FIBKA is not-for-profit federation of beekeeping Associations in Ireland. Currently, there are 61 affiliated Associations, which between them have over 3,500 members. FIBKA acts as an umbrella organisation, providing unity and strength in numbers in its promotion of the interests of bees, beekeepers and beekeeping in Ireland.
Included in the annual affiliation fee, no extra cost to members:

  • A most comprehensive insurance package to cover your beekeeping activities at your own apiary or anywhere else in the Republic of Ireland.
  • Monthly magazine An Beachaire delivered to your door, with back issues available on the website. Articles relevant to Irish beekeepers operating in Irish conditions. Contributions from members always welcome. The Journal is now in its 71st year serving the beekeepers of Ireland for generations. Sponsored prizes for annual photographic competition.
  • Website and Facebook page
  • Panel of Certified Federation Lecturers (CFLs), including many who hold a diploma in Apiculture {NatDipSc (Apic)} from Cork Institute of Technology. FIBKA covers mileage costs of CFLs travelling to lecture to local Associations in order to reduce the cost to the Associations. This is especially beneficial to new, small or remote Associations with no CFLs amongst their own members.
  • Annual Congress with each affiliated Association entitled to send delegates as per FIBKA Constitution. Associations can submit motions for consideration at Congress and can nominate candidates for election to Executive Council at Congress.
  • Organising Bee Health Workshops for the benefit of our members throughout the country.
  • Annual National Honey Shows at Gormanston and at Fota. FIBKA covers mileage costs of Honey Judges to attend these Shows and other Honey Shows recognised by FIBKA.
  • Promotion and lobbying on behalf of beekeepers with the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Marine (DAFM) to promote the good health of bees and the interests of beekeepers.
  • Negotiation with Coillte regarding standard terms and conditions for apiary sites for beekeepers
  • Working with DAFM in securing EU funding for beekeeping. To date we have secured €1.4m under the Apicultural programme for Irish Beekeeping.
  • Working with the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) in preventing fraud and misinformation on honey in the market place.
  • Working closely with Bord Bia in the promotion of Irish honey, Bord Bia are generous sponsors of our National Honey Show since 1999.
  • Working closely with the Office of Public Works (OPW) in promoting beekeeping in the Phoenix Park, the Botanic Gardens and other OPW properties. The OPW Phoenix Park Honey Show now in its third year is one of the leading shows in the county with easy access to one third of the population of the Republic. In 2018 it is planned to expand the event to include a Honey Festival.
  • Working with Teagasc to inform the farming community the importance bees.
  • Working with other environmental bodies to fight Hedgerows Bill and promote environmentally sustainable practice for the benefit of honeybees and other wildlife.
  • FIBKA is a signatory, contributor to and supporter of the All Ireland Pollinator Plan
  • Membership of European Professional Beekeepers Association to be kept informed what is happening at EU level.
  • Membership of the Council of National Beekeeping Associations in the United Kingdom and Ireland (CONBA). Through this body we have a voice in Brussels with a representative attending meetings there where many decisions affecting beekeeping are made.
  • Membership of Apimonida the worldwide body of beekeepers. This entitles our members who wish to attend the Apimondia Conference held every 2 years a reduced registration fee. We are proud that the current President of Apimondia is Mr Philip McCabe former President and PRO of FIBKA.
  • Corporate members of the National Honey Show U.K. Supporting Irish exhibitors who wish to send exhibits to this World Class International Event, a great shop window for Irish Honey.
  • Comprehensive Library of Beekeeping Books and Videos. Books and videos on loan free, borrower pays return postage. Our Library contains some rare out of print books that can be made available to students of research or other interested parties.
  • Our archives contain some valuable documents illustrating the history of our organisation since its foundation in April 1881. Included are bound volumes of the Irish Bee Journal (IBJ) published by the father of Irish Beekeeping Rev J.G. Digges from 1901 to 1933 and its successor An Beachaire published from 1947 to date. All this material is available to students of history and researchers.
  • Arbour Week - week following first Sunday in March. FIBKA are founding members of the Tree Council of Ireland, actively promoting the planting of pollen and nectar bearing tree which are made available yearly to our members free of charge.
  • A FIBKA stand promoting beekeeping and Irish Honey at most of the large public events such as The National Ploughing Championships, Bord Bia Bloom in the Park, The RDS Horse Show, Tullamore Agricultural Show amongst others.

