100% Raw local Honey & handmade Skincare Products using their own beeswax
Sliabh Aughty Honey and Loughrea Honey is owned by the Leahy family. Their honey is 100% raw, single filtered and unpasteurized, it retains all of the pollens, antibacterial and medicinal properties – 100% raw “pot of gold”!
The mountain range of Sliabh Aughty, which stretches through Galway and Clare, provides the perfect backdrop for the production of Sliabh Aughty Honey. This honey, which reflects a wild and diverse region, is produced a few miles away from Loughrea in County Galway, by Noel Leahy.
Noel’s story is typical of the philosophical saying that every disaster can become an opportunity. As a former bricklayer and building contractor, all was going well for Noel and his family, until recession hit. Like many in Ireland, Noel’s business took a massive downturn. But rather than sit and stare gloomily into the future, wondering what he was going to do about it, he paid off his workers and decided to look for a new way of life.
As a third generation beekeeper, with a family who are into health and wellness, Noel began to look at ways to earn money from the bees. And so his story begins. He talks animatedly about his bees, the hives, the history, the cooperation with the local farming neighbours. Noel has over 150 hives, mostly up in the high plateau of Sliabh Aughty and surrounding lands.
Sliabh Aughty Honey is produced in a wonderful collaboration with neighbouring farmers, who Noel managed to persuade to work with him to encourage and nurture the bees.
It took a couple of years for the bee stocks to flourish. Experimentation in honey production involved placing hives in different locations and harvesting honey at different times in the season, to see where the best flavours and quantities were. One hive can produce 45-50 pounds of honey and may contain between 80 and 100 thousand bees.
Like every other traditional skill, the knowledge of beekeeping is handed down through generations. There is so much to learn, including how to winter the bees, changing queens to stimulate more production, and other nuances, which only an experienced beekeeper acquires, through years of practice. Noel is the third generation of his family to continue the art of beekeeping.
Noel’s daughter is already making an impact and forging the future, not only in honey, but healthcare and beeswax products. Here comes the fourth generation to continue the beekeeping legacy of the Leahy’s. New developments include skin care and beauty products.
Sliabh Aughty Honey have kindly agreed to sponsor honey as a raffle prize. Instead of admission we raise money to run the festival by selling raffle tickets – instant draws and wins!