By Dan Walsh in Ferns
Three Canadian red giant “Walnut whip” shaped beekeeping units were unveiled in the grounds of St. Edan’s Cathedral, Ferns, yesterday (Saturday) as part of the Ancient Connections initiative between St. Aidan’s in Ferns and St. David’s in Pembrokeshire.
“Bees have linked Wales and Wexford since the 6th century, when it is reported St David gifted a hive of bees to an Irish pupil to keep, after his monastery bees twice followed their favourite monk home to Ireland and had to be brought back”, said the Very Revd Paul Mooney, Dean of St. Edan’s Cathedral. Ferns, who added; “We’re delighted to welcome this striking symbol of the ties between us and to honour the friendship between our own Saint Aidan (Mogue) or Edan, and Saint David of Wales.”
The event was launched in St. Edan’s Cathedral by the Cathaoirleach of Wexford County Council, Cllr George Lawlor, who ended his speech with the immortal words; “May the honey from Ferns sweeten your day, And the candle wax light your day.”
The church programme featured a performance of music and song by Melanie O’Reilly, assisted on guitar by David Creevy, and the Chord On Blues Ferns Community Choir led by Mary Moulds.
Margaret Cristopher recited a story telling recollection featuring ‘St Aidan and the Sea Monster’.
Moving outdoors on a pleasant day, the hives were blessed with Holy Water from nearby St. Mogue’s Well, and prayers were jointly recited by Very Revd. Paul Mooney, Dean of St. Eden’s Cathedral and Very Rev. Patrick Cushen, P.P., Ferns.
The attendance included Deputy Johnny Mythen, T.D. County Arts Officer, Liz Burns and tourism representative Billy Byrne.
Bedwyr Williams said; “I’m interested in objects that invite communities to become active participants to make the artwork whole. St David’s last words were “Gwnewch y pethau bychain” or “Do the little things.” This ethos has guided the development of my proposal, which is founded on the story of St David and St Aidan and steeped in the magic and history of these two intertwined locations.”
Local beekeeper Joe Kelly from Ferns Honey, was on hand to take an question and answer session and he was very busy. Lots of interest in the popularity of bees and the good news is that the beehives at Ferns will be open to the public.