Explore UCD

UCD Home >


Rosemount apiary is home to UCD’s honeybees. The apiary is actively managed to produce honey, to pollinate the Rosemount heritage apple orchard and adjacent gardens and parkland. It frequently hosts visits from teaching classes, horticultural associations, various interest groups within UCD but also from schools and other external groups.


  • The apiary supports teaching where students get a chance to get up close and personal with the inner workings of hives and can see at first hand how honeybees organise their colonies. This view allows students to see how foraged materials like nectar, pollen and propolis are handled and processed within the hive, how honey is produced and stored, also to see queens laying eggs to maintain colony numbers, and how colonies manage brood to rear healthy workers, drones and new queens when needed.
  • The apiary also supports research into pollination ecology, in particular into how climate and its fluctuation affects foragers flying habits.
  • The apiary participates in DAFM’s sentinel programme where monitoring is ongoing and looking to spot early signs of disease or pest outbreaks.
  • The Rosemount apiary supports conservation efforts to preserve and maintain the native Irish black honeybee (Apis mellifera mellifera) and leads UCD in designating the entire Belfield campus a conservation area acting as a safe havens for the localised native honeybees. This combines with the Pollinator Friendly management carried out across the campus by UCD’s Estates services team contributing to essential “Corridors of Conservation” which are being created and actively managed throughout Ireland to support native Irish honeybees, wild bumblebees, solitary bees and a host of other wild pollinating insects.
  • Conservation efforts and outreach activities are supported by hosting visits from various interest groups at the apiary, but bees also travel out to locations across campus for occasions such World Bee Day and the UCD Festival. Rosemount honeybees are also invited annually to visit the Oakmount Creche on campus.

Establishment of the apiary

Beekeeping had not been practised on campus for many years when in 2014 Brian Tobin and Mr Edmond Kirwan (an undergraduate student at the time) changed that with a project called “Bringing Bees Back to Belfield” which won seed funding from the university’s SPARC Programme. This project set up an apiary next to the Irish heritage apple orchard at Rosemount Environmental Research Station as well as an undergraduate teaching module (Apiculture; Bees, Pollination and People). Today, thanks to a collaborative effort by students and staff, Belfield honeybees contribute to the pollination of the Rosemount Orchard and parklands and gardens close by, and the apiary facilitates research into pollination ecology and gives students valuable hands-on experience in apiculture.

Honey and apple juice

Both the apiary and orchard have become important flagship projects for Rosemount’s outreach activities. UCD won a Grand Gold CASE Award in 2020 for the Rosemount Honey project, the panel calling it “a perfect representation of the work and research happening in the important areas of horticultural and environmental science.” The honey initiative has since been joined by production of apple juice from UCD’s orchard of heritage native apple trees. The production of these products on campus provides a unique opportunity to demonstrate excellence in food production and plant management systems, as well as a valuable teaching demonstration. Both these items are examples of umbrella-like products representing Rosemount’s contribution to UCD’s vision of sustainable production.

Contact the UCD Rosemount Environmental Research Station

University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
T: +353 1 716 2115 +353 1 716 2401 | E: Rosemount@ucd.ie | Location Map(opens in a new window)