No Pollen - No Bees

Let's be honest. Most beekeepers keep bees to obtain a crop of honey, and value their bees on these basics. But Nature however has other ideas. Primarily the part played by the honey bee is that of Pollinator.

Flowers attract bees by producing the sugars needed by the adult bee, and a superabundance of pollen, enough for both for pollination, and for the bees to take home for rearing their brood.

About mid-January or early February, a very slight supply can be obtained from early Willow trees (catkins). During March, Dandelions supply most of their needs. April will see some garden plants and fruit trees, visited by the bees. May and June bring in many more bee flowers.

During early and midsummer, scores of plants yield pollen, and it is during late Summer and early Autumn that the bees collect as much pollen as possible, ending with the Ivy in late Autumn.

This Ivy pollen is stored in the cells and having been capped with wax will keep until required in January at the commencement of brood rearing.

Without pollen there would eventually be no plants, trees or flowers of any kind, the role played by pollen in our lives is probably so complex that it will take man a long time to explore fully this most fascinating subject.

Intensive study of bees in many countries has proved that these energetic little creatures are unable to live without pollen, or nectar, which when ripened they store as honey.

Worker bees continually gather pollen, to preserve in the hives as bee bread. What a daily slice of bread it produces for these magnificent creatures, including the Queen who benefits from the nurse bees eating large quantities of pollen enabling them to produce the Royal Jelly to feed her.

In the hive the bee larvae live on brood food pollen and honey, and for the young bee when she first emerges pollen is a very important part of her diet.

We can now see how nature has made up this miraculous cycle, for without pollen not only would plants die off, but the bees' doom would also be sealed.

I would like to point out that the honey bee is the one insect concerned in pollination, whose scene of activities can be controlled to some extent. It is of prime importance to any country, that in difficult years the number of colonies be maintained in an efficient state to carry out the work for which nature intended for God's creatures.

James Power



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