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......
  • 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
  • Spring Management Begins We did some cursory inspections on 28th March, and found that queens were laying well in most cases.  The only exceptions were a few of last years queens were beginning to fail. It was as if they had laid an initial round of brood, but after that, completely stopped laying, to such a degree that we found laying workers had just started in a few colonies.  it would appear, from reading online forums, that queen failure of this nature is a slight problem this year. We chose to cull the queens, move the nucs/colonies to a new site, and after a week in the new location, placed beside a chosen hive to be strengthened, the brood (if present) was ...
    Posted Apr 11, 2019, 2:26 PM by Helen Mooney
  • Time and Tide waits for no one We are very relieved at this week's weather forecast for milder weather.  The river Moy, behind these colonies, has burst its banks in many places and I had to take a much longer route to get to these colonies.  The weather made for arduous trekking across muddy fields, and this is a new site for us, so evidently, it takes a full 12 months to really assess the quality of a site.Colonies, despite the recent cold and wet weather, are in good shape.  Brown cappings and pollen on inspection trays indicate the rearing of brood, which puts pressure on the old winter bees.  A final quarter pack of fondant was given if needed, but this was rare. Roll ...
    Posted Mar 18, 2019, 4:47 PM by Helen Mooney
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