Native Irish Honey Bee Society – Apis mellifera mellifera

Native Irish Honey Bee Society
Apis mellifera mellifera

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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