Imports of Bees into Northern Ireland

Following the discovery of Varroa in Devon in 1992, all imports of bees into Northern Ireland were banned and therefore illegal.

Once our varroa-free status was breached in April 2002, the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) made it clear to the Ulster Beekeepers' Association on 24th April 2002 that Northern Ireland had to follow European regulations and allow imports of queen bees and attendant workers, under licence, from all European Union States, Hawaii and South Island, New Zealand.

The bees must be accompanied by an appropriate Health Certificate and are checked on arrival. UBKA was opposed to such imports and argued against them because of the dangers of the transportation other diseases, of which we are free at present.

A number of importations have been made following the arrangements mentioned above. These legal importations were under license, issued by DARD, and the bees were inspected by DARD officials at Newforge Lane.

UBKA expresses its total condemnation of the attempted illegal importation of ten queen bees from Georgia, USA, earlier this year. It compliments the United Kingdom Customs Authority on its diligence in intercepting the package of bees.

UBKA understands that the intended recipient of the bees was given an official warning but that no prosecution will take place. We would hope that further action would be taken were such a scenario to arise in the future since there are many beekeepers who do not belong to an Association.

The attendant publicity would do much to educate them about the parasites and viruses which could be present with the bees from unofficial sources, thus putting at risk the craft of beekeeping for their own selfish personal gain.

We have made every effort to make the facts, as we are aware of them, known to the beekeepers of Northern Ireland, since these queens may have been for sale to beekeepers who are unaware of the laws relating to, and the dangers of, such importation.



Co. Dublin Honey Show

The Dublin Beekeeper’s association will hold its Honey Show on Sat 4th Nov, in Christ Church Hall in Rathgar at 10.30. Entries from Beekeepers across the country and stiff competition have made this event a favourite for Dubliners and visitors from around the country in recent years. 

Entries are now being registered online at Alternatively you can print an entry and post it to the address on the entry form

Co. Mayo BKA Honey Show!

Co. Mayo BKA will be holding their annual honey show on Monday the 23rd of October in the Community Centre, Dromore West, Co Sligo. This event is starting at 5pm and honey needs to be entered before 4.30pm.

The highlight of the show will be an in-depth talk by world-renowned beekeeper, Mark L Winston, who will share insights from his seminal work, "Bee Time: Lessons from the Hive" and world renowned expert on heather honey and Mead, Michael Badger MBE, will be the Chief Honey judge and will also give a presentation on heather honey. The talk will start from 6pm and will be free!

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

Bee Research Project!

FIBKA are co operating with CIT to run a beehealth project to improve the genetic diversity of Irish honey bee stocks, funding needed either corporate or individual. Click here for more info!

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