Earlier in the summer of 2015, a Native Black Honey Bee (Apis melifera melifera) apiary was established in Killarney National Park. It was set up by the Killarney National Park Education Centre with help from Beaufort Beekeeper Tuddy Clifford.
At the moment the apiary has three CBD hives, (built by Tuddy) which are the traditional type of hive to the area. CBD stands for “Congested Districts Boards” and these types of hive were originally manufactured and sold by Abbott Bros. in the 1890s. They were specifically designed to withstand the wind and rain that is associated with west of Ireland.
Astella’s, a local pharmaceutical company has helped the project by funding the purchasing of seven childrens beesuits and some beekeeping equipment.
The apiary has already been used on a number of occasions to demonstrate to groups of children (all dressed smartly and securely in their new beesuits), the importance of bees and what goes on inside a bee hive. Some of the children, while they wait their turn to use the suits are able to watch bees through the glass of one of Tuddy’s observation hives, trying to spot the marked queen.
The apiary is close to Muckross House and the bees should have plenty plants on which to forage for nectar and pollen as it has been set up in conjunction with a new wildflower and tree nursery where staff from the Education Centre instruct students on the best ways to collect seeds and grow on local native wild flowers and trees.