Three counties beekeeping association

3 Counties Beekeeping Association

Over the last number of years I have been a keen beekeeper in the north side of the Galtee mountains where I have had a couple of successful days in January 2015 and 2016 informing locals on the craft of beekeeping and pollinators with speakers from An tIonad Glas Catherine Caulwell, Micheál Mac Giolla Coda Galtee Honey farm and Veronica Santorum from Limerick’s Buzzing.

As a result of the interest in the locality and the distance from other association meeting Points, County Limerick Beekeeping Association Mungret 40-45minutes away, North Tipperary Nenagh 1hour, South Tipperary Clonmel 1 hour and North Cork Mallow 1 hour we had a prime location to set up another association.  There are a few members who could not attend mid week lectures because of working away so our meetings on a Saturday evening suits the vast majority. We are also very interested in reaching the younger age group in schools etc.

With this new association we are a voluntary conservation association of the Native Irish Honey Bee, which should be beneficial to the south side of the Galtee Mountains being conservation area also.

Our inaugural meeting took place in Knocklong Community Centre on July 2nd where we decided to hold meetings on the first Saturday of every month excluding August. We began in September and registered our interest with FIBKA. There was a bit of misunderstanding of me reading the rules when trying to affiliate to FIBKA:



  1. (a)       An Association, applying for affiliation shall be a group of not less than

Ten persons.


Unfortunately I didn’t read as Ten Fully Paid Up FIBKA members so there was a time delay for the application to get sorted. We have had our application in awaiting the next sitting of FIBKA results of which we have been acceptance as affiliated association to FIBKA.


We have our committee of Chair: Pat Duggan, Secretary: Chris Shute, Treasurer: David O’Grady, PRO/Education: Pauline Walsh plus twelve more full members and four associated.


Our apiary is located in Knockainey on property of one of our members. We just need to get bees at the site which we are hoping for in late spring early summer. This year will see some of our members taking the Preliminary exam [provincial] in conjunction with An tIonad Glas and their students as the location for both written and practical. as we have been learning as a beginners group all winter we shall do practice on weekends every week to allow students time to learn the art of handling bees and be comfortable to take the exam and handle their own colonies when they acquire same.

This is an exciting time to be setting up an association as there are many people whose parents or grandparents had bees in their youth and had thought of wanting to become a beekeeper also as well as those who have never had any connection and want to learn the art also. There are many farmers who and friends who like the idea of having a colony or two on their land helping the environment and the bees to survive though not want to handle the colonies. This suits us who want to expand and have the support of good safe sites for the colonies also.

I have to thank Micheál and Aoife Mac Giolla Coda for their encouragement and support in setting up the new association. We welcome members from any location not just the 3 counties and look forward to a long and fruitful life which enables more people to become involved in the working of these wonderful creatures. As we progress we hope to be able to be able to breed Apis m. mellifera for our own members and for others across the country to enhance the biodiversity and gene pool of our native Irish bees. I look forward to giving updates on the progress over the next few years.

Pauline Walsh

PRO 3 Counties Beekeeping Association   

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Galtee Bee Breeders AGM

The Galtee Bee Breeders will hold their AGM on Sunday 29th Jan. in the Kilcoran Lodge Hotel Cahir at 2pm. New members are more than welcome to join.

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NIHBS Conference

The Native Irish Honey Bee Society will hold its annual conference in The Athlone Springs Hotel on Friday the 10th. and Saturday 11th. February. Special rates have been agreed with the Hotel phone 090 644 4444 and mention you are a delegate.

Check out the list of speakers


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2017 NIHBS membership

Anyone joining now will get membership until the end of 2017.

You can use Paypal or Credit card via the link on the home page.

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Survival of the honey bee is critical for spring pollination

GETTING through the winter isn’t simple. However, the honey bee is one of the few insect species that is adapted to survive winter without becoming completely dormant.

The genetic background of the colony also influences the overwintering success. In a study conducted during 2009 and 2014, spanning 20 apiaries across Europe, led by the Bee Institute in Hessen, Germany, it was found that winter survival was impacted upon by the genetic background of bees.

Colonies headed by local queens survived an average of 83 days longer than colonies headed by non-local queens.

Read more in the IrishExaminer

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Asian Hornet confirmed in UK

Read more

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Randy Oliver

Not to be missed; Randy Oliver will be at the Tullamore Court Hotel on Sunday the 18th. September at 2:30pm. the theme will be ” What future for the local bee” This event is organised by The Native Irish Honey Bee Society, a small cover charge will be made to cover costs for the day, and it is open to all. Hoping to see you all there

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Mite counts for NUIG

NUIG wishes to clarify a misunderstanding some beekeepers might have regarding samples of bees to send in.
The bees are returned alive and well to their hive

The bees are returned alive and well to their hive

Keith Browne needs a sample of ten bees from each hive where a mite count has taken place.
If a bee sample was sent in previously, there is no need to send in a new sample unless the queen has changed 6-8 weeks previously.
If there has been no change in the queen status of the colony then the beekeeper does not need to send us a new sample.
And anyone who has not submitted a sample yet, please do so!

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NUIG researchers come up with plan bee for survival

We have a subspecies in Ireland that is endangered in Europe, and Ireland is likely to be the last stronghold of this species,” said Prof Grace McCormack, from the Molecular Evolution and Systematics Laboratory at NUI Galway

Read more in the Irish Times

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Bee improvement workshops Naas and Sligo

There are two Bee Improvement workshops coming up in early August. Colm O’Neill will hold a workshop on Saturday 6th August at 2.00 p.m. at his home apiary in Naas, Co Kildare. Pat Finnegan will hold a workshop on Sunday, 7th August at 2.00 p.m. in the Sligo/Leitrim area. Full details of venue, etc. will follow.

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