Get a buzz from learning how to protect our bees so they can pollinate the food Wexford is famed for! Sign up for our Bee-Comb a Bee Family Trail and visit Johnstown Estate, Museum and Gardens as a bee! Find the perfect flowers around the gardens and participate in the workshops and demos around the Estate. The weekend-long event, against the backdrop of the newly opened Wexford heritage attraction, will highlight Irish honey’s value in terms of food and medicine and illustrate the links between bees and biodiversity.
Johnstown Castle, Estate, Museum and Gardens, in the heart of Ireland’s Ancient East and an internationally significant centre of food science research, is a perfect location for Ireland’s bee festival. Wexford has a rich culinary heritage and is known as the Model County for its exceptional farming and food heritage dating back thousands of years, with beekeeping one of the links to its celebrated Norman past. The native Irish Black Bee is the last remaining genetically pure native honey bee in Northern Europe, and researchers are considering the bee to repopulate the continent. The wild native Irish black bee hives at Johnstown originated in the battlements of the castle, and are part of a national scientific study into the management of Irish native black bees without any pesticides.
The delicious raw honey, harvested and bottled on site, reflects the biodiversity of our gardens and wild spaces. Visitors can stay in local, rural B&Bs set in the fields and hills where our bees forage for the seasonal wildflowers that give the honey its unique taste and properties. Like fine wines, honey has many varieties and they depend on the region’s seasonal flowers with their unique colours, flavours and medicinal properties. As well as honey, the festival will showcase herbs and soft fruits from the walled gardens which are dependent on bees for pollination. They will use this focus to celebrate and promote the increasingly popular ‘grow your own’ ethos.
The festival appeals to the growing interest in biodiversity, sustainability and food heritage, and creates links between Wexford’ landscape and the purity of the food on visitors’ plates. The festival’s programming is closely aligned with Ireland’s Ancient East, the Norman Way and the Celtic Roots Project and visitors will literally get a flavour of a thousand years of honey production at Johnstown Castle. This event is part of Taste the Island.