“If you ask ten different beekeepers a question about bees you’ll get ten different answers – and they’ll all be right!” This was just one aspect of the complex and fascinating world of beekeeping explored with Olly from Olly’s Farm in Wicklow during a recent event hosted by Symantec.
Symantec hosted this discussion on sustainable beekeeping with Olly’s Farm as part of its Earth Week events in support of the “Choosing Green in 2019” campaign. This yearlong campaign of environmental sustainability awareness, challenges, and initiatives encourages employees to take part in Symantec’s environmental sustainability efforts and provides education and ideas for individual actions.
Some of the actions during Earth Week (April 22-26) included planting wildflowers on site and building a dog sensory garden for Dog’s Trust. In May, Symantec will be focused on Circular Economy with a visit from the Rediscovery Centre and hosting Tri-REUSE for a WEEE recycling event. All of these events are part of Symantec’s larger commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility – a mature approach that has successfully translated global commitments into local action.
For Olly, a local approach is part of everyday business. In September 2012, Olly and his partner Chris bought property in the valley of Glenasmole and set about turning their acreage into a smallholding. Their goal is to be as self-sufficient as possible and while it’s still a work in progress, they now produce enough food on their organic farm for themselves and have a small surplus they sell locally. Olly’s beekeeping venture has also grown to 17 hives across South County Dublin, with each honey variety picking up flavour notes from the local flowers.
Olly understands, perhaps more than most, the delicate ecosystem he helps to preserve. He’s connected to the natural environment through his bees, and views his role as not just minding his own hives but as a greater responsibility to preserve and even restore ecosystems if possible.
Olly’s advice for companies interested in doing more to support bees and other pollinators is to sign up for the All Ireland Pollinator Plan. Today, one third of our bee species are threatened with extinction from Ireland. The All-Ireland Pollinator Plan provides a way for everyone to come together to create an environment where pollinators can survive and thrive.