Moy Valley Bees provides services and resources to the  beekeeping community of the West of Ireland and local honey to markets along Mayo's Moy River.   Use our site to request the purchase of Native Irish Bee queens and nucs & honey in sections and jars, and learn how we can help you become a better beekeeper, whether you are just starting out or you have years of experience!   Here's a selection of our recent activities......
  • First hint of Ivy in Co. Mayo: 5th September 2019 The ivy has made it's first appearance in any of our colonies, as far as I can see- I found an orange pollen pellet on an inspection tray today and prepared a sample of it for the microscope.  I was not expecting it to be ivy.  I thought the colour was wrong and I have not see ANY ivy in flower in Mayo at all as yet. It just goes to show, the bees rapidly find what they need as soon as it is in flower, and we are oblivious!!This heralds a great spell for the bees.  Ivy nectar is very medicinal and I am sure the pollen provides valuable protein and lipids and minerals before the onset ...
    Posted Sep 6, 2019, 7:33 AM by Helen Mooney
  • Full Circle Well, just like that, we have come full circle, and are, technically at the beginning of the beekeeping season. For the past few weeks we have been dividing our time between indoors and out: harvesting the crop, treating colonies for Varroa, uniting colonies where queens have failed, mentoring beginners with similar problems, rendering beeswax, and bottling honey.   It is a very demanding time for beekeepers- the days are getting shorter and there seems to be an endless to do list, so prioritising is a must.  Priority number one- the welfare of the bees, so treating for Varroa mites is done now to safeguard the winter bees that will bring our queens through winter.We use apiguard: one tray on top ...
    Posted Aug 27, 2019, 3:15 PM by Helen Mooney
  • Mid Summer Madness Well, there is no rest for the wicked, or so it is said, and so the work of managing bees for the summer flow continues.  It amazes me that only a matter of weeks ago, we had to feed precious ivy stores which were surplus in May and indeed which were hampering queen laying by causing brood boxes to be honey bound.  We usually store these frames away until new nucs need feeding. But a few frames definitely had to be fed to full colonies that were on the brink of starvation.  Some of those colonies have made a miraculous recovery but the honey crop varies from one to several supers, all very location dependent. Meanwhile, some funding materialised and ...
    Posted Jul 10, 2019, 4:01 PM by Helen Mooney
  • Some Queens Mated & Laying Finally, and in keeping with other years, we have a few queens laying already.  So I think it won't be too long until the majority of our queens destined for beginners' nucs, will be laying.  We like to give them a couple of weeks to establish a good laying pattern, before moving them on to our beginners, so we will be in touch by the third week in June.  Bees were very cross yesterday and it suddenly dawned on me that (1) the weather was due to change for the worse and (2) there was very little forage, just a few very late Hawthorn bushes and I suppose some unidentified less significant sources of early summer wild flowers.  But ...
    Posted Jun 2, 2019, 2:51 PM by Helen Mooney
  • Early Summer with Moy Valley Bees https://photos.google.com/album/AF1QipOTy1lhQbUt7Fid0YaAEDwHMAKCzmrxtFqv6FrLEarly summer activities include training beginners in County Mayo (Ballina & Ballyhaunis) and examining in Ballina for the Federation of Irish Beekeepers Associations (FIBKA) beginners exam.   We had 27 beginners in Ballina and even more than that in Ballyhaunis, altough we did not conduct the apiary training there. In addition, we have had to curtail the swarming impulse in over 30 colonies, and we are not finished yet.  This year, swarm cells appeared in the second week in May in strong colonies, but there is not an abundance of drones, so we are staggering our queen rearing activities to suit.  The photograph shows the preparation of a double brood box in order to rear queens ...
    Posted May 27, 2019, 3:16 PM by Helen Mooney
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