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 cavanbeekeepers@gmail.com if you are interested in attending

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

HARVESTING HONEY.

  • 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 countywaterfordbeekeepers@gmail.com if you are interested in attending

Syllabus of Examination for Proficiency in Apiculture :
Senior Scientific written syllabus for Examination 2017


Although the following is a comprehensive outline of the syllabus, the student is also expected to be up to date with modern research on the honeybee, particularly where this research is dealt with in newer textbooks or in lectures that (s)he has attended.
Note this syllabus is indicative not exhaustive (look on both scientific and practical for completeness)

Natural History

The student will be able to:

  • give a detailed account of sex determination in the honeybee
  • give a detailed account of the effect of feeding on caste determination in females of the honeybee
  • give an outline account of the discussion regarding the differences between royal jelly and brood food
  • give a detailed account of the production of swarm, supersedure and emergency queen cells and the influence of "queen substance" on the production of these cells
  • describe the signs and the causes of a "drone laying queen" in a colony
  • describe the signs of laying workers in a colony and give an account of the circumstance in which they are produced and the pheromones involved
  • give an outline account of the physiological differences between laying and normal workers
  • illustrate and describe the structure of the egg of the honeybee
  • illustrate and describe the development of the embryo within the egg and the hatching of the larva
  • illustrate and describe the external and internal anatomy of the honeybee larva
  • give a detailed account of the metamorphosis of the honeybee larva
  • give an outline account of ecdysis (moulting)
  • give an outline account of larval defecation and cocoon spinning
  • illustrate and describe the external anatomy of the propupa and its change to the pupa
  • give an outline account of the change from pupa to imago
  • give an outline account of the structure and main constituents of the cuticle
  • give an outline account of the invagination of the cuticle within the body of the honeybee to form linings such as those of the gut and trachea
  • give a detailed description of the external anatomy of all castes of the honeybee and tabulate the differences between them
  • give a detailed account of the function of all the appendages of the honeybee such as wings, legs, antennae, sting, mouth parts and hairs, give a detailed account of the life histories of one selected species of each of the following: solitary bee, social bee (other than Apis mellifera), solitary wasp, social wasp, found in Ireland.

 

Internal Honeybee Biology and Anatomy

The student will be able to describe in detail and illustrate, referring to histological features where appropriate:

  • the alimentary canal, including digestion, assimilation, and the production of enzymes
  • the excretory system, and substances excreted
  • the respiratory system, including muscular ventilation of the main trunks and diffusion of oxygen and carbon dioxide
  • the circulatory system, including the heart, dorsal and ventral diaphragms
  • the composition and function of the blood of the honeybee
  • the exocrine glands and their functions, particularly the hypopharyngeal glands and changes in their function, the mandibular glands and their secretions, the wax glands
  • wax production, the Nasonov gland and sting glands
  • the nervous system including the sense receptors
  • the fat body including its storage of metabolites
  • the reproductive system of queen and drone.


The student will be able to give an outline account of:

  • glycolysis and energy production
  • the muscular functions in relation to respiration and flight
  • the endocrine glands
  • sperm and egg production

 

Genetics and Evolution

The student will be able to give an outline account of the various races and strains of Apis mellifera commonly found in Europe and will be able to give a description of their appearance and behavioural characteristics and the evolution of the honeybee as a social insect. The student will be familiar with Mendelian genetics, chromosomes, meiosis and mitosis, inheritance in the honeybee, the genetic basis of sex determination including parthenogenesis and dominant/recessive alleles.

Bee Behaviour

The student will be able to give a detailed account of:

