NIHBS Membership

2018 annual membership is 25 Euro and includes 4 copies of the Four Seasons magazine.
Join now via Paypal or use your credit card to become a member for the first time or to renew an existing membership.

If you want to renew membership via the membership form, it can be downloaded here
if you want to make a donation to NIHBS at any time you can do it here

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SICAMM conference report

NIHBS was represented at the recent Sicamm conference in Finland by Helen Mooney and Peter Neary

NIHBS will be hosting the 2020 conference in Ireland

A detailed report of the conference is available here

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SICAMM conference Abstracts

Abstracts from the conference are available here


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Connemara workshop Sunday 1st July

A Bee Improvement workshop will be held in Sean Osborne’s (near Moycullen) apiary on Sunday 1st July.
We will also include a beginners section so all beginners welcome.
Bring your beesuit and gloves as many hives may be opened for long periods.
Time 2 pm  Sunday 1 July
Directions;  From Galway, on the N59 about a mile out from Moycullen take a right for
Keep an eye out for the bee signs

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Bee improvement day Naas Sunday 8th July

Bee Improvement Workshop on Sunday 8th July at 2:00pm


Venue: Apiary at Ladytown, Naas, Co. Kildare


Entry:  €5  – in aid of NIHBS Bee Research Fund


Email for directions:

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Voluntary conservation areas

Several local associations have already made a voluntary declaration to work exclusively with our native Irish honeybee.

Derry and district BKA last night voted to become a voluntary conservation area for Amm. Other groups to have done the same this year are; Co Offlay BKA, North Kildare BKA,  South Kildare BKA  and South Laois BKA.

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John Summerville bee improvement workshop 17th June

John Summerville is holding a Bee Improvement workshop on Sunday 17th June at 2.00 p.m.
Venue:  Apiary at Clonminch, Tullamore.
Email for directions

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Nucs and volunteers wanted for bee health project

Eleanor Attridge FIBKA Bee Health Officer – URGENT 48 Stocks of bees wanted for research project. 

1. Right now we need beekeepers to come forward and supply 48 stocks of bees ( nucs made up now with AMM bees, disease free , and on new frames should be ready by 1 March 2019 ) , we are looking for ten beekeepers to come forward to produce these colonies. All colonies will be equalised for the start of the 2018/19 Winter oilseed rape season. Due to the high winter losses some of you experienced last winter we would like to spread out our source of bees so that Ireland can start at the same time as the other partners in the project.

2. We are looking for 8 beekeepers to come forward that would normally have their hives on winter oilseed rape and would be happy to have a few of these hives in the field near their own along with a stock of bumble bees.

3. We are looking for 8 beekeepers who normally either permanently have their bees in an orchard or move them in and out on a commercial basis for pollination to come forward , that would be happy to have a few extra hives in that orchard , along with a stock of bumblebees.

Please note that in order to eliminate huge travel bills that the locations will need to be within a certain distance of each other. I am very aware that winter oilseed rape is in a three crop rotation and is prone to moving each year as a result, however the orchards stay in the one place. I am also painfully aware that there was very little winter oilseed rape sown in autumn 2017 , however with the current price of oil creeping higher , there may be more of it going in this September.

This project will run until end 2020 as far as the beekeepers are concerned and during that time a student will be on the road taking some samples of bees brood comb etc . They will also be monitoring the bumble bees on a regular basis for whatever the project requires , it might be brood this week , bees the next visit to see what virus’s they carry etc. Each country does the same thing in the same rotation. Those samples will then head off to labs in Germany and France for further analysis and then some of the partners in the other countries will be comparing the samples from the various readings obtained to compare the bee-health of the Irish stocks against the bee-health of those in similar conditions in other countries.

Trinity are currently advertising for two people, one a PhD student to help take the samples at the various locations and one a Post-doctoral researcher to coordinate the project and translate the documentation from Ireland to suit the other European partners, so keep an eye on their website if it is something that interests you or a member of your family.
For those of you interested in supplying stocks, by making up nucs now or would be happy to have three extra stocks in alongside your own for the duration of the project, (two years of beekeeping) drop me an email and I will give you further information. For once, Irish beekeepers have an input into Irish Honeybee research and they are being paid to supply the stocks.

This is a great achievement for the Irish beekeepers and the information when it is all dissected and put together will be invaluable for the bee-health committee and our Irish beekeepers in years to come. The funding for this project comes from Horizon2020. If you are interested in either supplying honey-bees, or having the stocks in near your own, please drop me an email to


Eleanor Attridge FIBKA Bee Health Officer 0872541517

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Galtee Bee Breeding Group workshop 10th June

Workshop in Bee Improvement and Queen Rearing on Sunday 10th June,   at Glengarra Wood, Burncourt, Co. Tipperary  
Workshops on various aspects of honey bee improvement and queen rearing
Registration at 2.00 p.m. 
Members of GBBG and NIHBS – €5; 
Non members €10. 
Tea and scones at 5.00 p.m. 
Raffle for valuable prizes in aid of NIHBS bee research fund.

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A significant pure population of the dark European honey bee remains in Ireland

Great to see the research carried out at LIT and NUIG published in the Journal of Apicultural Research.

NIHBS members contributed by sending in samples for DNA testing.
Ireland has one of the most pure Amm populations in Europe. Many of us have always believed that we had something unique in Ireland and it is great to have that belief confirmed by peer reviewed research.

The paper is open access and can be read here.


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COLOSS: Honey Bee Colony Loss/Survival Survey 2017/2018

The annual COLOSS survey on winter colony losses is now available for completion online by clicking the hyperlink:

Alternatively, it can be completed manually by printing the pdf file

Completed surveys should be returned to Mary F Coffey, Teagasc, Oakpark Research Centre, Carlow.

Closing date is 1 June 2018

Please participate…Thank you

Mary F Coffey

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