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The Year of the Honeybee 2011

How it all began

We in the Federation of Irish Beekeepers' Associations declared 2011 The Year of the Honeybee for the following reasons:

  • Honeybees worldwide are under more stress now than they have been throughout history. Their plight in many cases is man made. Colony collapse now regularly occurs in areas where honeybees are used for pollination of mono-crops such as almonds, pistachio nuts etc.
  • Diseases, lack of biodiversity and the misuse of insecticides on a large scale are some of the problems facing our bees.
  • The varroa mite, a parasite which is now endemic on Apis mellifera mellifera has killed off all our feral colonies. Swarms carrying varroa recolonise in sites in the wild and as they are untreated act as a source of varroa reinfestation and other diseases. Colonies with high levels of mite infestations die due to viral infections.
  • Honeybees are essential pollinators for agricultural, horticulture and gardeners alike as they increase food crop yields by up to twenty five percent. In California, the almond crop is totally dependent on honeybee pollination and without it almonds could not be produced.

However, things are not all that gloomy in Ireland. we still have hedgerows where whitethorn, blackberry, bramble, willow etc. grow wild in abundance. Much biodiversity, controlled use of pesticides and a native strain of Apis mellifera mellifera known as the dark Irish bee leaves Ireland a haven for apiculture.

Our bees have acclimatised over millennia and are very suited to Irish conditions - foraging at low temperatures, frugal with their winter store - building up fast into strong colonies by early summer thus leading to a high honey yields at harvest time.

We take bee health issues very seriously in Ireland and as a result we conduct informative bee health seminars nationwide for our members on a regular basis.

Apimondia - the International Federation of Beekeepers' Associations - has chosen Ireland to host Apimondia's 1st Bee Health Symposium March 20th -22nd, 2012 at City West Hotel & Convention Centre, Dublin,Ireland.

For 2011 we are promoting beekeeping, public awareness to the necessity of the bees as pollinators and the advantages of our dark native Irish bee. With these goals in mind we have enlisted our fifty one affiliated associations nationwide to stage promotional public events.

We launched "The Year of the Honey Bee 2011" in the National Botanic Gardens on the 26th and 27th of March.

We are concluding our celebrations at the Dublin Honey Show, Christ Church Hall, Rathgar, Dublin on November 6 2011


This is your starting point for all information regarding TYOTHB2011 and events nationwide throughout the year.

We expect to have a full schedule of events available here shortly.

Children's Art Competition

Detailed results here

Colony - the Film

Saturday, April 2nd & Sunday, April 3rd

Read more here

Meet the Beekeepers in the West

21st and 22nd of May

The Westport, Connemara, and Ballina Associations in conjunction with the F.I.B.K.A. are hosting an event "Honey" from the Bee to the Table, at the Feile na Tuaithe festival.

The festival takes place at the Museum of Country Life Turlough outside Castlebar Co Mayo on the 21st and 22nd of May as their contribution to promote The Year of the Honeybee.

You are welcome to come along to this event to meet the Beekeepers from the West over this 2 day festival, why not include this event as part of a short or long break to the West.

More information here

Closing Event

Saturday, November 6th

Read more here