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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NIHBS information leaflets now available

NIHBS information leaflets

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NIHBS Leinster Conference Sunday 29th April

Note:  The full range of the new NIHBS Information Leaflets and Booklets will be available for sale on the day.
In addition, Paul O’Sullivan of Bee Supplies will attend with some beekeeping supplies – if you wish to order in advance please contact Paul directly.
Everyone welcome – looking forward to seeing you there.


Athy Church of Ireland Centre is located behind St. Michael’s Church of Ireland Church on the Carlow Road, Athy, Co. Kildare.

From Dublin: Take the N7/M7 to the south from the Red Cow Junction.


Turn off at the M9 junction to Waterford.

Take the 2nd exit, signed N78, to Athy.

From South East: Travel North on M9 to Athy / N78 Junction. Take N78 to Athy.

Local Directions, coming from M9.

Follow signs to Athy town centre.

Turn left onto Carlow Road at 3rd set of traffic lights (Xtra Vision on right)

Drive 250m up Carlow Road, turn right before Church of Ireland Church, centre car park on left.
Additional parking at the railway station, Emily square or the surrounding streets
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Ireland joins international group trying to protect bees

Since 2015, Ireland has an All-Ireland Pollinator Plan (AIPP) in place. This was one of the first cross-sector attempts by any country to arrest the decline in pollinators.

The initiative was led by Dr Una Fitzpatrick of the National Biodiversity Data Centre in Co Waterford, and botanist Prof Jane Stout of Trinity College.

Read more in the Irish Times

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NIHBS Munster Seminar

This will take place on Saturday 14th April in the Hibernian Hotel, Mallow

Speakers include Eoghan Mac Giolla Coda, Jack Hassett, Redmond Williams, Michael Maunsell and Dennis Ryan.

Full details here

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Scottish Native Honey Bee conference

Scottish Native Honey Bee Society
Annual Meeting – Loch Leven Community Campus, Kinross
Saturday 17 March 2018 at 10:00-16:00

Per Kryger, Aarhus University, Denmark.
Per is a Danish scientist working in the SMARTBEES and other projects. He will give us an update on progress exploring genetic variation in honey bees and on the tools becoming available for breeders.
Jon Getty, Native Irish Honey Bee Society.
Jon is secretary of the Belfast Beekeepers Association and the webmaster of NIHBS. He will share his extensive knowledge of queen rearing and the use of mini-nuclei.
Ian Lennox, Coordinator of the new project on assessing the status of native honey bees in Scotland.
Ian will report on the activities of a newly formed group to support this project and on the progress expected in 2018.
Business meeting:
Report from the Chair on SNHBS activities since the launch and a look ahead to 2018 and beyond.
Financial report; Members’ forum; Changes to the Constitution; Election of the new board.
The meeting is open to members. Anyone interested can join the society for £20 at
A buffet lunch will be available at £7.50 for people registering their interest by 10 March via the Eventbrite link at the website above.

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Contact your MEP about protecting local bees

Dear Native Bee Supporter,
The following is from POLLINIS – a very active group based in France who are campaigning for Native/Local honey bees.
This is very important news for our bees especially in the wake of the recent research results confirming the genetic purity and uniqueness of the Irish Native Honey Bee – Apis mellifera mellifera.
So please read the message below and do contact your MEPs for their support.
Regards, Loretta
Last month signatures of 40 associations and scientists from all over Europe were presented to the MEPs in order to encourage them to vote in favor of the amendments asking for the protection of local European bees in the apiculture report of the AGRI Committee. The final text voted by the MEPs and adopted almost unanimously (38+, 1-) on January 23 recognises:

the necessity to preserve the extraordinary genetic inheritance, the diversity and the capacity of adaptation of the local populations and endemic to bees”.

However, POLLINIS is disappointed that the final text does not include the amendment referring to the need for a legal protection of local bees :

” Calls on the European Commission and Member States to put in place measures to increase legal protection and financial support for local honey bee ecotypes and populations throughout the European Union, including by way of legally protected locally endemic honey bee conservation areas ”.

In the coming days we will do our best to reintroduce this amendment before 21 February so it can be put to the vote at the plenary meeting of the European Parliament that will take place March 1rst.

In order for this to happen, we need to gather the signatures of 76 MEPs so that the amendment can be discussed at this meeting and the legal protection has a chance to finally emerge.

➡  It is absolutely necessary to contact your MEPs so that they commit to sign for the reintroduction of this amendment, this is the only possible way to finally recognize and protect your work!

The stakes are high and the time you devote to this task will be rewarded you a hundredfold in the field! Set off some time to the task, share the work between you, divide it in several chunks if necessary, but please, do it, it is vital to obtain a permanent protection of local bees!

 1.  Send the following email:

 2.  Do not hesitate to call your MEPs, their contact details are made available for this purpose and they don’t always read their emails. It will encourage them to give their consent right away. Time is pressing! You will find each MEP’s contact details in the right column of their profile on the following website simply choose your country:

 3.  When one MEP agrees to sign for the reintroduction of the amendment, simply provide us with his name.

 We will arrange for the document to circulate within the Parliament in order for it to be signed by each MEP giving his approval.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to write to us at
We thank you for your participation in what could become a historical event in the defence of local bees everywhere in Europe!


Nicolas Laarman, general delegate of POLLINIS.

Contact : Fanny Buffin

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