The Native Irish Honey Bee Society have joined up with Irish Seed Savers to help in the conservation of Ireland’s native black honeybees.

“Irish Seed Savers have signed up to be A Voluntary Conservation Area for Ireland’s native black honeybees. Irish Seed Savers are committed to preserving the local genetic character of our indigenous black honeybees through a hands-off bee-centred approach. By creating appropriate habitat opportunities for these boreal insects to thrive and to improve their resilience to the many, many challenges they are facing.” – Jeremy Turkington, Orchard Curator 

The Irish Seed Savers Association (ISSA) have made a major contribution to the protection and enhancement of nature on farms, gardens and across Ireland for over 30 years. We have erected four log hives in trees around the orchards one of which has already been occupied by a swarm of native Irish black bees and we wait patiently for swarms to find the rest during the balmy days in June. These colonies are hugely beneficial to the pollination of our orchards.  We have also transferred the two colonies in our two national hives into two transfer log hives which have settled in very well.

Log hives installed at Irish Seed Savers

ISSA conserve Ireland’s threatened plant genetic resources and maintain a public seed bank of over 600 varieties of seed. They preserve heirloom and heritage food crop varieties that are suitable for Ireland and local growing conditions, contributing to the nation’s food security. They provide a unique service to the nation in terms of supply of organic heritage seeds and apples trees. The 20 acre farm, gardens and visitor trail at Capparoe, Scarriff, Co. Clare is an inspiration, ably demonstrating intelligent land management and best practice in organic farming and farming for nature. They supply seeds of vegetables, grains, herbs and edible flowers, as well as apple trees the progeny of which, thanks to ISSA, adorn many an orchard across Ireland today.

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