The welfare of our locally adapted honey bee is paramount to its survival.
  • The First Inspection Timing: Generally the first inspection f the year is done in April but there may be suitable weather windows earlier in the year.  If it is your first spring, we recommend that the first inspection is done in April, on a warm day (12 – 15 degrees Celcius). What do we need to find out? Do not open hives unless you have good reason.  For instance, the first inspection is necessary to ensure the queen is laying good patches of worker brood, is marked and clipped (optional with more experience and fool proof swarm control) and that the hive is well provisioned with honey stores and pollen and yet there is plenty of room for the queen to lay.   Preparation is ...
    Posted Apr 24, 2021, 4:03 PM by Helen Mooney
  • The Quest for Palm Oil Free Cosmetic Ingredients We know that many of our followers are concerned about the use of Palm oil and the devastating effects its cultivation is having on indigenous communities and biodiversity. We are still trying to find an alternative to the palm oil derived emulsifying waxes used in artisan and regular commercial cosmetics. This is causing a slight delay in finalising our beeswax and honey moisturiser recipe because it takes time to choose a good supplier that can confirm it is Palm oil free, then it takes time to find the least amount needed for a good end result. It is an absolute eye opener that Palm oil could possibly be in every moisturiser out there at the moment, local/artisan/handmade/whatever ...
    Posted Mar 18, 2021, 6:20 AM by Helen Mooney
  • Potential new therapy for allergic reaction to honey bee stings. Every beekeeper gets asked, "do you get stung? Does it hurt?" Every beginner asks "how often do you get stung?" Many year 2 and 3 beekeepers report increased swelling and itching that lasts for days, after a sting. Although this reaction can disappear during the following years, it is a warning sign. Aside from poor handling and more pronounced defensive behaviour in hybridised bees, beginners also need to know the risk of getting multiple stings early on in their beekeeping years, and the associated risk of anaphylaxis. Immunotherapy is available, but it can take up to three years. In date Epi-Pens must be carried if the beekeeper is showing signs of an allergy. There may be a less cumbersome ...
    Posted Feb 14, 2021, 2:46 PM by Helen Mooney
  • Ireland participates in the latest advances in developing Molecular tools for genotyping Honey Bees One of the reasons for membership of FIBKA or IBA is to ensure the Irish beekeepers are represented at European level when research grants are allocated. Irish scientists regularly participate in collaborative research across Europe and have produced excellent stand alone data on the genotype of our locally adapted dark bees.  Although some of the papers are very technical, there is no doubt that the data is readily shared via our irish beekeeping magazines and press release, which, again, are only available to members of the Federation of irish Beekeepers Associations (FIBKA) or the Irish Beekeepers Association CLG (IBA CLG).Here we include the citation and abstract of the latest collaboration, involving Dr Mary Coffey (UL and Dept Agriculture) which ...
    Posted Feb 10, 2021, 3:24 AM by Helen Mooney
  • Let's just start right here in February Welcome to 2021. January has passed and already the many varieties of local willow are showing their white furry buds.  Some hazel catkins are in blossom and bees are taking full advantage of the rare dry sunny days.  Life goes on inside the colonies and here is wishing everyone a productive year with healthy bees and beekeepers.  We are not conducting any beginners courses this year but thankfully, local clubs have all made arrangements and you can get in touch with them individually through the Federation of Irish Beekeepers Associations (FIBKA, www.irishbeekeeping.ie)
    Posted Feb 5, 2021, 9:29 AM by Helen Mooney
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