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Magic Nature – “The Buses & the Bees”

Hiveshare bees © Ailbhe Gerrard – Brookfield Farm, Ireland

The increased annual losses in honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies in Europe and North America is quite alarming because bees are globally important for crop pollination, but human activity is also causing the spread of pathogens that harm bee species. Carelessness in pesticide application has led to an overuse of pesticides and antibiotic resistance in honeybee parasites. The United Nations says the world's bees face multiple threats and unless something is done to halt their decline, there could be serious long-term consequences for food supplies. Without bees, we face a massive pollination crisis that will affect the whole planet.

"The way humanity manages or mismanages its nature-based assets, including pollinators, will in part define our collective future in the 21st century," said United Nations Environment Programme executive director, Mr. Achim Steiner.

Mr. Martin Smith, President of the British Beekeepers Association, says "The BBKA is very pleased that the United Nations recognises the economic importance of managed honey bees, which make a £153 billion contribution to global food production. We urge increased planting of wild flower margins around agricultural fields and also stronger guidance to local authorities on increasing flowering trees and wild flower planting in towns and cities."

"The problems facing honeybees today are complex and will not be easy to mitigate," says bee researcher Mr. Robert Owen from the Entomological Society of America. “Until people accept responsibility for the environment and acknowledge that our actions are making the future a less attractive place in which to live, we are doomed to live in a less sustainable world.”

So how exactly could the coach and group travel sectors help alleviate this situation? “Magic Nature” is the leading theme for the RDA Group Travel Expos 2018 in Friedrichshafen and in Cologne. This presents an excellent opportunity to explore how group travel wholesalers, coach holiday operators, their suppliers and customers could assist in maintaining and supporting honeybee populations in coach holiday destinations.

One interesting idea that can be easily applied and enjoyed is the concept of hiveshare – whereby companies or individuals purchase shares in beehives and organic honey production. An excellent example of hiveshare in practice is Brookfield Farm on the shores of Lough Derg in Co. Tipperary, Ireland. Its owner, Ms. Ailbhe Gerrard, is not only interested in bees but is keen to make her farm a sanctuary for wildlife and insects, as well as producing excellent farm food.

Brookfield Farm honey is a raw Irish honey gathered by bees from the large range of seasonal Irish wildflowers and tree blossoms. “We do very little to the honey, just extract from the natural comb and filter before putting this raw super-food into jars. Our bees are native Irish black bees, well adapted to our damp and cool climate. Bees travel up to five miles to forage for nectar and pollen. Each bee collects about 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey in her entire lifetime, so it is very precious” says Ms. Gerrard.

What could be nicer for coach holiday customers than honey from their own hive/s? Hiveshare helps bees and beekeepers and gives holidaymakers a unique insight into the cycle of seasons on the farm and the story of their very “own bees and hives”. Added bonuses are the natural handmade beeswax candles and honey gift boxes made on the farm that come with Hiveshare. Dedicated farm visits can also bring it all to life and make it far more personal and memorable during the course of an escorted tour to the destination.

Further information:




Annette Heinemann
Phone: +49 2244 90 33 33
Facsimile: +49 2244 87 74 22

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