In May of this year, Olly’s Farm began the process of making honey on the roof of the Teeling Distillery. The Teeling Bees have been hard at work for the past few months and have successfully produced some delicious honey. We’re delighted to announce that Teeling Honey is now available to buy in the Teeling Distillery Gift Shop! In August of this year, the Distillery Digest was taken over by the man behind the bees, Olly Nolan. Read below as he explains his beekeeping story and how his collaboration with Teeling came about.
In September 2012, after a lot of searching around Dublin, myself and my partner Chris bought a house with some land in the valley of Glenasmole in the Dublin Mountains. We set about making it into a smallholding. Our goal is consistently to be as self-sufficient as we can, from the point of view of both food and energy, and to combine it with modern living. We are now growing and producing most of what we eat – great natural food reared and grown organically on our farm.
On top of this I’m also a beekeeper, keeping many hives all over Dublin and North Wicklow from the orchard in the Powerscourt Estate to the new hives on the roof of the Teeling Whiskey Distillery. When I moved to our smallholding in 2012 I brought one beehive with me and now, 6 years later, I have over 70 beehives dispersed across the east coast.
I’ve always had a great relationship with the guys at Teeling Whiskey, and after sharing my honey at the Spirit of Dublin Craft Fair last Christmas, myself and Rebecca (Marketing Manager at Teeling Whiskey) talked about the idea of getting bees onto the distillery roof. Finally, this year we managed to make this happen when back in May the first two beehives were moved to the Teeling rooftop. Since then two more beehives have moved up and hopefully a few more before the winter sets in so they are all ready to go next spring making honey.
As the winter was pretty harsh, I lost quite a few beehives by the time the weather warmed up in April. As a result, the bees on the roof were not strong enough to take advantage of the spring honey nectar flow. They did make some but I decided to leave it with them and let them add the summer nectar started to come in. Last week the honey was taken back to the farm in the frames and I am hoping to extract it this week and get it into jars and ready for Team Teeling to taste.
During the season I’ve had some of the team in a bee-suit getting to know the bees and openly welcome anyone else from the team that wants to dive in and see what the inside of a beehive looks like. All the honey that I make is completely raw, it’s simply taken from the hive and into jars in as little steps as possible. So, it’s still alive and contains all the pollen, enzymes and nutrients that make real raw honey so special. It will be really interesting to see how the rooftop urban honey differs from the countryside/less urban honeys that I’m currently producing.
For me it’s quite exciting to have the bees on the roof and to be collaborating with Teeling. It will be so awesome to see what other magic can be done with the honey on top of being stocked in the gift shop. There are rumours it may be used in some cocktails in the Bang Bang Bar. Who knows what else…
Olly Nolan – Founder and Owner of Olly’s Farm
Here at Teeling, we’ve built a great relationship with Olly’s Farm and are delighted to see how successful this project has been. We’re thrilled that Teeling Honey is now being sold in the Distillery Gift Shop. Also, the rumours are true, Teeling Honey is currently being used in a number of drinks off our new bar menu at the Bang Bang Bar. Make sure to pop in and give them a try!
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