The first honey produced in a former Council landfill site as part of an innovative sustainability project will be sold to help local charities.
The first extraction from the disused Aughnagun Landfill Site in Mayobridge resulted in 72 jars, 20 of which will be donated to local food banks, and the rest sold to raise money for charities chosen by Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Cllr Michael Savage.
The Council, working in partnership with County Louth Beekeepers Association, has placed four beehives on the old Aughnagun landfill site in Mayobridge since June 2022. The beekeepers were given permission to use the site as a new home for their native Irish black honeybees, which were once threatened with extinction. County Louth beekeepers, along with others, are working to increase the population of our native bee.
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Michael Savage said, “Having seen this fascinating project get up and running in Aughnagun at first hand, I’m delighted to see what has resulted.
“An oldlandfill site may seem an unlikely location, but it turns out there is a huge potential for wildlife and biodiversity here. The Council is signed up to the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan, which means we are committed to helping vital pollinators such as bees.
“I’m pleased that from the first batch of honey we will be able to make a small donation to the Newry Larder and Fountain Foodbank in Downpatrick and sell the remaining locally to raise funds for my chosen charities as Chairperson ― Southern Area Hospice Services, Suicide Down to Zero, St Vincent De Paul and The Simon Community. We’re aware of the significant interest to date in this project and do hope to make more available in future.”
Louth Beekeepers Association member, Billy Campbell said there were currently 40,000 to 50,000 bees on site.
“As the bees were happy at Aughnagun and they have easy access to good foraging locally, they soon began to produce honey,” he said. “Brownfield sites such as these are usually covered in flowering plants, which provide plenty of food for pollinators.
“Due to the success of the project to date, we also want it to form part of an education programme. In partnership with the Council, we will be running a competition in local primary schools to design a label for the Aughnagun Honey that is produced going forward.”