Dublin’s Bee8

Our bees, our community

A SWEET BEGINNING - In the Summer of 2021, I found myself discovering Bee8, an urban beekeeping social enterprise developed and managed by Robert Emmet Community Development Project in Dublin, while conducting #cityofcare. Bee8 manages 23 hives within Dublin 8. The organization doesn’t only produce honey, they also manage several educational and therapeutic beekeeping programs. Anthony Freeman O’Brien, Operations Manager at Bee8, explained me that their social enterprise “is focused on empowering residents to take control of their own lives by being able to practice mindfulness and find comfort in beekeeping. This is a place for our community. This is a place for healing. It’s also a place for learning how to take care of the bees and produce honey”. Thanks Anthony for posing in these photographs!

Contrary to what one might expect, bees thrive in an urban environment. They survive better, produce more honey, and are healthier than rural bees. And nowadays the buzz of The Dublin's Liberties has taken on a whole new meaning as Bee8 have added 20 hives of native Irish honeybees to its existing network of hives across Dublin 8.

The Bee8 Inner City Beekeeping Project has gone from strength to strength, building a band of merry apiarists in the South West Inner City of Dublin, whose mission it is to serve the needs of thousands of honey bees and their demanding queens. Hives can be found in locations such as the Pearse Lyons Distillery, The GEC and in the Digital Hub and Adam & Eve’s Church as well as graveyards and gardens. The ever-busy bees are responsible for pollinating plants and flowers across the area.

Bee8 is also socially sustainable as it is designed to create employment and education opportunities, enhance biodiversity and collect and share environmental data (through use of sensors etc) through beekeeping, in Dublin 8!

We can all do our bit to help bees whether that’s in our gardens, balconies or windowsills. Plant a range of flowers in your garden so bees have access to nectar from March to October. Bees love traditional cottage garden flowers and native wildflowers, like primrose, buddleia, and marigolds. Lets get green fingered and help a bee out. Below the Guinness Enterprise Centre 'living roof' image pictured for some added inspiration.