Available to affiliated members at reduced / low cost:

  • Annual Summer Course at Gormanston College internationally renowned throughout the beekeeping world. A full week of lectures, fun, trade stands and bee-talk. Options to stay on site for the week or part week, or come as a day-visitor. All examinations available from the Preliminary to Honey Judges and Certified Federation Lectureship. This event has been held continuously since 1947 which is unique in the beekeeping world. Because of its international dimension we are able to acquire and share beekeeping knowledge from many other regions of the world.
  • Full Education programme, from Preliminary exams, through Intermediate, BeeMaster, Senior, CFL and Honey Judge qualifications.
  • Arrangement with suppliers of Sugar to affiliated Associations, for bee feeding, at cost price.
  • Tamper-proof bar-coded labels (as required by many retail outlets) at cost price. Your own unique bar code for each of your products
  • A honey jar lid incorporating the Federation Logo printed in colour and also the words "Irish Honey Direct from the Beekeeper" is available from Alpack Ltd to our members to fit the eight and twelve ounce jars. This lid has come to be accepted by many as proof that the jar contains good quality Irish honey.

Coming soon / in development:

  • FIBKA honey jars with distinctive design, full traceability and guarantee to customer of genuine 100% Irish beekeeper’s honey, will command a premium price for all your hard work.

Dear Secretaries,
Please forward this important communication to all of your members.

Following a meeting of the FIBKA Executive Council on 11th November, we would like to update affiliated Associations regarding the following matters:

Congress 2017
The Executive Council would like to express our sincere regret for the confusion and upset which has followed the recent 2017 FIBKA Congress.

In order to resolve any residual issues or feelings of distress which may be remaining among our members, the Executive Council would like to invite all our Affiliated Associations to consider how matters can best be rectified, consistent with our FIBKA Constitution. We are most anxious to bring about reconciliation wherever this may be needed.

We are committed to a process of continuous improvement as we respond to the changing needs of members. Much of the discussion and work in this regard is invisible to the average member at Association level, and we accept that we could do a better job in consulting with Associations to achieve a greater sense of engagement and ownership. Further review of our Constitution is one of several options to be explored on an ongoing basis: for instance in addressing the perception of a lack of full accountability by the Executive, and putting in place mechanisms to prevent or address conduct unbecoming any member of FIBKA.

To assist all Associations in considering these matters, we are tentatively offering some suggestions about how we can facilitate the healing process:

First, we must make it clear that all the letters which have been sent to our Secretary, Tom Shaw, have been fully considered by all members of the Executive Council and that the Secretary has answered all of them.

We feel that there are several choices open to our organization to resolve any residual matters, and that these choices could include:

Suggested Alternatives

  • Special Meeting of Congress, as per Article 12 of the Constitution;
  • Congress 2018 might be called early (spring 2018), again with due regard to the timescale required by the Constitution;
  • Executive Council members seek a mandate from Associations in some other way, and we emphasise that we strongly encourage ‘new blood’ to come onto the Executive Council;
  • A Forum meeting for discussion of the residual issues could be called for members to present questions and views;
  • A ‘Show and Tell’ meeting at which all the FIBKA accounts would be available again for members to question. Other FIBKA Officers could also attend to answer questions in relation to their own areas of responsibility if requested. Meanwhile, the Treasurer continues to invite email queries on the 2016 accounts to;
  • Suggestions from our members for other avenues would be most welcome.

The Executive Council is aware that a large majority of Associations do not share the issues which have disturbed the conduct of Congress 2017, but we would welcome all members’ views about how the healing process may best be facilitated. All the members of the Executive Council have agreed that this letter should be sent and we all remain hopeful of a complete resolution of all the questions which remain.

