Bees On The Roof works with the Irish Native Honey Bee, never imported or hybrid bees which can be more aggressive and introduce pests and disease to the local environment. The Irish Native Honey Bee – scientific name Apis Mellifera Mellifera – is a purebred black bee which supports natural biodiversity.
There are approximately 24,000 honey bee hives in Ireland which can be home to up to 40,000-50,000 honey bees in each. The Irish Honey Bee has adapted well to the local climate, flying comfortably at lower temperatures. When the weather is good, they are excellent honey producers. Native bees are also frugal – they are careful with their stores and will not eat into them unless they absolutely need to.
Honey bees have much they can teach humans and are currently involved in a number of advanced research studies throughout the world. In one Boeing-backed study in Australia, the flights of honey bees moving in high density airspace are being video-filmed and analysed to understand how they predict and avert imminent collisions. In another study, the Stealthy Insect Sensor Project, scientists trained honeybees to stick out their tongue to detect explosives – a natural action that honeybees typically use to capture nectar.