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Austin Campbell, director of the Robert Emmet Community Development Project, told the Liberty about the inner city beekeeping project. 

With an increase in sugar tax and worries about health, people have turned towards a more natural form of sweetness, honey, for their sugar cravings. For honey, you need bees – and they need flowers.  

“We started the project to create awareness about the lack of green resources in the area and involve the community in developing more appropriate green resources,” said Austin Campbell, director of the Robert Emmet Community Development Project, which runs an inner city beekeeping project twice a year.

“We introduced the beekeeping project in 2017 and set up hives in the Liberties, on Cook Street and Thomas Street. 

“It fits into our wider vision and mission in the south west inner city area. We got started by contacting Dublin Beekeepers Association and it’s grown from there,” said Campbell.  

“It is far easier to engage a community in a hands on project rather than speak about deficiencies!”   

DIRECTOR OF THE ROBERT EMMET COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PROJECT, AUSTIN CAMPBELL.

“The project is also a means of giving participants responsibility. This responsibility then can be transferred to other areas of social or public life for the individual and the common good of the area. 

“Beekeeping is a tangible way to promote environmental and social sustainability. It is far easier to engage a community in a hands-on project rather than speak about deficiencies in appropriate green resources and associated health outcomes!”

“The project is a social enterprise and one person is currently employed out of the revenue generated through honey sales,” said Campbell.

The beekeeping course “runs for eight weeks and is free, if a site to host a hive is provided. The bees are provided by RECDP,” said Campbell.   

“Minimal space is required for hives. A safety assessment of potential hive sites can be carried out by the RECDP to establish a safe place.”  

But don’t bees, you know, sting?

“There is a minimal risk but it can be avoided by wearing the appropriate suits and if the hive is managed carefully with smokers,” Campbell said.   

Photo courtesy: Flickr.com  

“It costs approximately €700 for a person to buy a nucleus colony or nuc, hive and bee population in addition to implements and suits.  

“The RECDP is currently providing the nuc, hive and bee population (worth €500) to partner organisations or individuals willing to host a hive in the Liberties area,” said Campbell.

Campbell suggested it was wise for those interested to get in touch with Dublin Beekeepers Association and “get some experience before investing in the whole beekeeping kit” and the course.   

RECDP work with trained beekeeper for the Dublin Beekeepers Association, Liam McGarry in addition to their own beekeeper, Anthony O’ Brien to manage their sites. 

For more information contact austin@recdp.ie. 

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