Beekeepers serving up a second helping of Ashford Honey Festival
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.