Life on the estate
Enjoy forest bathing in giant hammocks, the ancient trees, moon bathing, stay and wake up early to the dawn chorus in May, try wild swimming, stargazing, foraging, barefoot walking…
We have an abundance of biodiversity on the estate including one we are particularly proud to be the guardians of – our rate native Irish black bees.
Home of the Native Irish Black Bee
At Hilton Park we have woodlands, lakes, meadows, fields, gardens and an abundance of wildlife so our native Irish black bee are well placed to enjoy a range nectar plants.
What is a native Bee anyway?
Irish Black Bee was almost threatened with extinction, we did indeed think they have died out due to years of importations throughout the last century. Although they were found to remain in only in a few pockets around the country.
It is the indigenous bee of Ireland and therefore perfectly adapted to the climates of the region.
Through genetics it has been proven, Ireland has some of the purest strains of European Dark Bee in the world.
Because it is adapted to the climates of Northern Europe, it is very frugal with its stores.
During a cold wet period, it does not use up a whole lot of the honey it has collected. Whereas it has been proven that Italian and Buckfast bees use up huge amounts of honey in bad weather and need heavier sugar feeding in winter because of their large colonies.
Yesterday on particularly sunny Spring morning they were out and about collecting nectar from our Hellebores. We feel very fortunate to be able to host these bees on our land and no more so than ever. One such study has suggested without the Bee, existence on earth might not be possible. A bold statement but ultimately it might hold a lot of truth.