Bee-zarre business as hive stolen

Spá Nádúr manager at Ballygarry House Hotel, Gina Groves, pictured with one of the hotel’s
Spá Nádúr manager at Ballygarry House Hotel, Gina Groves, pictured with one of the hotel’s beehives

Fergus Dennehy

Ballygarry House Hotel was a-buzz with activity last Tuesday morning after staff discovered that thousands of bees - including a queen - had been stolen from one of the six hives they have on site.

In probably one of the most bizarre cases of theft that has occurred for many a year here in Kerry, it seems that sometime between midnight last Monday and 6am on Tuesday morning, the entire contents of the one of the hotel's hives was taken.

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Tadhg McGillycuddy is one of the manager's in the hotel responsible for the hives, alongside Gina Groves, and he says that the person who stole the hive obviously knew what they were up to.

"It's not your run-of-the-mill burglar who does something like this," he laughed, "they definitely knew what they were doing. They'd have to have been properly suited up and everything.

Apparently this is something that happens quite a lot over in the UK. It was a strange one talking to the staff about its that for sure " he said, speaking to The Kerryman on Friday.

And while he admits that the loss of the bees is a disappointment, he says that it's not the end of the world and that the hotel won't be pursuing any Garda investigation and that the lost hive can be  relatively easily replaced thankfully.

"Gina Groves, the manager of Spá Nadúr in the hotel, she's actually been involved with bees for about 12 years now and she has her own apiary - a location where beehives of honey bees are kept - at home so she can bring one in to replace the one we lost," he said.

The hives, which form part of the hotel's biodiversity zone, supply all the fresh honey to the hotel and are a very popular attraction and a talking point for the guests staying there with great views of the hives available from the hotel.