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......
  • 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
  • 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
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