  • the function and behaviour of the worker honeybee throughout its life including types of work done, duration of work periods under normal circumstances and variations in behaviour due to seasonal changes and the state of the colony
  • the mating behaviour of the honeybee queen and drone including an account of the pheromones involved
  • the queen honeybee's egg laying behaviour including the variation of numbers laid with changing circumstances and time of year
  • the seasonal variation in the population size of a honeybee colony and an explanation of such variations
  • the organisation of the honeybee colony
  • the methods of communication used by the honeybee including food sharing, dancing, scenting and vibration, the behaviour of the foraging bee and its work methods in the field, including orientation, the behaviour of worker bees towards intruders and the theories advanced to describe the means by which colonies recognise intruders
  • the collection of nectar and water and their use by the colony
  • the inter relationship of nectar, honey and water in the honeybee colony
  • the conversion of nectar to honey including the inversion of sucrose in, and the evaporation of water from nectar and the role of the honeybee in accomplishing these changes
  • the collection and storage of pollen by the honeybee colony
  • the collection and use of propolis by the honeybee colony
  • the conditions leading to swarming
  • the conditions leading to supersedure
  • the behaviour of swarms and the method of selection by the swarm of a site for a new home
  • the initiation of comb building and of the construction of comb
  • the colony in winter, with special reference to ventilation, humidity and temperature control
  • Honeybee Forage Plants and Pollination


The student will be able to give:

  • a list of the major nectar and pollen producing flowers of Ireland and their flowering periods
  • a detailed account of the wild and cultivated nectar and pollen producing flowers of his own locality
  • a list of floral sources of undesirable nectar and a brief description of the characteristics of these nectars
  • an illustrated description of the floral structure and mechanisms of the following nectar and pollen producing flowers: clover, apple, mustard, ling, lime and dandelion
  • an illustrated description of extra floral nectaries
  • an illustrated description of the shape, structure and colour of pollen grains with reference to their diversity of shape and size as an aid to identification
  • an outline account of the process of pollination and fertilisation of flowering plants
  • an outline account of the factors affecting nectar secretion and variations in its composition in different flower species and differing weather conditions
  • an outline account of the main constituents of honeydew and its origins

 

Disease, Pests and Poisoning

The student will be able to give:

  • a detailed account of viruses and their detection
  • a detailed account of the life cycle of the Varroa mite, its detection and treatment
  • a detailed account of the life cycle of the Small Hive Beetle and Asian Hornet, its detection and treatment
  • a detailed account of the signs and symptoms of American Foul Brood (AFB) and European Foul Brood (EFB)
  • a detailed account of the development of AFB and EFB within the colony
  • an outline account of the life cycle of the causative organisms of AFB and EFB and the development within the larva
  • a detailed account of the ways in which AFB and EFB are spread
  • a detailed account of the statutory requirements relating to honeybee pests and diseases and their implementation in Ireland
  • a detailed account of the treatment of AFB and EFB including methods of destruction of colonies and sterilisation of equipment
  • an outline account of the signs and symptoms of varroasis and methods of detection, treatment and any subsequent problems that might arise
  • a detailed account of Addled Brood, Chalk Brood, Sac Brood and Stone Brood; their causes, signs and symptoms and recommended treatment
  • a detailed account of the signs and symptoms (if any) of all adult honeybee diseases found in Ireland
  • an outline account of the life cycle of the causative organisms of adult honeybee diseases
  • a detailed account of the various treatments for adult bee diseases
  • a detailed account of the laboratory diagnosis of Acarine, Nosema and Amoeba disease
  • an outline account of the life cycle of braula coeca and its effect upon the colony
  • an outline account of the signs and symptoms of poisoning by natural substances, pesticides and herbicides
  • a list of crops most likely to be sprayed thereby causing damage to honeybee colonies
  • examples of methods of spraying and the sprays which are likely to be least detrimental to honeybee colonies, a detailed account of the methods which can be used by the beekeeper to diminish the problem of spray poisoning
  • an account of the action to be taken when spray damage is suspected
  • give a detailed account of wax moth damage and of the life cycle of both Lesser and Greater Wax Moths (Achroia Grisella and Galleria Mellonella)

 

Honeybee Products

The student will be able to:

  • give a detailed account of fermentation in honey, approximate results which would be obtained from an analysis of a typical sample of honey and an outline account of the range of variations of the main constituents
  • give a detailed account of the properties of honey including specific gravity, viscosity hydroscopicity and reactions to heat,

 

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.

