Prizewinners from NIHBS Athlone Conference

Click here to see the list of prizewinners

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Irish Times letter about hedgerow destruction

Sir, – Today the Heritage Bill will be debated in Seanad Éireann. Introduced by the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs Heather Humphreys, the Bill proposes to permit “the cutting, grubbing and otherwise destroying” of hedgerows in August each year and burning in the uplands during the month of March.

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Support our pollinators

An Open Message to all TDs and Senators
DSCF3132loresWe The Native Irish Honey Bee Society ask on behalf of all Pollinators, not to pass legislation contained in the Heritage Bill section 8-1 and 8-2 Part 3 wildlife section of the bill which will be before The Senate on Thursday the 2nd of march. Pollinator insects emerge from hibernation in March and depend on a good pollen source for their well being. In August the pollinator needs a good source of pollen for winter hibernation. By bringing the date to the end of March and 1st August will have a detrimental affect on all pollinators, who are already under stress with a dwindling supply of Flora. Pollinators are a vital part of our Bio Diversity and food production. Pollinators are estimated to add 53 million to the economy annually ( Bio Diversity Centre). We depend on you for the generations to come not to allow a change to the present legislation.

The Native Irish Honey Bee Society (Apis mellifera mellifera) was established in 2012 to preserve our Native Honey bee as one of the Islands great Pollinators. We are an all Ireland body with members in all counties of Ireland.

These are the two sections that should not be implemented


7. Definitions (Part 3)
8. Destruction or burning of vegetation on uncultivated land
9. Exclusion of Inland Fisheries Ireland from application of section 40 of Act of 1976 10. Powers of authorised persons
11. Penalties and fixed payment notice
Destruction or burning of vegetation on uncultivated land
8. (1) Notwithstanding section 40 (as amended by section 46 of the Act of 2000) of the Act 30 of 1976, the Minister may make regulations, in relation to land referred to in that section, to allow the burning of vegetation during such period or periods during the month of March of such year in such part or parts of the State as specified in the regulations, subject to such conditions or restrictions specified in the regulations to ensure the protection of fauna or flora. 35
(2) Notwithstanding section 40 of the Act of 1976, a person who owns or holds land referred to in that section, may, during the month of August, undertake the cutting, grubbing or destroying otherwise of vegetation growing in any hedge or ditch on the land, subject to such conditions or restrictions specified in regulations made by the Minister in relation to hedgerow husbandry, management or maintenance to protect 5 fauna or flora.

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NIHBS Conference Athlone 10th-11th February

Don’t miss out!

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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

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