The NeighbourFood Podcast


Busy with Bees, a chat with beekeeper Mark Riordan of

Honeybees are an integral part of our natural world. They pollinate the majority of our crops and trees, giving us the food we eat and the air we breathe. Not only important for our ecosystem, but also for our economy as bees and other pollinators are responsible for a third of our food and contribute billions to the global economy each year. It’s important we look after them, because without bees we are nothing and we are all aware of the decline and threats to bees these days from habitat loss, pesticides and climate change.

And this week’s chat with beekepper Mark Riordan, founder of

While Mark got into beekeeping about 10 years ago, in somewhat an accidental fashion, his work with bees has developed into a fascinating enterprise called HiveMind, allowing companies and individuals to sponsor a hive. We’ll hear more of this journey, as well as his honey experiments into beer, fermenting and sometimes accidental kinds of vinegar. 

We also learn about what you find in typical Irish honey from hawthorn to blackberries and more.

Mark of course also tells us of the importance of bees to every single one of us, how they are all key to our existence and the impact and threat that our environmental footprint is having on the bee population today. 

We mentioned during the course of this podcast a live beehive sound recording which you can download here

Check out the Irish Beekeepers Association on

More Episodes


Potato Potato - Ireland's love affair with the humble spud (replay)

This week, we decided to revisit a classic episode from the NeighbourFood podcast archives. As you may have heard, the World Potato Congress that was recently hosted in Dublin, we felt this was a topical and fun episode and a fun look at Ireland’s love affair with the humble spud.Throughout this episode we have with lots of contributors who tell us why this is.We speak to food writer John McKenna of McKenna's Guides about Ireland’s romantic connection to the food that let us down in our past and yet how we return time and time again, like a faithless lover to the spud we love so well.Did you know the process of flavouring crisps was invented here in Ireland? That’s right and Tayto Crisps are responsible for the world-famous cheese and onion flavour! We tracked down Peter Murphy, son of Joe “Spud” Murphy, the founder of Tayto who told us about his entrepreneurial dad, his Peter Pan existence and that Ah-Ha moment when they stumbled across the much-loved Cheese and Onion flavour combination.There are small farmers throughout the country growing potatoes for their local market. We speak to Maria Flynn of Ballymackenny Farm Potatoes who taking over the family farm, realised they were never going to survive on glowing Roosters and Queens alone. So they took a chance on growing heritage and heirloom speciality potatoes and targeting chefs with their more unusual produce. When the pandemic hit, they lost 100% of their customers overnight, so we hear their story of survival.Now, do you think it’s possible to live on Potatoes alone? We find a man in India who claims to do just that. The Aloo Baba lives in the mountains in Pushkar, India and eats 10kg potatoes a day!!!! That’s some feat, but he claims it keeps him young and gives him clarity. Vikrant Naidu, chef at The Lodge, Myrtleville, Cork steps in to translate and also gives us an insight into the culture of potatoes in his home county of India.And finally, potatoes are far more than a carbohydrate on our plate, they also make an interesting ingredient in spirits, such as Poitin. Michael O’Boyle of Baoilleach Distillery in Donegal explains why spuds were sometimes used in the mashbill of poitín makers back in the day and when he chooses to continue this tradition in his own poitin collection “Mulroy Bay”.Enjoy this spudcast full of poppy love.