As a beekeeper I can never learn enough about the keeping of these amazing creatures. I am always learning about the craft of keeping bees and most, if not all, of that comes through spending time with other beekeepers and sharing experiences. I had the privilege yesterday, while vacationing in Ireland, to meet one of the nicest, most innovative and smartest beekeepers I have ever met. His name is Olly Nolan and he keeps bees about a half hour outside of Dublin. Currently he is managing 42 hives. Olly’s dream and desire is to become the largest beekeeper in Ireland. After spending time with him I am convinced that he will achieve that dream.
When I knew I was coming to Ireland I worked on reaching out to various beekeeping groups/organizations in Ireland and it was through this effort that I came across Olly. He was kind enough to host me for a visit to his farm. Recently his Heather Honey received GOLD from the “Blas Na HEireann Irish Food Awards” based in Dublin, and was also named “Best Food Producer in Dublin” for his Heather honey! We talked bees and beekeeping for over an hour. I brought him a couple of Muth jars of my honey as a gift and he returned the favor with a jar of his Heather Honey. I also bought a few more jars of some of his other varieties.
This was my first ever trip to Ireland and, Lord willing, perhaps I can come back again some day. If I do I will once again swing by Olly’s Farm and spend time with my new friend talking bees. It is amazing the friendships that can be made through the love of these amazing creatures. If the Lord allows me to come back to visit Olly one day I am convinced I will be spending that time with Ireland’s largest beekeeper!
(photo: Olly Nolan holding the gift of two Muth jars of my honey from the States)