I have the best job in the world!
This thought runs through my head every single time I put on my bee suit, and it makes me feel incredibly lucky and happy. After nearly twenty years of designing and making wedding dresses, I took the plunge and became a full-time beekeeper. It has been a steep learning curve, not without complications and lots of hard work, but it’s a job so rewarding that I look forward to going out to work every single day.
Growing up on a small, car-free island off the west coast of Sweden, I spent my childhood as a very free-range child, exploring the rocky shores and woods together with my siblings. Sailing and swimming were favourite past-times during summer, while dark winter days were spent inventing, creating, and building useful things. The curiosity, creativity and love of nature that was born then has stayed with me all my life and permeates everything I do, from gardening and beekeeping, to parenting and creating natural and sustainable products from what Mother Nature has to offer.
I took up beekeeping because, having a large kitchen garden, I wanted to ensure that crops of early-flowering fruit and berries were pollinated. I enrolled in a beginner’s course and acquired my first hive. After just a few years, I was hooked. There is something quite extraordinary and serene about working with bees, and now I can’t imagine life without them. I’m fortunate to be the mother of a little boy who thinks exactly the same, who, despite the fact that our smoker is nearly bigger than he is, loves helping me with the bees. Sharing my beekeeping journey with him and encouraging him to develop a sense of curiosity and love of the natural world is one of the most rewarding things I have done as a parent.
Combining my two passions of sewing and beekeeping, I created Hanna’s Bees to offer Irish-made reusable beeswax food wraps at a time when there were no Irish-made wraps available. As the first maker of Irish beeswax wraps and vegan wraps, I supply a large number of retailers throughout Ireland. The business has now grown to incorporate Irish handmade beeswax candles, honey from our own hives and other honeybee products such as propolis and pure beeswax. What started out as a desire for a viable ecosystem in my back garden has grown organically into an artisan cottage business, creating beautiful, useful, natural, and delicious products for you to enjoy, straight from my hives to your home.
Dressmaker is now Cork’s queen bee (echolive.ie)
Refractometer – All You Need to Know | Bee Culture