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Bees making a buzz around The Liberties

Bees in a honeycomb. Credit: Eamon Magee

Keeping bees on the roofs of city homes has become fashionable and trendy around the world. These tiny residents pollinate flowers, produce honey and get people back in touch with nature in a busy environment. Bridgefoot Street in Dublin has welcomed our bee neighbours and made them part of the family.

 

“There’s a massive amount of people who have the best intentions for nature and the environment and the biodiversity of the country. There are solutions to make sure that both sectors can work together, and this is not a war between rural Ireland and urban Ireland, we are all for the one island,” Peadar Tóibín, Sinn Féin spokesperson on Arts, Heritage, Culture and the Gaeltacht, told The Liberty.

 

“We all share the same space and depend on the same environment, so I wish you luck on your campaign,” Tóibín told a group of beekeepers at a demonstration outside the Dáil in late April seeking better legislative protection for honey bees.

 

Research from other countries suggests bees reared in cities are more productive than their country cousins. One of the greatest assets for urban bees is biodiversity – the variety of trees, petals and shrubs placed in a city – plus fewer pesticides.  

 

The development of Bridgefoot Park is due to start in June and the community garden has been included in the project.

 

“It is important to have green spaces in the area,” says Richard Taplin gardener in Bridgefoot Street Community Garden.

 

“Some of the best honey in the world is produced in the city . . . because of the variety of nectar and pollen that’s available to the bees,” says Gerry Ryan, president of the Federation of Irish Beekeepers Associations (FIBKA).

 

“We need to keep what we have, keep old trees, keep our natural environment, it is the most important,” he added.

 

“I was involved with city bees in Bridgefoot Street but there’s not a lot of green area in Bridgefoot Street. We have the community garden up there but it wouldn’t sustain them,” says Eamon Magee, past president of FIBKA.

 

All the wildlife is in trouble, the frogs, the birds, the bees, butterflies, everything have been

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