And a Cork-based artisan is turning her passion for the humble Irish bee into retail gold, with a prestigious industry nod under her beekeeping veil to prove it.
A beekeeper with a passion for edible gardening, nature, color and sustainability, Hanna’s Honey Farm in Little Island, run by Hanna Bäckmo, has been shortlisted in the Sustainability category of the Irish Made Awards 2022, organized by Irish Country Magazine.
Its line of handmade beeswax candles, raw honey, beeswax wrappers, furniture polishes and honey soaps are sold on its website and in some of the major food and artisan gifts from Ireland.
Earlier this year, as the trend towards sustainability gained even greater momentum, Hanna’s products also became available at luxury retailers, including Brown Thomas in Dundrum and Arnotts, as well as a number of UK stores. food and giftware selected in the United States.
Hanna, who moved to Ireland from her native Sweden in 2001, keeps native Irish bees in her apiaries, harvesting their raw honey, as well as beeswax and propolis to use for her product collection. Naturally free of toxins, additives and artificial fragrances, the products are created for use in homes with children and pets, and for those with allergen sensitivities.
“People often say you have to be a bit crazy to try to make a living from beekeeping in Ireland,” says Hanna.
“I think they are right! But I have never let that discourage me. Beekeeping is my calling, and I am very lucky to have received great support and encouragement from my friends. and the wider beekeeping community.
“My bees and I work together.”
“All of my craft bee products begin their journey in the hive, where my bees and I work together. I spend a lot of time raising healthy bees, protecting them, and making sure they have what they need. they need. In turn, they reward me with the finest natural, honey-scented raw materials that I use to create my products.
Hanna is actively engaged in educating beekeepers and the public about the importance of pollinators and bees. She can be seen visiting schools and businesses with her observation hive, often with her son Julius (5), in tow, proudly sporting her beekeeping outfit and enthusiastically telling people that all worker bees are females and that the boy bees, or drones, “do not work and have very hairy butts! (all true).
To celebrate her selection for the Irish Country Magazine Irish Made Awards 2022, Hanna is offering 20% off the entire range of lovely reusable beeswax wraps (perfect for school lunch boxes), raw Irish honey and candles handmade beeswax on hannabees.ie.