From 7:25 for 7:30
Helen Mooney keeps 20 stocks of bees in the West of Ireland in County Mayo. The climate is tough on bees that are not locally adapted to harsh damp weather, and with 12 years of beekeeping experience she has come to value the survival traits of the Dark bee. There is hybridisation to the North, in Sligo and also in South Mayo, but further South, in Connemara, County Galway are fellow Dark bee breeders and the overall Irish population remains robust and pure.
Helen is a Bee Master with the Federation of Irish Beekeepers Associations and a member of NIHBS, the Native Irish Honey Bee Society, for which she has written a chapter on basic genetics for beekeepers. Along with maintaining and breeding dark bees in several apiaries, she now teaches on the Diploma in Apiculture in the University of Galway, her friendship with Prof Grace McCormack, who set up this course, dating back 30 years to when they were both PhD students in that University.