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We are celebrating World Bee Day so I thought I'd share a little bit about how I got started beekeeping as well as a few useful resources.
How I started beekeeping
A few years ago I became familiar with beeswax and it's wonderful uses. Beeswax is a natural wax produced by bees for making honeycomb. This honeycomb stores honey which is also capped (sealed) with a thin layer of wax. Once the honey is removed the wax is cleaned and melted. This beeswax can be used to make many products such as candles, skincare products, beeswax wraps and wax for furniture or leather. After learning about all the great properties of beeswax I became fascinated with everything to do with bees. I had a neighbour who is a beekeeper and he encouraged me to do the beginners beekeeping course. That was two years ago. I got set up with my first hive and a colony of native Irish bees that summer. I got all my beekeeping gear from Donegal Bees, some guidance from local beekeepers and a very useful bee manual!
Photo credit Ruth Connolly
All Ireland Pollinator Plan
At Millbee, sustainability, and biodiversity, particularly our amazing bees are central to what we do. I absolutely love working with beeswax to create our candles, balm, and beeswax wraps, and I love documenting the beautiful nature and wildlife surrounding me. Millbee Studio also joined the Irish Pollinator Plan. The All-Ireland Pollinator Plan is about all of us, from farmers to local authorities, to schools, gardeners, and businesses, coming together to try to create an Ireland where pollinators can survive and thrive. To learn what you can do to help our bees there are lots of great resources on the Irish Pollinator Plan website.
This week is also National Biodiversity Week and you will find lots of useful resources on the Biodiversity Ireland website.
Share Your Bee Photos
We love to see your bee photos so if you would like to be featured in our social media pages simply tag @millbeestudio.
Happy World Bee day!
It feels like we are in a surreal moment in time. People's routines have changed drastically but what's interesting is how we are coming together as a community. Last week I did an interview with Amanda Kavanagh from Image.ie for a piece on bees and our community. It got me thinking more about our community and how strong and supportive we can be when we come together. Communities are coming together to look out for the elderly or those in need and support their local business. People are chatting to their neighbors over walls. Amongst all the mayhem of Covid-19, it's nice that time has slowed down and we are making time to talk to each other.
Adjusting to our new lives
It does feel that this is going on a long time but I think we are all adjusting to a radical change in our lives. I am normally self-motivated but I found this week difficult. An emotional rollercoaster! And I felt guilty as other people have it much more difficult than I do. We need to look after ourselves as well as each other during this time. Routines will be broken. New emotions are emerging (so many up and down days!) This is an adjusting period so I suppose we just have to roll with it!
This was me this time last year in a field of rapeseed. Image credit Ruth Connelly
Connecting with Nature
For a few minutes every day, I head out to the garden for a stroll. Taking in new blossoms, bumblebees, scents, and the sound of birds chirping. It's free therapy and I feel reenergized for a while longer. There has never been a better time to connect with nature. If you can, head for a walk in your garden or a local park. If you need a project to keep you sane, why not give gardening a go. Even if it's just potting plants. Irish seed savers have some great traditional varieties. If you want to find out more about bees or even start beekeeping have a read of the article in Image.ie.