When:

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

Cost:

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

Venue:

LIT bypass Clonmel

Contact the below to avail of a place:

Syllabus of Examination for Proficiency in Apiculture:
Senior Practical written Syllabus for Examination 2017


Although the following is a comprehensive outline of the syllabus, the student is also expected to be up to date with modern research on the honeybee, particularly where this research is dealt with in newer textbooks or in lectures that (s)he has attended.
Note this syllabus is indicative not exhaustive (look on both scientific and practical for completeness)

Natural History

The student will be able to:

  • describe the signs and the causes of a "drone laying queen" in a colony
  • describe the signs of laying workers in a colony and give an account of the circumstance in which they are produced and the pheromones involved

 

Bee Behaviour

The student will be able to give a detailed account of:

  • the conditions leading to swarming
  • the conditions leading to supersedure
  • the student will be able to give
  • an illustrated description of the shape, structure and colour of pollen grains with reference to their diversity of shape and size as an aid to identification
  • a detailed account of the use of honeybees in orchards and fields of seed crops with particular reference to honeybee behaviour

 

Disease, Pests and Poisoning

The student will be able to give:

  • a detailed account of viruses and their detection
  • a detailed account of the life cycle of the Varroa mite, its detection and treatment
  • a detailed account of the life cycle of the Small Hive Beetle and Asian Hornet, its detection and treatment
  • a detailed account of the signs and symptoms of American Foul Brood (AFB) and European Foul Brood (EFB)
  • a detailed account of the development of AFB and EFB within the colony
  • an outline account of the life cycle of the causative organisms of AFB and EFB and the development within the larva
  • a detailed account of the ways in which AFB and EFB are spread
  • a detailed account of the statutory requirements relating to honeybee pests and diseases and their implementation in Ireland
  • a detailed account of the treatment of AFB and EFB including methods of destruction of colonies and sterilisation of equipment
  • an outline account of the signs and symptoms of varroosis and methods of detection, treatment and any subsequent problems that might arise
  • a detailed account of Addled Brood, Chalk Brood, Sac Brood and Stone Brood; their causes, signs and symptoms and recommended treatment
  • a detailed account of the signs and symptoms (if any) of all adult honeybee diseases found in Ireland
  • an outline account of the life cycle of the causative organisms of adult honeybee diseases
  • a detailed account of the various treatments for adult bee diseases
  • a detailed account of the laboratory diagnosis of Acarine, Nosema and Amoeba disease
  • an outline account of the life cycle of braula coeca and its effect upon the colony
  • an outline account of the signs and symptoms of poisoning by natural substances, pesticides and herbicides
  • a list of crops most likely to be sprayed thereby causing damage to honeybee colonies
  • examples of methods of spraying and the sprays which are likely to be least detrimental to honeybee colonies, a detailed account of the methods which can be used by the beekeeper to diminish the problem of spray poisoning
  • an account of the action to be taken when spray damage is suspected

 

Historical Aspects of Beekeeping

The student will be able to give a detailed account of:

  • the history of bee keeping in Ireland and of leading contributors to the knowledge of honeybee and of bee keeping practices
  • bee keeping methods of the past and modern developments from these
  • the evolution of the moveable from hives in Ireland and their frames and components
  • the discoveries of some the more famous beekeepers outside of Ireland such as Bro Adam, Huber, von Frisch, Langstroth etc.

 

Apiary and Honeybee Management

The student will be able to:

