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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Countdown to the NIHBS conference

Conference starts this Friday 9th February with talks by Ralph Buchler and Jonathan Getty.

5.00 p.m. Registration

6.00 p.m. Dr. Ralph Büchler – Organisation and breeding program of the German breeder association AGT.
7.00 p.m. Jonathan Getty – Setting up a Queen Rearing Group
7.45 p.m. – The Reverend Sam Millar Award

No need to pre book, just turn up.

Full list of speakers for Friday and Saturday can be found here


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NIHBS Conference Mark Newenham

Mark Newenham of Coolmore Bees will be outlining his queen rearing method at 2.30 on the afternoon of Saturday 10th February.

venue: Athlone Springs Hotel

‘Coolmore bees started back in 2005 with the original stock consisting of every bee under the sun. However it soon became clear that we needed to start breeding a bee that was adapted to the Irish climate, and subsequently a queen rearing method that could be used in all weather. After many failed attempts, we came up with the “slot system” of continuous queen rearing that allowed us to raise queens with minimal intervention to the hive.

After mite tolerance to many synthetic pyrethroids hit, we looked into breeding for Varroa tolerance and obtained stock from a local organic beekeeper who used little or no treatment. This lack of treatment was kept up until about 2015 until we were forced to start using chemical control methods (in the form of organic acids) again due to major colony losses. Although this was a major setback to our programme, we are continuing to breed for a hygienic and productive honeybee.’

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Jack Hassett – NIHBS Conference

Jack Hassett, who is pursing his doctorate at Limerick Institute of Technology, will be giving an update on his DNA analysis of the native bee population throughout the island of Ireland on the morning of Saturday 10th February. NIHBS has been part funding this work for several years.

Jack who is from Thurles, Tipperary, sampled 300 hives from 80 sites.

Watch out for his paper on the Irish bee population which is through peer review and will be published shortly in the IBRA Journal, The Journal of Apicultural Research.

Conference flyer


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Nihbs Conference 9-10 February

Just a week away from the Nihbs conference in Athlone.

We have a wide variety of speakers to suit beekeepers of all levels and there will be traders stalls with all you need for the forthcoming season.

Conference Flyer

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Producing queens and nucs – Eoghan Mac Giolla Coda

Eoghan will be giving a lecture at the NIHBS conference on Saturday 10th February explaining how he produces queens and nucs
Image result for eoghan mac giolla coda

Eoghan Mac Giolla Coda is a fourth generation Irish beekeeper.   Having learned the craft through helping his father, at a young age in Co. Tipperary, he became aware of the urgent necessity for conserving and protecting the various strains of Dark European Bees that still existed throughout Ireland.

He found that the bees of Co. Louth were fairly pure examples of the European Dark Bee and this was particularly so in the area known as the Cooley peninsula which is a rather isolated area between the Cooley Mountains and the sea

Eoghan has been enthusiastic in reviving and developing the Co. Louth Beekeepers Association, organising classes for beginners and lecture programmes for all members. He has established a breeding group which produces a number of queens each year from selected native stock as well as providing nuclei of docile bees for beginners each year.  He continues to teach the long established GBBG techniques for the evaluation, selection and breeding of the native bees to his fellow Association members.


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Pollinator Plan update – Úna Fitzpatrick

Úna Fitzpatrick from the National Biodiversity Centre will be giving an update on the Ireland Pollinator plan at 2pm on Saturday 10th February. The venue is the NIHBS conference, Athlone Springs Hotel.

Úna has a Ph.D. in Botany.  She worked on a project on the conservation of Irish bees before joining the National Biodiversity Data Centre in 2007 where she has responsibility for plant and pollinator databases.  She is the chair of the steering group that produced the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan 2015-2020 and oversees its implementation.


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Irene Power-easy nucs

Irene Power will be giving a talk titled ‘easy nucs’ at 3pm on Saturday 10th February at the NIHBS conference.

Irene Power comes from a well-known and successful beekeeping family. She has had many successes in honey shows in Ireland and London. She is a member of South Tipperary Beekeepers Association & former Secretary of the Clonmel Honey Show (Largest Honey Show in Ireland). Irene provides beginners courses, Intermediate & Senior Study Groups in county Limerick and helps with outdoor demonstrations in South Tipperary. She is a very practical beekeeper who maintains 15 – 20 colonies, with keen interests in honey bee health and queen rearing & honey production.

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Athlone Springs hotel discounted rooms

The Athlone Springs hotel has offered rooms at a discount to anyone attending the NIHBS conference. There are still a few left but the cut off date for the discount is next Tuesday 23rd January

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Setting up a queen rearing group – Jonathan Getty

Jonathan Getty will be giving a lecture on how to set up a queen rearing group at 7pm on Friday 9th Feb at the NIHBS conference in Athlone.

Jonathan Getty is secretary of the Belfast & District branch of the Ulster Beekeepers Association and is at least a fourth generation beekeeper in the Getty family. His main beekeeping interest is queen rearing based on our native bee Apis mellifera mellifera. He started up the Belfast Minnowburn queenrearing group several years ago and he also manages over 70 colonies of his own. Jonathan holds a BSc Hons in Psychology from Queens University Belfast and gained a postgraduate teaching qualification at Stranmillis Training College. He is a fluent Spanish speaker.

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