09 Aug 2022

Tipperary beekeeper Ailbhe Gerrard set to have craft fair buzzing

Tipperary beekeeper Ailbhe Gerrard set to have craft fair buzzing

Ailbhe Gerrard

A Tipperary sustainable farmer will reveal how hive sharing is the new buzz word in Christmas gifts at Gifted Contemporary Craft and Design Fair in Dublin’s RDS from December 5 to 10.

The fair celebrates the best from over 600 Irish designers and makers from fashion to jewellery and beyond. 

Record-breaking crowds of over 45,000 are expected to generate more than €1m per day in sales at this year’s largest-ever six-day fair.

Ailbhe Gerrard from Brookfield Farm Hiveshare, Terryglass, ditched her job as a London construction project manager to live with 60,000 bees on her 75-acre sustainable farm.

Honey lovers who opt in for the sweet deal will receive jars of honey, beeswax candles and lip balm, depending on their share size, as well as an invitation to visit and collect the honey from the apiary themselves.

“I retrained in sustainable development and in organic farming and saw the importance of bio-diversity so I decided to put hives on my farm and share them as I think the more you include people, the more they are interested,” said Ailbhe.

“The hive share protects the threatened bees and the beeswax candles are popular in homes as not only are they non-pollutant but they also purify the air.”

Ailbhe, who also used her construction skills to help rebuild schools in Sri Lanka and Pakistan, in the aftermath of natural disasters, also dedicates two-thirds of her farm to forestry and wild flowers.

A number of local crafts people and food producers will take part at the event, including jewellery designer Christina Keogh; fashion illustrator Jane Ryan; Rainbow Gear, The Scullery, Emerald Oils, Cooleeney Farm and Crowe Farm.

Among the others exhibiting are Irish Piedmontese Beef, Tipperary Kitchen, Lisduff Fine Foods, Cashel Farmhouse Cheesemakers, Country Choice, Crossogue Preserves and ceramicist Thomas Woollen from Cloughjordan.

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