Dara Scott will give us a talk 'On Simple Queen-rearing' on Wednesday, March 2nd at 7.30 pm. This is an ingenious method and everybody should try to attend. Just email Mary Keenan at [email protected] and she will send you the link when it is available.

New Education Framework

The Federation of Irish Beekeepers’ Associations is rolling out its New Education Framework in 2022 and we are inviting all affiliated Associations to engage with the implementation process from the very start.

The first step in this process is to begin to establish communication pathways, and we are asking all associations to nominate one contact person, who will act as the direct link between the New Education Framework Panel and their Association.

We are aware that each Association has unique needs in beekeeping education, and by having a direct link through the nominated person we will be able to help to address some of these needs.

The nominated education liaison will be invited to a zoom meeting in February, where we will outline the initial phase of the implementation of the New Education Framework. We hope to answer many of your questions at this meeting and explain the phased introduction of the framework to our affiliated Associations.

The roll out of the framework will be on a phased basis, starting the implementation of the framework with Stage 2 (Basic). For you information please find attached a copy of the framework as presented to the Chair’s and Secretaries group on the 10/11/21.  It outlines all the Stages and includes a summary of what is involved for the completion of Stage 2.

Tutors are the core of any successful education programme, and FIBKA will be hosting a Training the Trainers workshop in March 2022 for prospective Stage 2 tutors. This workshop will be explained and expanded on further at the February zoom meeting with the nominated education liaison contacts.

The New Education Framework Panel in this process as it is only through participation that problems can be ironed out. If you have any questions, please contact [email protected]. With your help we look forward to developing a new future for beekeeping education in Ireland.

Please forward the name and email contact of the person who will act as the education liaison for your association to [email protected]

AGM 21

It will take place on Monday 29th of November at 8pm.

Our AGM will be held virtually again this year - by Zoom. It would have perhaps been preferable to have met up in person, but we must continue to be cautious for all our sakes.

 It is really important that as many as possible "attend"; we can after all, communicate with one another from the comfort of our homes while avoiding the hassle of driving long distances in the dark! Besides, it is our shared responsibility  to ensure that the association works for our benefit and reflects our needs and objectives.

Some of our long-serving officers have expressed their intention to either resign or move sideways at this AGM, so put on your thinking caps and ask yourself if you're willing to take on a role as an association officer. If you wish to propose yourself or another member for an officer role, or indeed if you wish to include any item for the Agenda, please email the Secretary at: [email protected]




2021 - serving our Members during Covid

Dear member,

Your Committee is acutely aware that it has not been possible to provide the usual services to you, the members.  In particular we have been unable to organise the lectures we normally present during the quieter beekeeping months. As a gesture, it was decided to reduce the subscription to €60 for this year (2021) only.

We still need to collect the subscriptions, so please forward them to the Treasurer, Rod Teck,  by cheque or by bank transfer. His address is Seamist House, Beach road, Clifden, Co Galway. H71 NV63. Cheques payable to Connemara Beekeepers Association. A/C No 46077791 BOI Oughterard. IBAN IE71 BOFI 9039 3946 077791 .  BIC No BOFIIE2D. Sort Code 90-39-39

As we cannot meet, and because we would be unable to arrange voting in a virtual meeting, we felt that the best solution was for the present committee to remain in situ for the time being. 

Also, if anybody wishes to offer any help to the committee in any way, please get in touch.

FIBKA CLG held their AGM online and it was quite successful. Mary Keenan, Ger Coyne, Rod Teck and myself 'attended' as your delegates. We all felt the meeting was very positive and that FIBKA appeared to be on a much better path. Of course, their activities were very restricted too, and we shall have a better idea of progress next year. 

Let us hope that 2021 will be a much better year all round.

 Let me take the opportunity to wish you all a Happy New Year.

Frank Conroy,


The Benefits of Nucs in Beekeeping

Connemara Beekeeper’s Association wish to invite you to our first  Autumn Zoom Webinar titled:

The Benefits of Nucs in Beekeeping. It will take place via Zoom on Wednesday 4th November at 7.30pm 

This Lecture will be kindly hosted by our Guest Lecturer, Colm O’Neill.

If you are interested, please  reply “YES” to the email which you should have received as a member, so that we can add you to the invitation list and send you the link that evening.  Thank you.

