Abuzz with the joys of spring, staff at the National Space Centre are cracking open special jars of local — very local — honey in celebration of Earth Day. Last year, as part of a Green Campus initiative, NSC began hosting beehives for East Cork Honey. “We offer our 7-acre site to support honeybees as pollinators in natural habitats,” explained Operations Manager Mark Gibney. “Our high-tech Elfordstown campus is filled with wildflowers that help produce a superlative local East Cork honey.”
Through peak summer production, local beekeeper Niall Coffey will visit the NSC about one a week to check on the hives and to collect the honey produced at the Space Centre. “In a good year, you can expect about 40 pounds of honey per hive,” he explained. “There are three established, productive hives and two hives just getting started.”
NSC gets just a few jars of this special, very local honey, which is shared with staff. The rest is sold by Mr Coffey to support operation of the hives.
The hobbyist beekeeper got started when he bought his Midleton home and discovered a colony of wild bees in the attic. “My interest just grew from there,” said Coffey. Now retired, he establishes and tends beehives all around the Midleton area.
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