With education and the environment as core pillars of our corporate social responsibility (CSR) approach, our Black Shamrock – a Virtuos Studio team contributed funds to the Robert Emmet Community Development Project (CDP)’s Inner City Beekeeping Project. This enabled the installation of two beehives on the roof of the Guinness Enterprise Centre (GEC), where Black Shamrock’s studio is located, just in time for summer – when the bees are active!

Black Shamrock sponsors the installation of two beehives on the roof of its studio building

Robert Emmet CDP’s Inner City Beekeeping Project is designed to improve the local environment and support endangered native Irish honey bee populations. It also aims to create educational and employment opportunities for inner-city communities, which have been historically more disadvantaged.

Black Shamrock’s hives will be cared for by Anthony O’Brian, our dedicated beekeeper, on a weekly basis. Our team will also learn everything about native honey bees and how to care for them throughout his visits and live demonstrations. While the harvest of honey will be minimal in the first year, our team is committed to sponsoring more beehives and supporting the Robert Emmet CDP in as many other ways as possible over time.

Anthony O’Brian sharing his knowledge on native honeybees and how to care for them

To celebrate the installation of the hives, Black Shamrock also organized and invited the wider GEC community to a series of talks about urban pollinators and local charitable organizations. For instance – Kaethe Burt O’Dea, founder of Bí Urban, spoke about how her organization actively intervenes and leverages community-based action to help preserve and redevelop biodiversity in the urban environment. One method of intervention, as elaborated by her protégé Sadhbh Burt-Fitzgerald, is installing pollinator-friendly urban drainage systems that are small in scale and take the form of small roadside rain gardens.

Robert Emmet CDP’s Austin Campbell also shared his experience of working for and running non-profit organizations in contemporary times. He highlighted the common pitfalls that organizations could fall into at their inception, and the best practices to keep in mind. Lastly, Anthony spoke about the Inner City Beekeeping Project and walked everyone through the practicalities of owning and maintaining a working honey beehive.

Sadhbh Burt-Fitzgerald, Nina Fitzgerald, Anthony O’Brian, and Kaethe Burt O’Dea

Bees play an essential role as pollinators and ensure both global food security and biodiversity. Beekeeping and the resulting products also serve as an important source of livelihood, especially in rural areas and disadvantaged communities. Through this initiative, our Black Shamrock team hopes to raise awareness and support both our environment and communities – be it in the form of volunteers or funding. On behalf of Black Shamrock, a big thank-you to the Robert Emmet CDP, GEC, Bí Urban, and all our partners!