Call to Action

Brendan Murray, the Secretary of FIBKA has recently  been contacted by one association who had a very experienced beekeeper and scientist draft a template letter to MEPs that everyone could use. Please feel free use to lobby your MEP's or write your own message, whichever suits you best:

On 30th September there is a decision to be taken by the Parliament that has very serious implications for bees and the environment. 

It concerns the use of chemicals in agriculture and their detrimental effect. We would strongly advocate that Approach 2 should not be adopted for a number of reasons;  It uses a flawed method of calculating a natural background colony size that does not protect bees. The test assumes a recovery period that does not exist with, for example, Neonicotinoids. It largely deals with honey bees, ignores solitary bees and only briefly considers bumblebees. 

We need to look after our environment by giving our green spaces and their important pollinators the protection that they require for the good of everyone on this planet.

Please reject Approach 2.

If you think this suits please use it. In any case, please contact our Midlands-North-West Constituency MEPs

Luke Ming Flanagan

[email protected]

Chris Mc Manus

[email protected]

Mairead Mc Guiness

[email protected]

Maria Walsh

[email protected]

How bees mend fences between farmers and elephants

For farmers living close to an evergreen forest, there is an effective elephant deterrent – a beehive fence! Beehive fences were first successfully trialled and implemented in Kenya by Lucy King of the Elephants and Bees Project, where it was found that the fences could exploit the African elephant’s natural fear of bees. Reas the story here: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/aug/12/a-taste-of-honey-how-bees-mend-fences-between-farmers-and-elephants-aoe?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Gmail

Alert - American Foul Brood (AFB) Outbreak

Please check your bees for any sign of  AFB  which is a very contagious disease and it’s critical that it be eliminated quickly. When checking your bees, pay particular attention to any odd-looking brood. Keep an eye out for any individual cell cappings that have a hole or look sunken. The really bad thing about AFB is that the spores can remain viable for 50 years, and they’re remarkably resistant to heat and cold, so there’s no alternative but to kill all the bees and burn the frames. It is suggested that you can reuse the boxes after charring with a blow torch, but to be safe, it’s probably best to burn everything.

If you have any suspicions at all, send a 6-inch square piece of brood comb containing the suspected infected brood (use this form) to:

Honey bee Health Surveillance Programme

c/o Dr Mary F Coffey

Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Plant Health Laboratories,

Backweston Laboratory Campus,

Co. Kildare

W23 X3PH,


For further information on AFB, see 

Coronavirus - Covid-19

  1. How the New regulations affect us as Beekeepers: -

    Please note that farming activities were named as exempt from a series of tighter Government restrictions to be implemented in order to protect the nation’s citizens from the highly-infectious virus. Speaking at a press briefing in Government Buildings 27/03/20, the Taoiseach delivered stark details on the latest ramped up measures to be implemented:

    “With effect from midnight tonight, for a two-week period until Easter Sunday, April 12, everybody must stay at home in all circumstances, except for the following situations…[including] for farming purposes; that is food production and the care of animals,” he said.

    Should you have need to travel to an out apiary over the coming weeks please ensure you have appropriate identification in the event you need to clarify your activities to the Gardaí. All beekeepers are encouraged to keep a lookout for your fellow beekeepers who may be living on their own or in isolation. Be sure to keep in contact with one another during these troubled times. Yours sincerely, FIBKA Executive.

  2. FIBKA keeping in touch with its members. -While we are currently unable to come together as associations or meet up with individual beekeeping friends and colleagues, the FIBKA beekeeping Forum is a great way for us as beekeepers to keep  up contact and support each other through these difficult times. The FIBKA Forum tab on the FIBKA website home page is open 24/7. Any beekeeper who may have a question in relation to beekeeping matters can post it on the Forum page with a view to getting a response from another beekeeper. Once they log into the members area of the FIBKA site, the link to the Forum area is on the top. You may also be interested in browsing the current and back issues of An Beachaire which can be accessed from the web site, and also back issues of the BBKA News are available too. Perhaps some beekeepers would be willing to share their experiences or, indeed, anything of interest to beekeepers, for publication in An Beachaire.

