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......
  • The First Inspection Our bees have overwintered well.  They are currently feasting on the nectar and pollen of Ribes sanguineum, Floweing currant. The first inspection was quick, measured and yielded a task list for the next visit- queen excluders and supers need to go on as the dandelion flow had started last week and, the space needed for that wet nectar plus unused ivy stores, is taking up valuable laying space for our queens, and if this was not resolved, could lead to early swarming. Unfortunately we are unable to run any training courses at present, and yet beginners from the last two or three years will need support during swarm season and in their first attempts to rear extra queens. We will ...
    Posted Apr 12, 2020, 4:13 PM by Helen Mooney
  • Everything has its season We will soon be watching bees bringing in dandelion pollen.  What a happy change that will make from the current situation, when we wish for more activity and warmer weather.  Many colonies needed a second pack of fondant this year but so far, no losses in the new year.  It's a nail biting time though, as brood rearing starts in earnst but winter bees are coming to the natural end of their days. Training courses are up and running all around the country now, and the infectious enthusiasm of beginners helps seasoned beekeepers to improve their teaching skills and deliver relevant,  realistic  and practical training sessions.Don't forget to take a sample of 30 bees, label, freeze and ...
    Posted Mar 3, 2020, 4:19 AM by Helen Mooney
  • Habitat loss and honey theft Beekeepers work hard, of that there is no doubt. By way of compensation, we feel entitled to take winter stores from our bees. The amount we take in an indication of our regard for those very bees that we labour alongside, all summer long. The amount we take is driven by completely individual needs: a sick child,  the need to make a hobby pay, greed and ignorance are but a few of the driving forces. Through our training courses we aim to guide beginners on how much honey to take, if they so wish, and how to supply emergency feed if they think their colony is too light on stores, for whatever the reason. A new colony in the hands ...
    Posted Nov 12, 2019, 1:40 PM by Helen Mooney
  • "To Autumn" by Keats: 100th anniversary Sept 19th 2019 I was on my way to help a beginner with a queenless colony last week when I heard a feature on the radio about Keat's poem, "To Autumn".  They played a recording of Seamus Heaney reading the poem and it was very fitting to be driving through country roads brimming with autumn wild fruits and berries, just like in the poem.  Here is the first stanza, which refers to the honey bee in it's brimming clammy cell.Season of mists and mellow fruitfulnessClose bosom-friend of the maturing sunConspiring with him how to load and blessWith fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,And ...
    Posted Sep 22, 2019, 3:35 AM by Helen Mooney
  • 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
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