Please send your preferences among the choices outlined in this letter, or your suggestions, to our Secretary, Tom Shaw, before 1st December 2017, so that your views may be fully considered by the Executive Council at its next meeting on 9th December.

Current Executive Council members
Since Congress 2017, two members of the Executive Council (Ben Harden and Jim Carroll) have resigned, citing personal reasons. All other members remain in office, with the addition of two co-opted members: Joanna McGlaughlin of Armagh-Monaghan BKA (who will act as Membership Secretary) and Graham Hall of Co. Dublin BKA.

Claims regarding the calling of a Special meeting of Congress
There appears to be a widespread perception that a request from a large number of affiliated Associations for a Special Meeting of Congress has been ignored by the Executive. However, the FIBKA Secretary has not received requests from the Secretaries of at least five Associations (collectively or separately), in line with Article 12 of the Constitution. This is not mere semantics. In order for such a meeting to be valid, Article 12 must be complied with. Emails or social media posts claiming the support of a list of Associations for a particular course of action does not constitute a proper request for a Special Meeting of Congress. If Article 12 is properly invoked, there is no question but that a Special Meeting of
Congress will be facilitated.

Secretaries and others will be aware of the formation of a company known as IBA CLG, having received emails circulated by that company, soliciting memberships from individuals and Associations currently affiliated to FIBKA.

One of the membership options offered by the company is: "Dual membership. Should you wish to affiliate with IBA CLG, but remain a member of another umbrella body, the membership fee will be €10. As a dual member you will not be offered covered (sic) under our insurance policy...."

Please be advised that FIBKA has not entered into any arrangement with the company to facilitate this. We will not be disclosing our list of members to the company for the purposes of validating "dual membership", or for any other reason.

We respectfully suggest that individuals who feel that any other organisation better represents their needs, should join that organisation as full members. As the company styles itself an "alternative to FIBKA" and one of its stated aims "never promote one type of bee ahead of another" is at variance with one of FIBKAs objects "To promote the conservation of the native dark bee, Apis mellifera mellifera", we think it unlikely that many FIBKA members will choose to be full members of both organisations. However, as far as FIBKA is concerned, there is no prohibition to full membership of both bodies. Associations affiliated
to FIBKA will continue to accept members as they see fit. But in accordance with Article 20 of the FIBKA Constitution "All Associations must affiliate all their members", Associations affiliated to FIBKA may not accept members who refuse to be affiliated to FIBKA.

Clarification for FIBKA members
Services to members
FIBKA is an organisation set up to promote and serve the interests of its affiliated members.
Our activities are classed as "mutual trading" (as determined by Revenue), meaning that we trade with / provide services to members only. See
"if dealings take place with any outside body profits from such activities would be liable to tax as the income is not derived from its mutual activities."
Therefore, services provided by FIBKA cannot be extended to non-members without attracting a tax liability on the income derived from those services. This means that we must enforce the policy that only FIBKA affiliated members can avail of FIBKA services, including inter alia: attendance at the Summer Course (whether residential or day visitor); subscription to An Beachaire; participation in the Education / Exam system; entry into classes in official FIBKA honey shows or other honey shows which award FIBKA prize cards and/or are financially supported by FIBKA; attendance at lectures to affiliated Associations where
these are financially supported by FIBKA.

Only CFLs, BeeMasters and Honey Judges who are themselves affiliated members of FIBKA will be entitled to claim travel expenses in relation to lectures, demonstrations, or workshops given to FIBKA affiliated Associations. As has been the case in the past, FIBKA CFLs, BeeMasters and Honey Judges are entitled to provide services to groups outside of FIBKA and to seek full remuneration from them, but they must also be fully indemnified by that group’s insurance.

