The MacGiollaCoda Family
Welcome to Galtee Honey Farm, home to 200 colonies of Native Irish Black Honey Bees – a threatened honey bee. Nestled at the edge of the picturesque Glengarra Wood in the Galtee Vee Valley, the bees are placed throughout the countryside where the three counties of Tipperary, Limerick and Cork meet. It was established by Micheál Mac Giolla Coda in 1970. While forestor of Glengarra Forest, he also grew up with beekeeping. He decided to continue the family tradition, and to breed the Native Black Honey Bee of Ireland which was for at one time under threat of extinction.
The skills and knowledge he has acquired over the years have been handed down to his 6 children, including his daughter Aoife who officially took over Galtee Honey Farm in 2013. Her children Hannah and Micheál are currently learning about bees and beekeeping. Micheál and Aoife are both certified beekeeping lecturers. They teach beekeeping skills to others through lectures, beginners courses and workshops at beekeeping clubs around Ireland.
Micheál is a former president of the Federation of Irish Beekeepers Associations (FIBKA) and the Bee Improvement & Bee Breeders Association (BIBBA). Micheál is also a honey judge, having judged at honey competitions and shows both in Ireland and abroad.
Aoife is a former Public Relations Officer of Native Irish Honey Bee Society (NIHBS). She was once a regular contributor to An Beachaire – the Irish Beekeeping Journal. She currently takes part in the Honey Bee Steering Group for the All Ireland Pollinator Plan. They were both involved in the formation of NIHBS.
Beekeeping for both Micheál and Aoife at Galtee Honey Farm is a vocation and a way of life. It is driven mainly by and urge to protect and nurture honey bees.