Boyne Valley Group and AIB have introduced the first rooftop apiary on a commercial building in Ireland in an attempt to help increase the country’s bee population.

The initiative will see over 200,000 honeybees located on the sixth story roof of AIB Bankcentre in Ballsbridge.

It is expected the bees will pollinate flowers and trees within a five kilometre radius of the hives and produce an average of 20 jars of honey per hive by the end of the summer. In total, the apiary has four hives.

Boyne Valley Group has been a customer of AIB for 58 years during which time it has grown to produce more than 2,000 products and employ over 200 people in the Drogheda area.

“When Malachy McCloskey approached us and asked us to support Boyne Valley’s work on the sustainability of the Irish bee population we were delighted to help,” said Simon Scroope, head of AIB Corporate Banking. “The apiary illustrates our commitment to do all that we can to support our corporate banking customers, while enhancing the environment in the local area.”

“We are delighted that AIB is supporting our efforts to increase the Irish bee population,” said Boyne Valley Group president Malachy McCloskey. “AIB Bankcentre is an ideal space as the roof is a perfect height, and the bees will be able to forage for nectar and pollinate the nearby parks and gardens of Ballsbridge.”

The installation of the Boyne Valley – AIB apiary was overseen by beekeeper Philip McCabe, president of the European Commission of Apimondia.

According to Boyne Valley Group, urban beekeeping has grown in popularity in recent years, partly in response to falling population levels of honeybees globally. It is estimated that bees are responsible for pollinating one third of the world’s food supply.