We understand that IBA CLG has insurance in place for its members. We are unaware of the extent of such insurance cover, or the identity of the provider.
As you know, FIBKA has recently upgraded its insurance cover to the most comprehensive in our history. There are some as yet unknown insurance implications regarding members who might concurrently join both FIBKA and any other body offering insurance. Article 8 General Terms and Conditions of FIBKA insurance policy states with regard to
Other Insurance:
"We will not make any payment under this policy where you would be entitled to be paid under any other insurance if this policy did not exist except in respect of any amount in excess of the amount that would have been payable under such other insurance had this policy not been effected. If such other insurance is provided by us the most we will pay under this policy will be reduced by the amount payable under such other insurance." We have begun consultation with our insurance broker on a number of issues: Ethically, should a single insurer knowingly accept double payment for a single insured person under two different policies?
In the event of a claim being made in respect of activities covered by FIBKA insurance policy and the policy of the second organisation, which policy will be sued, and if the claim is successful, how will the expenses incurred be divided between the two insured bodies?
In the event that a successful claim is made in respect of activities deemed to be covered by FIBKA insurance policy but not by the policy of the second organisation, which policy will take precedence? How do we deal with the fact that FIBKA members insurance could unwittingly be propping up the insurance cover provided by another organisation?

Collegiality amongst the beekeepers of Ireland
As an Executive, we have been dismayed at the defamatory statements made against us, both collectively and as individuals, in emails and on social media, by some Directors of IBA CLG.
We are also disappointed with the manner in which that company has attempted to poach members and Associations affiliated to FIBKA. Not withstanding those reservations, the FIBKA Executive takes the view that the beekeeping community of Ireland is small and has hitherto been reasonably friendly, even when
differences of opinion are very strongly held and defended. We believe that beekeepers must be united in our efforts to promote our craft for the benefit
of the bees and beekeepers of Ireland. It would be a shame if beekeeping friends in Associations around the country were to fall out as a result of recent developments. Therefore, we intend to take a "live and let live" approach, whilst at the same time rigorously protecting the interests of our paid-up members. Any beekeeper who joins an alternative organisation is welcome to return to FIBKA membership at any time in the future, if accepted for membership by a FIBKA affiliated Association.

Yours sincerely,
Gerry Ryan (President)
Stuart Hayes (Vice-President)
Michael Woulfe (Life Vice-President)
Peter O'Reilly (Life Vice-President)
Tom Shaw (Secretary)
Maria Tobin (Treasurer)
Mary Montaut (Editor, An Beachaire)
Dermot O'Flaherty (Manager, An Beachaire)
Michael Maunsell (Education Officer)
Paul O'Brien (PRO)
Eleanor Attridge (Bee Health Officer)
Michael Gleeson (Summer Course Convenor)
Joanna McGlaughlin (Membership Secretary)
Eamon Magee
John Donoghue
Liam Rice
Jim Ryan
Eamon Tubman
Sean Byrne
John Gillespie
Walter Jones
Graham Hall

PDF copy of the letter

Beekeeping Beginners’ Classes

Outline of Course

1. General Introduction and Overview with John Cunningham (former Education Officer of the FIBKA,) & Colette O’Connell, Chairperson of the Co. WBKA, secretary of The Native Irish Honey bee Society, during it’s inaugural year.

  • Bees through the Ages
  • Suggested Reading on Honey Bees
  • Some suggested books
  • The Bee Hive & tools used by the Beekeeper
  • Occupants of the Hive, their life and role of each caste
  • Bee terminology
  • Summary

2. The Beekeeping Year with TBA, (to be advised).

  • Autumn – The Start of the Beekeeping year preparing for the following year
  • Winter – Checking colonies and preparing for spring
  • Spring – build up
  • Summer – foraging

3. Swarming with Micheál Moynihan of Moynihans Honey– Causes, controlling swarming –working with the bees instinct to swarm

the principles behind swarm control to avoid losing the honey crop.

4. Getting started with PJ Curran, third generation beekeeper.

Joining your local Association, the benefits. Suppliers of equipment and what to get when starting out, sourcing bees and the importance of getting Native Irish Honey Bees and NOT imported bees.

