Bee­keep­ers serv­ing up a sec­ond help­ing of Ash­ford Honey Fes­ti­val

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - NEWS - By MYLES BUCHANAN

THE Ash­ford Honey Fes­ti­val re­turns for the sec­ond year run­ning and will fea­ture ob­ser­va­tional hives and honey sales and tast­ings.

The in­au­gu­ral fes­ti­val took place last year at Ash­ford Com­mu­nity and Her­itage Cen­tre and proved such a suc­cess it was de­cided to make it an an­nual event.

Or­gan­ised by Ash­ford Bee­keep­ers As­so­ci­a­tion, the fes­ti­val takes place this year on Satur­day, Septem­ber 22.

The as­so­ci­a­tion is a mem­ber of FIBKA, the na­tional or­gan­i­sa­tion of bee­keep­ers and cur­rently has 130 mem­bers, with mem­ber­ship hav­ing jumped by 30 per cent in the past year.

Jackie Stone helped or­gan­ise the event and has had her own hive for over a year and a half.

‘I was al­ways con­sid­er­ing tak­ing up bee­keep­ing as a hobby. A friend of mine had a load of hives and I was telling him I would love a bee­hive. He called my bluff and ar­rived at my home with one. I have been hooked ever since ad I would rec­om­mend it to any­one’.

The fes­ti­val will be opened by An­drew Doyle TD and will fea­ture an ad­dress from Phillip McCabe, the Pres­i­dent of Api­mondi, the world or­gan­i­sa­tion of bee­keep­ers.

Ash­ford Bee­keep­ers As­so­ci­a­tion cur­rently boasts mem­bers rang­ing in age from 13 to 84 and hail­ing from Wick­low town, Ash­ford and Gle­nealy out as far as Grey­stones, Bray and Ark­low and Aughrim. The cur­rent chair­per­son is Michelle O’Con­nor.

‘Re­cently the as­so­ci­a­tion has re­ally taken on a life of its own’ said Jackie. ‘We have 130 mem­bers and our mem­ber­ship has grown by 30 per cent since last year. Tra­di­tion­ally bee­keep­ing was re­garded as male dom­i­nated but more and more women are com­ing on board.

‘Last year’s fes­ti­val went great and we had a lot of in­ter­est from peo­ple want­ing to join the as­so­ci­a­tion’.

The honey fes­ti­val will fea­ture ob­ser­va­tional hives, honey tast­ings and sales, bee friendly plant sales, a home­made cake stall, face paint­ing, raf­fles, crafts and a hot food stall.

Bee­keep­ing in­for­ma­tion and honey tast­ings will be part of Ash­ford Honey Fes­ti­val.

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