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FIBKA On-Line Lectures

FIBKA has organised a series of on-line lectures for members for the next few weeks. Associations are unable to host the usual Autumn series of lectures due to Covid-19.

There are some very interesting speakers.

To register for these lectures see your email address as the registration link was sent to you all  today 22/09/2020

See our Real-Time Calendar for details

EWBA AGM Update

EWBA AGM was held via ZOOM due to Covid-19 Restrictions on 14/10/2020.

Our new Chairperson is Donal Lehane and our new Treasurer is Michael Veale.

The meeting was attended by 22 members.

A synopsis of the meeting will be sent to all members 16/10/2020

EWBA Apiary Registered as a Food Producer.

As of 16/07/2020 the EWBA Apiary is registered with the Department of Agriculture as a food producer and therefore can sell Apiary honey to the general public.

EWBA is the first Beekeeping Association in Ireland to have their Apiary registered as a food producer.

All member activities deferred due to Covid-19.

We are sorry to say that in the interests of Health and Safety all our lecturess, courses and Apiary Demonstrations are cancelled until further notice.
The committee is continuing to have meetings via Zoom every fortnight and work is progressing on the Apiary Site In Dunhill.
The Ballygunner Apiary is being managed by the Apiary Team.

Report from FIBKA Regional Workshop 08/02/2020

Report from FIBKA Regional Meeting/Workshop

Date: 08/02/2020 Firgrove Hotel, Mitchelstown

Attendance from EWBA:

  • Donal Lehane Vice-Chair
  • John Cunningham, Education Officer
  • Josephine Hickey
  • Anne Marie Fogarty, Hon. Sec.

Speakers:

  • Paul O’Brien, FIBKAPresident
  • Michael Maunsall
  • Tom Prendergast

Paul O’Brien : FIBKA Update

  • FIBKA now moved to a CLG (Company Limited by Guarantee)
  • Executive reduced from 25 to 7 members
  • Established 7 Boards of Management
  • Saved €10k by foregoing the National Ploughing Championships.
  • Annual survey is now on-line and resulted in a saving of €4k on paper/postage
  • Moved to new accountants and saved €2k
  • Identified office space in Athlone with a view to buying/renting
  • Developed a new Constitution, a copy can be had on request

Management Boards

  1. Education, 5members
  2. Scientific, 8 members
  3. Native Bee, 4 members, Peter Walsh Chair SKBA is a member
  4. Youth Development, 5 members
  5. Publicity, 6 members
  6. Finance, 3 members
  7. Summer school, 3 members, John Cunningham EWBA is a member

Financial Status

Membership                      Income                 Expenditure

2019

3557                                       290,000 265000

2018

3100                                       260,000 241000

Michael Maunsell: Bee Genetics

Michael gave a very interesting scientific talk explaining in detail bee genetics, some relevant terms, how genes determine everything i.e. the bee’s developmental characteristics, appearance, and behaviour.

We learned that the greater the drone genetic diversity the stronger our colonies will be, how genes determine the difference between bees and other organisms, that drones carry different genes for a variety of bee traits, and because of multiple mating bees in a colony will have different fathers and therefore workers influence within a hive will vary genetically in terms of pollen/nectar gathering, queen rearing, larval care, hygienic behaviour and swarming…which is good.

We also learned that genetically diverse swarms establish new colonies faster, build more comb, and have high foraging levels and gain weight better.

Genetics are affected by in-breeding thus the need for a diverse drone population. Inbreeding results in queen problems i.e. low egg production, reduced lifespan, reduced drone fertility and reduced flight activity.

Diverse genetics are crucial to colony strength. The greater the genetic diversity of our bees, the greater the health, the build-up and the productivity.

Tom Prendergast: Preparing for the season ahead

Tom, gave a very practical lecture and asked us to decide “What is it that we want from our Bees”.

  • ? Maximum Crop.
  • ? Chemical free bees.
  • ? A few pots of honey for the family.
  • ? native Irish Bees
  • ? Selling Nucs

He said that deciding what we want decides how we are going to plan the coming season.

Tom talked about

  • The need to preserve the wood in our apiaries, stands, floors, boxes, roof etc
  • Closing up dead hives quickly to prevent robbing. Assess the colony and sterilise all parts
  • Heft hives and feed fondant in winter, watch Nucs, Feed syrup after 17/03 if needs be.
  • Monitor for Varroa with OMF.
  • Reasons for bad colonies: Bad queens, disease, varroa, lack of pollen, lack of forage, BEEKEEPER bad practice.
  • Replace poor Q’s in April.
  • Have 1 Nuc for every 2-3 colonies
  • Give space. Add new foundation at the dandelion flow.

In summary: Work with your bees. Don’t keep poor colonies or queens. Keep the Apiary clean and tidy. Feed during the winter and check for disease in spring i.e Nosema, AFB, EFB. Keep a few spare queens and have Nucs to replace poor performers.