The Native Irish Honey Bee Society, in conjunction with Déise Bee Breeders, hosted a second apiary demonstration of bee breeding and queen rearing in West Waterford on Saturday, the 10th, of August
Bee keepers, novices and experienced, revised all aspects of successful breeding. Liam Rice, a member of the Deise Bee Breeders group with PJ Curran, and Pat Deasy who hosted the workshop at his Apiary near Youghal, started the lectures with a summary of the traits that beekeepers should look for when selecting colonies from which to breed.
Liam advised that along with assessing each colony on each of Hooper’s five criteria, that beekeepers should also assess each colony on the criteria defined by the GBBG, (Galtee Bee Breeding Group), ie. Docility, steadiness on the comb, pollen storage, brood pattern and comb building. Liam showed us how beekeepers should be able to place a hand over the bees and move it without the bees flying up at them.
Pat Deasy went over the Cloak Board system again. PJ Curran, covered grafting and the use of apidea boxes and the Ben Harden method of queen rearing. Attendees were given an opportunity to graft, under PJ’s watchful eye.
Such was the enthusiasm, the workshop lasted a half an hour longer than was anticipated. As always, participants enjoyed a welcome cuppa, and some delicious home baking provided by the ever welcoming hostess, Sheila Deasy.
No doubt there will be more capable hands to assist Liam, PJ and Pat in helping others to rear their own queens, which will help to ensure the survival of bee colonies that are queenless, into the future.
A special thank you to all of you!