairperson of Offaly Beekeepers Association. She is also a member of the Native Irish Honey Bee Society. She has been keeping bees as a hobby for about 12 years and is passionate about the craft.