The buzz of The Liberties took on a whole new meaning last week as Liberties-based community development group, Robert Emmet CDP added 20 hives of native Irish honeybees to its existing network of hives across Dublin 8.
The community development project’s Inner City Beekeeping Project was established in 2016 with the aim of enhancing Dublin 8’s natural environment, creating employment and education opportunities for the local community through a social enterprise, and getting a better understanding of the state of the area’s environment through technological innovation.
The project has gone from strength to strength, building a band of merry apiarists in the south west inner city, whose mission it is to serve the needs of thousands of honey bees and their demanding queens. Hives can be found in locations such as atop the Pearse Lyons Distillery, The GEC and in the Digital Hub and Adam & Eve’s Church as well as graveyards and gardens. The ever-busy bees are responsible for pollinating plants and flowers across the area, and later this year the bees will get a new patch to look after as a new park at Bridgefoot Street is set to open, with planting schemes designed especially to appeal to pollinators.
The Inner City Beekeeping Project currently employs two people and delivers an annual ten week ‘Beekeeping for Beginners’ course to local community members and aspiring Hive Hosts, which will be free from this year.
However, Bee8 is set to get even more hightech as RECDP is now working with The Digital Hub, Smart D8, and Tyndall Laboratories to create tiny sensors that can be attached to bees which will allow the local bee population to monitor air quality, plot pollination pathways, and map pathogens and other important environmental metrics across Dublin 8!
RECDP Director Austin Campbell says: “The appetite to get involved in beekeeping or helping to protect and sustain bee populations is huge and we were delighted to with response to our recent call-out for new hive locations around the area. We were able to add 20 new hives to the existing estabished colonies. We are especially thankful to Caroline Viguier from the Digital Hub and Smart D8 who are our main programme sponsors and without whom the projects continued growth would not be possible. However we’d really like to thank the Franciscans Ireland at Adam and Eve church who have also supported us from the beginning”.
Later in the summer, Austin highlights, D8 will become Bee8 as the environmental monitoring project goes live with a new website providing the public with live data on the local bee population. You’ll get all the buzz at www.bee8.ie (currently under construction).