5. Products of the Hive- James Claxton


  • Types of Honey - Run, Creamed, Granulated, Chunk, Sections, Cut comb
  • Alcohol using honey – Mead and other
  • Wax Products: Candles, Creams, Bees wax lip balms, soap, wax models etc.
  • Encaustic Art
  • Pollen
  • Propolis
  • Venom Therapy

6. Bee Health – Importance of Hygiene for Healthy Bees with Rupert Musgrave.

  • Adult Bee health
  • Brood Bee health
  • Pests (mice, wasps) and Parasites (Varroa, small hive beetle)


Please contact the Secretary at if you are interested in attending

County Cavan BKA Beginners Course

The 2017 Beginners Course will commence on Thursday 2nd March at 7.45 p.m. The venue will be the Teagasc Offices at Ballyhaise College.

The course will cover

  • Beekeeping Equipment and Apiary siting
  • Natural history of the Honey Bee
  • Practical Hive Inspections
  • Bee Health
  • The Beekeeping year
  • Harvesting of honey
  • Swarms and swarm control

The course fee is €70 for paid up members of County Cavan Beekeepers Association.

This includes

  • Course documentation,
  • Haynes Beekeeping Manual (or equivalent)
  • Examination fee for the Federation of Irish Beekeepers Preliminary Examination.

The course fee is €120 for non-members of County Cavan Beekeepers Association. This includes all the above and

  • One year Membership of County Cavan Beekeepers,
  • Subscription to FIBKA’s magazine An Beachaire,
  • Enrollment in FIBKA’s insurance scheme

Please contact the Secretary at if you are interested in attending

Beginners’ course in Beekeeping 2017

If you are interested in pursuing an outdoor hobby that is close to nature and the opportunity to get a crop of honey avail of this fantastic opportunity. You will get two full days of beekeeping theory and then 6 outdoor demonstrations where the real learning takes place, followed by mentoring. The fee also covers a yearly subscription to STBA, monthly beekeeping magazine for the year, two newsletters full of facts and up to date activities and a beekeeping book. The whole package is fantastic value.


Saturday 8th April 2017

  • Registration 9:30 – 10:00
  • Course 10:00 – 16:30

Saturday 22nd April 2017

  • Time: 9:30 – 16:30

Outdoor demos to follow on a Tuesday evenings at 19:00 – 21:00.

The following topics will be covered:

  • Getting Started/The inhabitants of the hive
  • Equipment and manipulation
  • The Apiary/ A year’s work
  • Hygiene and Disease
  • Swarming
  • Harvesting the crop


€100 must be paid on the first morning of the course


LIT bypass Clonmel

Contact the below to avail of a place:


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What does FIBKA offer its members?

Here is a comprehensive list of what FIBKA offers its members

Letter from FIBKA Executive to all Member Associations

The letter can be read here in its entirety by clicking here. There will also be a downloadable PDF file that you can share with other members of your Association

International Meeting of Young Beekeepers

We are currently looking for young beekeepers (12 -16 age group) to represent Ireland at France 2018. Full details can be seen here

Looking for honey labels and FIBKA lids?

For anyone looking to get the FIBKA jar lids or tamper proof labels for your honey, we have put together the following guidelines in how to apply for them. The document can be downloaded here

Hedge cutting

If you wish to report hedge cutting out of season
Contact the people below
National Parks & Wildlife Service
7 Ely Place
Dublin 2
For General Queries:
Tel: +353-1-888 3242
LoCall 1890 383 000 (within Republic of Ireland only - rates charged for the use of 1890 numbers may vary among different service providers)
Fax: +353-1-888 3272

Disease Sampling Form

Teagasc offers a Honeybee disease diagnostic service to beekeepers, more information available here

All-Ireland Pollinator Plan

Great news! - The All-Ireland Pollinator Plan 2015-2020 is released this week. Click here for more info!

Got something to say!?

We are looking for people to submit articles on beekeeping or anything related to it, on a once off or a regular basis. If you think you could put pen to paper, then please email the Beachaire Manager, Dermot O'Flaherty at