Growing up in the middle of the countryside in Castlerahan on the Cavan/Meath border in an area called the Congo, surrounded by farmland which is totally unspoiled with old meadows full of wildflowers it was here I developed my interest and passion for nature at an early age. Having moved away from home due to work which saw me move to the West of Ireland ending up in Westport until I retired it was time to fulfil my passion for beekeeping and the environment.
Having completed the FIBKA beginners course and starting with 2 hives helped by my son Aaron and good beekeeping friends we have built our enterprise up to 50 hives with apiaries on farmers lands in the shadow of Croagh Patrick overlooking Clew Bay an area rich in old meadow land and ditches with old clover, and blackberry, old woods, and estates full of diverse old trees, orchards, and shrubs and heather on the hills, producing a surplus of Award-winning Golden Honey which is sold in the local shops but more important these bees help pollinate trees, crops, and flowers all over the area.
Every flower, tree, weed, and briar in a three to four mile radius of the hive are visited daily in season by our hardworking little pollinators in all sorts of weather. We are so lucky in the Wild West to have no crops of note which means that the farmers do not have to spray the crops which gives us a unique biodiverse honey from the West that is natural and un-pasteurised and never touched by the human hand, straight from the hive to the jar.
Elected onto the local Westport beekeeping Association committee on setup, helping to train over 300 new beekeepers in the Mayo area and putting our association on a very secure footing for the future I was then elected onto the FIBKA executive where I served Irish Beekeepers for a number of years as manager of An Beachaire producing the only beekeeping magazine for over 3500 Irish beekeepers and introducing new initiatives for the betterment of our environment and beekeepers.
Throughout this busy time, we continued to expand our beekeeping enterprise and studying for the FIBKA exams gaining the Intermediate Certificates and hoping to go on to the Senior through the Degree Course in N.U.I.G. We attended many courses, and lectures both home and abroad learning the craft of Beekeeping.