In 2018 Leona completed a Preliminary Bee Keeping course with, Roe Valley Bee Association. She has now four bee hives, and is really enjoying the social aspect of having mentors to help her attend her bees. This is so beneficial for the environment. It is a hobby and we enjoy four hives now on the farm. Leona has been the main push behind growing acres of wildflower and sunflowers. She loves seeing the array of butterflies, birds and the different bees all enjoying the flowers. Once the flowers are finished, we don't mow them, we leave them over the winter months for the birds to enjoy the seeds. It also give them somewhere to nest or hide from predators.
Richard makes an effort not to use sprays on the farm, as we are very lucky that he is BASIS Qualified, and can see what the plant needs rather than always using sprays. If a spray is required, then it will be done in the evening once the bees have gone back to their hives. Some of the sprays that goes onto our crops is Wild Atlantic Seaweed which is bee friendly, Cereal Boost (natural product) bee friendly and Falcon Herbicide as and when required which is Not toxic to bees. We pride ourselves in what we do for our food and farm, and nothing will compromise the environment or our traditions.
WILDFLOWER & SUNFLOWER MARGINS
Every year we plant a large area of our farm now with wild flower and sunflower margins and we will keep you posted on how this goes, via our social media pages.
At the moment we do not have the space to let others keep their bees on our farm. This is something that we will work on for the future.
We are delighted to be working with the RSPB as the North West Ambassador for championing of birds. We are very keen on barn owls, as Richard was very lucky to capture one on video last year in one of our barns. We now have three owl boxes located on our farm, and hope they will one day decide to nest in one or more of them.
We are looking forward to welcoming a wildlife surveyor to look at our farm to see what birds we have living and breeding at Broglasco. So far we have spotted lapwings, skylarks and yellowhammer - just some of the priority species in Northern Ireland. We also have swallows, Great Tits, House Martins, and Chaffinches nesting at our farm house. Leona thinks she spied a woodpecker chick the last week in June (2020).
Check out out our baby pheasants that hatched beside our yard.