Introduction to Beekeeping Course 2019 Completed

32 people completed our Introduction to Beekeeping Course on 03/04/19. The buzz was great and we had a very enthusiastic group who interacted and had lots of questions. There were lectures by John Cunningham and Bea Flavin and we had practical demonstrations each night from Pat Crowley and on the last night with Willy O’Brien and Mary Madigan.

All participants received a certificate of attendance. These certificates can be beneficial to people who want to go on and buy bees as a good beekeeper will want to know that those buying bees have an understanding of what beekeeping is all about.

The next steps are Apiary Demonstrations for the practical aspects of beekeeping and participants will be notified as it is weather dependent.

Gold, Silver and Bronze Medal Winners.

 

South Tipperary had their Honey Show  on 30/09/18. There were a total of 407 entries in the show. It was a fantastic event, great organisation and EWBKA were well represented at the show.

Three of our members came away with medals and well done to all who entered.

Winners were :

Gold Medal and first prize winner in the Mead Category..Willy O’Brien.

Silver Medal and second prize for honey in the Novice Category..Anne Marie Fogarty.

Bronze Medal and third prize for honey in the Junior Category..Caoimhin O’Leary

Winter Preparation ..Michael Maunsell 19/09/18

Michael gave us a very engaging and entertaining talk about preparing our bees for the winter. He used lots of analogies to illustrate his talk.

He said honey should be off by now, disease treatments administered and bees left with sufficient stores to take them through the winter and that by now bees should be settled down for the winter.

He recommends overwintering on a double box either a brood and a half or double brood box to ensure the bees have space to access food. He recommends overwintering a few nucs also.

The principal winter problems;

Queenlessness or problems with the queen..you can tell if you have a good queen by the brood pattern. There should be twice the number of grubs to eggs, Brood in all stages and good brood pattern. If queen is suspect requeen. Colonies overwinter better with a young queen

Disease..inspect for AFB, EFB, Chalkbrood, Nosema and Acarine. Testing is free. Send to Mary Coffey. Look for sealed cells out of sequence, larvae with C shape distortion and cell perforation. If colonies are small..why?

Varroa..dont treat automatically. Check how bad your varroa problem is. He recommends the sugar shaker method as being the easiest and is very reliable. See the following link for details http://nihbs.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Sugar-shaker-method.pdf. He talked us through  the various treatment options and the use of Apibioxyl. He advised keeping a record of all medicines used. A link for a medicines card is in our Links page.

Read More

Notes from FIBKA Spring Tour Lecture with Dr Kirsten Traynor 24/03/18

Background

Dr.Kirsten Traynor of Flickerwood Apiary. Maryland, U.S.A. was invited by FIBKA to speak to beekeepers in Ireland. Dr. Traynor has a doctorate in Bee Biology and is the editor of the American Bee Journal. She has studied differences between European and American beekeeping and has published a number of books and has done many other studies. She was invited to speak in each of the provinces and had different lectures in each one. The Munster Lecture was held in The Horse and Jockey Hotel. Thurles on Saturday 24/03/18. This was a great venue, even though parking was at a premium. The lecture was held in a theatre hall which made it easy to see her and her presentation. There were approximately 80 people there, some of whom were travelling to hear all her lectures. The topics for the afternoon were ‘Halting the Unstoppable Swarm’ and ‘American Foul Brood’

Dr. Traynor was introduced by Gerry Ryan, President FIBKA. She told us she manages 40 hives organically and sells 150 Nucs and 200 Queens annually.

Read More

Notes from Bea Flavin’s Lecture on Swarming 14/03/18

We had an excellent talk from Bea and received very useful information on how to try and stop our bees from swarming and what to do if we get a swarm. It was a very interactive session with lots of questions.

I have tried to give as much information as I had made notes on and I have taken the liberty to add video links which I have found useful.

Prevent Swarming

Why do bees swarm? Swarming is the bee’s natural method of reproduction so its always going to be difficult to control it. Imagine if we were to try controlling human reproduction?

When? Weather dependent. Early summer. Bees on Oil Seed Rape. Hive becomes congested. Lack of ventilation.

Signs: Strong Colony, Increase in drone brood, queen off lay, queen cells.

Read More