  • give a description of the various hives in use in Ireland
  • give the main features in their construction and the principles which govern their design
  • describe and give the measurements of various types of frame used in Ireland today
  • define and describe the concept of "the bee space"
  • give a detailed account of the use of wax foundation and its manufacture both commercially and by home production
  • describe methods of fitting frames with wax foundation including wiring and embedding
  • give a detailed account of the various methods of spacing frames in hives
  • give the usual dimensions for the spacing of frames, and the advantages and disadvantages of varying the spacing
  • give a detailed account of how to begin beekeeping, including the acquisition of bees, sources of equipment and costs, and any precautions necessary particularly in suburban areas
  • give a detailed account of good apiary work practice and any precautions that must be taken in accordance with the Health and Safety Act
  • give a detailed account of the setting up and management throughout the season of a observation hive and the various uses to which observation hives can be put
  • describe in detail the factors to be considered in the sitting of colonies in both home apiaries and out apiaries, describe in detail the criteria used in the selection of out apiaries
  • give a detailed account of drifting of honeybees
  • the dangers caused and methods of apiary layout to minimise this problem
  • give a detailed account of the year's work in the apiary and describe how this is dependent upon the annual colony cycle and the timing of local bee forage
  • give a detailed account of the principles involved in feeding bees, including types of feeder, amounts of food, types of food and timing of feeding
  • give a detailed account of the nutritional value of honey and of pollen to the honeybee colony
  • give an outline account of the use of pollen substitutes
  • give a detailed account of the principles of supering honeybee colonies, and the relationship of supering to swarm control
  • give a detailed account of the use of the queen excluder and the types in general use
  • give a detailed account of the various methods of swarm control used in Ireland in both small and large scale beekeeping enterprises
  • give a detailed account of methods of taking and hiving swarms of honeybees
  • give a detailed account of methods of making nuclei and the various uses to which nuclei can be put
  • give a detailed account of how swarms and nuclei are built up into colonies for honey production
  • give a detailed account of the various methods of uniting colonies of honeybees, of the underlying principles of these methods and the precautions to be taken
  • give a detailed account of the various methods of queen rearing
  • give the principles of the selection of breeder queens
  • give an outline account of the methods of instrumental insemination of queen honeybees and the use of the technique in honeybee breeding
  • give a detailed account of the methods of queen introduction; the principles underlying the processes involved; the precautions to be taken; and the attendant difficulties in relation to different strains of bee and colony condition
  • give a detailed account of robbing in its various forms, its prevention, dangers, and methods of termination once it has started
  • give a detailed account of spring management of colonies
  • give a detailed account of the assessment of the quality of a colony for honey production
  • give a detailed account of the methods of marking queens and the value of the practice
  • give a detailed account of the methods of clipping queens and the value of the practice
  • give a detailed account of summer management including the control and prevention swarming
  • give a detailed account of the management needed to cope with different districts, weather conditions and the timing of flowering of forage plants
  • give a detailed account of the management of colonies for the production of comb honey, sections, cut comb and heather honey
  • give a detailed account of methods of moving colonies and the difficulties and dangers involved
  • give a detailed account of the management of colonies used for migratory beekeeping for both honey production and pollination services
  • give a detailed account of the various methods used to "clear" bees from supers
  • give a detailed account of the preparation of colonies for the winter period and the principles underlying the preparations
  • give a detailed account of methods of excluding mice from colonies and of the damage they can cause
  • give a detailed account of woodpecker damage to hives and methods of prevention
  • give a detailed account of wax moth damage and of the life cycle of both Lesser and Greater Wax Moths (Achroia Grisella and Galleria Mellonella)
  • give a detailed account of the proper storage of comb including fumigation and methods of preventing wax moth damage

 

Honeybee Products

The student will be able to:

  • give a detailed account of the main requirements of the statutory regulations affecting handling, preparation for sale, composition, labelling, and weight of packs of honey
  • give a detailed account of the various methods used to decap honey combs, and of separating the cappings from the honey
  • give a detailed account of the extraction of honey, including heather honey, from comb and the various types of extractor used
  • give a detailed account of the straining and settling of honey after extraction
  • give a detailed account of the storage of honey including the underlying principles of storage
  • give a detailed account of the preparation and bottling of extracted honey (liquid, creamed or granulated) for sale
  • give a detailed account of sieving, straining and filtration of honey for sale
  • give a detailed account of the preparation of sections and cut comb honey for sale
  • give a detailed account of the bottling of chunk honey for sale
  • give a detailed account of the process of granulation in honey including its cause, initiation, speed, texture and size of crystal
  • give a detailed account of fermentation in honey, approximate results which would be obtained from an analysis of a typical sample of honey and an outline account of the range of variations of the main constituents
  • give a detailed account of the properties of honey including specific gravity, viscosity hydroscopicity and reactions to heat
  • give a detailed account of the methods of recovering beeswax, a description of the main constituents and physical properties of beeswax
  • give a detailed account of the uses for, and marketing of, beeswax
  • give a detailed account of the use of other bee products such as pollen, royal jelly, venom, and propolis
  • give a detailed account of the preparation of bee products for the show bench.

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News

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
IRELAND D02 TW98
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
E-mail: nature.conservation@ahg.gov.ie
Web: www.npws.ie


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  manager.beachaire@irishbeekeeping.ie