top of page
IMG_3116.JPG

Our Story

From our Hives to your Home

Our Story: About

All About Us

Generations of Beekeeping

Meet Pat and Fiona McCormack, beekeepers from Abbeyshrule, County Longford. Alongside their two children, they maintain native Irish honey bees (Apis melifera melifera) near the River Inny and Royal Canal, with four apiaries within a 10km radius of Abbeyshrule. Their hives are placed at The Farmhouse and other areas abundant with diverse flora including bramble, blackthorn, willow, gorse, dandelion, clover, lime, and willowherb, far from intensive farming.

 

Both Pat and Fiona have a background in horticulture, with Fiona having studied at Warrenstown College and Pat at An Grianan where he also took a beekeeping course. After talking about their dream to keep bees for years, they finally started in 2019 with a hive from Fiona's aunt who was retiring after many years of beekeeping. The bees and beekeeping tradition have been in their family for generations, passed down from Fiona's uncle to her aunt and now to them. In 2022, The Farmhouse was a finalist in the Irish Food Awards, showcasing their dedication to beekeeping and producing high-quality products.

Kids-The-Farmhouse.jpg
Pat-Fiona-The-Farmhouse
WhatsApp Image 2023-02-08 at 11.19.30
WhatsApp Image 2023-02-08 at 14.03.39
Busy with the bees at The Farmhouse in Abbeyshrule
Learning about honey bees at The Farmhouse in Abbeyshrule
Learning about honey bees at The Farmhouse in Abbeyshrule
Bee hive at The Farmhouse in Abbeyshrule
Fiona at The Farmhouse in Abbeyshrule
Our Story: About

Our Local Area

Abbeyshrule, Longford

Abbeyshrule, in County Longford, is a picturesque village with stunning scenery, including The Farmhouse apiary between the banks of the River Inny and the Royal Canal Greenway.  Abbeyshrule is less than 10km from Ballymahon & Center Parcs Longford Forest. The apiary is surrounded by a vibrant wildflower meadow, creating the perfect habitat for thriving pollinators. In 2022, The Native Irish Honey Bee Society declared The Farmhouse a conservation area for the native Irish honeybee. Pat and Fiona manage apiaries within 10km of Abbeyshrule, hosting 40 colonies that produce their signature line of raw Irish honey products; Spring honey, Summer honey, Heather honey & Ivy honey, as well as pure beeswax candles.

The River Inny, Abbeyshrule, County Longford
IMG_3534
Swans on the river Inny near The Farmhouse in Abbeyshrule
Beehives at The Farmhouse in Abbeyshrule
Swans on the river Inny near The Farmhouse in Abbeyshrule
The River Inny near The Farmhouse in Abbeyshrule
Beehives at The Farmhouse in Abbeyshrule
Wildflowers on the River Inny near The Farmhouse in Abbeyshrule
Our Story: About

Our Bees

Native Irish Black Bees

We specialise in raising Native Irish Black Queen Bees (Apis mellifera melifera) with a goal to preserve the unique characteristics of Ireland's solitary bees. Our values align with the Native Irish Honey Bee Society in protecting the threatened species from hybridization and loss due to non-native bee imports. As a precious genetic resource, it's crucial to safeguard the solitary bee, a sub-species of the Dark European Honey Bee that once flourished in most of Europe, but is now scarce.

Queen Rearing

At The Farmhouse apiary, Pat and Fiona rear queens for replacement in production colonies and for sale as queens or nucs. They select only the best bee stocks, exhibiting traits such as low swarming, ease of handling, high productivity, and good hygiene.

 

Queen rearing is performed at their home apiary, where designated colonies provide drones. The method of grafting is used, with the first grafts done in late April and the last in August. Grafting involves taking a young larvae and placing it in a cell cup, which is then fed royal jelly by the bees to produce a new queen. The sealed queen cell is given to a small colony, where the virgin queen emerges, mates, and begins laying eggs. This mated queen can then be sold or used in another colony or left to develop into a nuc. The remaining bees in the mating nuc receive another sealed queen cell to start the process again.

If you're interested in ordering our queens or nucs, please get in touch via our Contact Form or send us an email to info@thefarmhouse.ie

*Please note: It is possible that you will be on a waiting list for queens because we cannot guarantee how many we can produce at a time. It all depends on the bees and the weather for when they go out to mate!

The Farmhouse Raw Honey - Native Irish Black Bees
Native Irish Black Bees at The Farmhouse in Abbeyshrule
Native Irish Black Bees at The Farmhouse in Abbeyshrule in Longford
Bee foraging for pollen at The Farmhouse in Abbeyshrule
Our Story: About
bottom of page