All member activities deferred due to Covid-19.

We are sorry to say that in the interests of Health and Safety all our public meetings, 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.


  • 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


3557                                       290,000 265000


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.

My Journey to Beecoming a Beekeeper

I’ve been keeping bees since 2003 and like all beekeepers, there is a scéal as to how I ended up with bee venom in my blood. My story begins with my grandfather Jerry Kevane who lived in Reenbee, just east of Dingle, Co. Kerry. My father told me that in the 1930s Jerry received two hives through the Congested Districts Board. Jerry was a meticulous man and in the weeks before the arrival of the hives, he acquired some old white flour bags from a local mill and fashioned himself a bee suit. My father recalled watching him sew the suit by candlelight. The bees arrived and, the very next day, Jerry set about “examining” the new arrivals. My dad sat on the ditch watching, with a mixture of excitement and awe, as his dad set to work.


Public Lecture Wednesday 12th February 2020

East Waterford Beekeepers' Association Meeting
Subject All-Ireland Pollinator Plan 2015-2020: Lessons learned and looking to the future.
Speaker Dr Una Fitzpatrick
Date 12th Feb 2020
Time 7 pm
Venue Dunhill Education Centre, Dunhill Ecopark, Dunhill, Co Waterford
Type Lecture
Cost There is no charge.
Notes Una will also be discussing how beekeepers can contribute to the plan. This lecture is for members and is also open to the public.

Our next EWBA lecture is on Wednesday 12th February at 7pm in Dunhill Education Centre. The Lecture title is: All-Ireland Pollinator Plan 2015-2020: Lessons learned and looking to the future.

The Lecturer for the evening will be Dr Una Fitzpatrick of The BioDiversity Centre, Waterford. Una will also be discussing how beekeepers can contribute to the plan.

Úna has a PhD in botany. She worked on a project on the conservation of Irish bees before joining the National Biodiversity Data Centre in 2007. She is responsible for the plant, vegetation and pollinator work programmes of the Centre.  She is the chair of the steering group that produced the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan 2015-2020 and oversees its implementation.

The Eircode for Dunhill Education Centre is X91 FVF9, and directions are as follows:

From M9 Waterford/Dublin Motorway (Alternate route via toll bridge)
Continue from M9 following signs for Cork via toll bridge (car charge €1.90) – Take the next exit after the toll bridge, signposted Waterford IT, Waterford Crystal, Tramore.  Follow the road going straight through the roundabouts until you come to the Butlerstown Roundabout  – Take the third exit, signposted N25/Cork and follow this road past Whitfield Clinic until you see signs for Tramore Seaside Resort and Copper Coast Geopark on your left and on the junction a sign for Dunhill Education & Enterprise Park. Take the left turn on this crossroads. Continue straight out for 2.8 miles where you will meet a small crossroads with Dunhill Education & Enterprise Park signposted, take the right-hand turn. Continue on this road for 3 miles where you will meet Pairc Ui Bhain(Dunhill GAA Park) on your left and Dunhill Ecopark on your right. Enter the Ecopark. Continue down past the first building. Turn right and park along the front of the second building. Dunhill Rural Enterprises and Dunhill Multi-Education Centre are in through the small conservatory on the left-hand side of the building and up the stairs. There is also parking at the rear of the building.

Christmas/Birthday Vouchers

If you would like to give someone a gift to attend our Introduction to Beekeeping Course or for Membership of our Association please contact me Anne Marie Fogarty at 0862064919 and we can arrange a gift voucher for you.

2020 Membership Subscriptions now Due

EWBA Membership Fees for 2020 are now due.

You are fully insured for your Beekeeping activities through membership and you get your monthly copy of the beekeepers’ magazine An Beachaire.

Your membership provides for attendance at all lectures free and insures you for visits to the Apiary.

People cannot attend the Apiary if they are not EWBA Members for purposes of Insurance.

Lecture Nov 13th 7pm Roanmore GAA Centre

We are trying a series of Mini Lectures this month.

The idea is to have some of our own members tell us about something that they have found useful and that may be of interest to other members.

It also gets us used to giving a talk to groups.

Each lecture will be approx 20 minutes and there will be time for questions.

Lecture1..A Kerry Man’s Method of Swarm Control..Anne Marie Fogarty

Lecture 2..Queen Rearing using An Incubator..James Maher

Lecture 3..Keeping Bees on a Roof in an Urban Environment..Peter Fitzgerald