The ONE and ONLY private SANCTUARY

in the world completely dedicated to

NATIVE WILD BEES

We don't do hives and honey

WE DO WILD!

so we’re a bee sanctuary – so what?

what is a bee sanctuary anyway? – why should you care what a bee sanctuary is?

why should you care about bees? – annoying stingy buzzy things that they are? a bee sanctuary? – probably just some guy with an acre of land and a few
hives trying to make a few bob.

you kinda like bees but they’re not a major factor in your life, right? they’ve been here forever and those guys with the masks and hives look after them, right?
we get it…you’re busy…BUT…what if you’re wrong?

what if the guys with the hives don’t ‘got it’?
what if bees play a bigger part in your life than you realise?
what if the bees have been around forever but are not looking like being around for much longer?
what if the bees are in serious trouble?
what if they’re not just annoying buzzy things and are highly unlikely to
ever sting you?

what if  THE BEE SANCTUARY OF IRELAND isn’t just some guy with a few
hives and honey bees making honey and a few bob out of bees?
what if  THE BEE SANCTUARY OF IRELAND is a for real sanctuary with no
hives and no honey on 55 acres of for real bee friendly habitat and what
if they aren’t looking to make loads of money but just want to play their
part in the fight to save our native wild bees?

what if they want to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth about our bees?
what if they want to inspire and educate everyone to join in this mission?

what if they have a vision as to how to really help our bees?
what if they’re for real for real?

WE ARE.

so what are we?

we are inspiring
we are reconnection
we are fields of wildflower meadows, sunflowers, phacelia, clovers and mustard buzzing with bees and dancing with butterflies.
we are vast hedgerows unkempt and full of nettles, brambles, thistles,
wildflowers and life.
we are trees filled with a cacophony of birdsong.

we are quite literally a breathe of fresh air.

 

we are also a 12 acre wetland area with lakes and ponds untouched for almost a decade and home to frogs, newts, waterbirds and rare wildflowers.

a wondrous wild place patrolled all summer by dragonflies and filled with damselflies floating like feathers on the breeze.

a refuge often sought by wild swans, ducks, herons and cormorants

we are grazing deer, otters, foxes, rabbits and squirrels both red and grey.

screeching barn owls, nesting sparrowhawks, soaring buzzard and kites.

we are a pause.
an escape.
a healing.
we are necessary.

 

we are the best future – here in the present

 

we are 55 acres of vegan organic land managed specifically for bees
and nature nestled in the scenic foothills of the wicklow mountains.

55 acres? how big is that?
 the easiest way to give you a feel for how big we are is to compare us to something you might know – a football pitch!

we’re the same size as 31 football pitches 

its big enough but at the same time never big enough – for nature no
amount of land is ever big enough.

organic? what is that?
simply – we don’t use chemicals to control or promote growth on the
land. We work with and for nature. Respect our precious soil.

vegan organic? what’s that?
no chemicals plus we don’t farm animals. we don’t keep hives. We are currently the only certified veganic land in Ireland we believe.

we don’t use any inputs that are derived from animals.

so who are we?

we are a family of six.
mum, dad and four kids.
ordinary as ordinary can be. special to one another.

we don’t like talking about ourselves – we like talking about bees and nature and climate – but we’re told you’ll want to know a little bit about us.

So….
we bought a farm nine years ago. took a look at what was going on
with nature and farming and decided to do things a bit differently.
we’re not academics.
we’re not scientists.
we’re not ecologists.
we are learning as we go.
on the ground.
we love the place we are lucky to have landed in.
the small piece of land we get to mind for future generations.
so…we are now reluctant activists.
we want a future worth living in.
we want to be able to look our kids in the eye and say we tried our
best.
we fought the good fight.
we didn’t give up.
didn’t let mistruths, half truths and ignorance go unchallenged.
we want bees to be in this future.
no it’s more than want…. it’s need…we need bees to be in this future
and all other insects and creatures too.
there is no future worth calling a future without them.

so why are we?

in case you haven’t heard – nature is in serious trouble.
extinction is in the air – insects are disappearing at an alarming rate.

bees are disappearing.

humans are not separate to nature. we have become detached from
nature. disconnected for sure. but still we are intrinsically and
fundamentally of nature.

we are as much nature as the birds. as the trees.
so…
if nature is in trouble then so are we.

it really is that simple.

we all need to realise this.
right now.
we need to act on this knowledge
right now.

at THE BEE SANCTUARY OF IRELAND we are acting on this, right now.
if we get it right for the bees we’re on the right track.
we’re reversing the trend. sounding the charge.

save the bees.
save the world.

so why are we different?

we don’t want to be here.
doing this.
saving a species.
advocating for nature.
saving the planet.
whatever you want to call it.
we shouldn’t have to be.
but we are.
this whole thing embarrasses us.
we’re quiet, private people.
but our nature won’t let us stand quietly by
while our natural systems collapse around us.
while our kids’ future diminishes.
while the bees disappear.
we are about action
the time to act is now.
not tomorrow
not next week
not next year
not after the next conference
not after the next five year study is complete.
now
we are taking action every day simply by being here.
we live and breathe this
this isn’t a side show in our lives it’s the main event

we’re about honesty
tell it like it is reality
be blunt
look the problem in the eye
find a real solution
act
no pretence
no half measures
take no prisoners
acknowledge mistakes…

learn and improve
no fear
no regrets

so where are we?

specifically:
ireland – small island hanging off western europe
wicklow – a coastal county on the east of ireland known as the
garden of ireland
coolafancy – a tiny village in south county wicklow one hour from
dublin.

lets paint a picture:
you drive down the motorway from dublin for about 40 minutes. as you
travel you gradually notice fewer and fewer cars surround you on the road.
by the time you reach the relevant exit you’ve practically got the road to
yourself. you turn onto a side road and for twenty minutes journey
through a typical rural landscape of bungalows with huge gateways
surrounded by fields of grass and cattle, edged with hedges and trees
tidied to monotony and uselessness. after a few twists and turns you
come to a laneway with a low stone walled entrance.

this is us.

you turn down this laneway and drive very slowly for about half a mile.
grass tugs at the bottom of your car and brambles and gorse reach out
to you as you approach. birds will probably lead you in – flying before
you like nature’s cherubs announcing your arrival. butterflies, bees and
a multitude of tiny insects dance all around. as you drive the world
you’ve just left begins to melt away as you wonder where this laneway
leads. how long can a laneway be? is this the right location?
what can be down here? the trees and vegetation start to enclose
around you. can this be the right place? really?

and then…

you arrive at the bottom of the lane and you understand. you get it.
you’ve found sanctuary.

the ONLY sanctuary in the world for wild bees.

short version: coolafancy, co. wicklow, ireland.
check the map.