Rooftop apiaries have become a fixture in cities such as London and Tokyo in recent years, and today Dublin welcomed the first bee colony to be housed on a commercial building.
The initiative, led by Drogheda based business Boyne Valley Honey in partnership with AIB, will see over 200,000 honeybees located on the sixth story roof of AIB Bankcentre in Ballsbridge.
The Boyne Valley Group has been a long-standing customer of AIB for 58 years. During this time, the company has grown to encompass 2,000 products and employ over 200 people in the Drogheda area. Most recently, the Bank supported Boyne Valley's acquisition of a number of the Premier Food Groups Irish brands - Chivers, McDonnells and Erin Soups.
It is expected the bees will pollinate a myriad of flowers and trees within a five kilometre radius of the hives and produce an average of 20 jars of honey per hive by the end of the summer.
Simon Scroope, Head of AIB Corporate Banking said, "When Malachy McCloskey approached us and asked us to support Boyne Valley's work on the sustainability of the Irish bee population we were delighted to help. The apiary illustrates our commitment to do all that we can to support our corporate banking customers, while enhancing the environment in the local area."
Boyne Valley Group President Malachy McCloskey, a Drogheda native who founded the company in 1960, said: "We are delighted that AIB is supporting our efforts to increase the Irish Bee population. AIB Bankcentre is an ideal space as the roof is a perfect height, and the bees will be able to forage for nectar and pollinate the nearby parks and gardens of Ballsbridge." "For us it is the continuation of the relationship that started our business over 60 years ago, when one of our customers gave us a few jars of honey. We are now passing the torch on to AIB to help continue our honey-making tradition," added Mr. McCloskey.
Boyne Valley Ireland's largest packer of honey, works closely with the Federation of Irish Bee Keepers' Associations (FIBKA) to increase the population of Irish bees. The installation of the Boyne Valley - AIB Apiary was overseen by beekeeper Philip McCabe, President of the European Commission of Apimondia.
Urban beekeeping has grown in popularity in recent years, partly in response to falling population levels of honeybees globally. It is estimated that bees are responsible for pollinating one third of the world's food supply.
Notes to Editor
About Boyne Valley
Privately owned Boyne Valley Group is best known as the producer of Boyne Valley Honey, but its range of major brands includes Panda Peanut Butter, Don Carlos Olive Oils and Spanish Foods, Harvest Fare Snacks, Lifeforce Cereals, Giovanni Di Firenze Italian Foods, Chivers Jams, Jellies and marmalades, Erin Soups, McDonnells Noodles and Curry Sauce, Homecook Range of Homebaking Products, Rob Roy Seafoods, Lakeshore Mustards and Dressings. Non Food Companies in the Group include Killeen cleaning products and refuse bags, and Irish Breeze soap and cotton wool.
About AIB Corporate Banking
AIB Corporate Banking is Ireland's leading provider of financial services for both the foreign direct investment and Irish corporate market. Their philosophy is to work closely with their customers, sharing their industry expertise to add value at every opportunity.