  3. DAFM honey bee health surveillance programme - there will be some changes to the current honeybee disease diagnostic service that was funded by DAFM with analysis carried out by Dr Coffey in Teagasc. The disease diagnostic service will still continue but samples will now need to be submitted using a new form and directly to Dr Coffey in the Plant Health Laboratory at Backweston. The new service will now also be named the DAFM honey bee health surveillance programme. The new service will be available on the website at the link below along with sampling guidelines:


Any queries regarding the analysis can be directed to [email protected] 

  • APIMONDIA Toxicity Records and Survey: .

    This is a reminder for the WORLDWIDE REGISTRY OF HONEY BEE TOXICITY EVENTS, run by APIMONDIA Working Group ‘Adverse Effects of Agrochemicals and Bee medicines on bees’, and APIMONDIA Bee Health Commission, to FIBKA members and friends, and ask them to declare any toxicity events. You can find info in our webpage https://www.apimondia.com/en/12-en/activities/105-apimondia-survey-toxicity. he link to the survey is here:

  • https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1rg-24GTQuKeh9Z93iIkTgdxGcbWUlehuTWkBDCF47aQ/viewform?c=0&w=1,

    or directly from APIMONDIA's web page: https://www.apimondia.com/en/activities/working-groups (soon you will find all versions there) In the APIMONDIA's web page you can also find the first results of the survey- Summary of the first results of the International online survey on honey bee toxicity events [2014 - 2016]

    A Digital kit with articles on pesticides “Recognized effects of Agrochemicals" and a link to Apiservices database on "Pesticides & Bees" scientific articles. Thank you for helping APIMONDIA to collect this important information and to be able to have a complete knowledge of the problem and the areas occurred.

  • FIBKA will review the exam dates for the preliminary beginners exam and will update all members via secretaries and our website.  The intermediate and senior provincial exam due to be held on 4th April next will be postponed to a future date.  All applicants may sit the next available exam and there will be no need to reapply.  Those who wish to have a refund please contact FIBKA through their own association secretary. 
  • During this crisis please do what you can and look out for your fellow members as some may not have enough support if they have to isolate themselves for 14 days.
  • The public are being asked to follow this advice and keep informed of this ongoing outbreak. Details of these measures can be found at the followning sites:




MEETING - Sun 12th Jan. 2020

Sunday 12th January is the date of our next Meeting. Starting at 2.00pm in the Boat Inn, Oughterard. Our Treasurer will be at hand to accept membership subscriptions. All members, new and old welcome. Light refreshments will be available. A movie will be shown called 'Keeping Bees' and a discussion with Q&A follows. Please make the effort to attend, and let it be your New Year's Resolution to be more active in promoting your Association!

Blowin' in the wind!

Felim Burke and Tony Murphy attended the Galway Wind Park Local Fund presentation event on Monday 30/9/19 last, at the Boat Inn in Oughterard to accept €2,500 cheque on behalf of Cumann Beachairí Chonamara.

Cumann Beachairí Chonamara  will be putting the funding towards erecting public signage at various locations throughout Connemara, as well as developing its apiaries.

2019 Nucs for Sale

We are pleased to announce that we now have some 2019 season Nucs available for sale from the Association apiaries.

* The cost of each Nuc is:

€180 - for Beginner members

€200 - for existing members

€250 - for non-members

(Please note that this is for the bees only. The Nuc will be supplied in a box which remains the property of the Association and should be returned along with replacement frames as soon as you have transferred the bees into your own hive.)

Please contact our Secretary, Ken Figgis for any enquiries. [email protected]

Bee Improvement Workshop in Sean Osborne's

We had a bee improvement workshop in Sean Osborne's apiary in Carrowmoreknock on Sunday 7th July at 2pm. We would like to thank Sean for hosting the event and for once again making his apiary available to us. This event was jointly hosted by ourselves and the Native Irish Honeybee Society (NIHBS). Lectures and demonstrations catered for both Beginners as well as the More Experienced. Paul O'Sullivan of Bee Supplies was there with beekeeping equipment for sale.

We were mindful of the recent notification from FIBKA Secretary regarding the outbreak of American Foul Brood in the Galway area, and aware that this is a serious Notifiable Disease which warrants the destruction of the infected hives. We were concerned that this Bee Improvement Workshop might have created an opportunity for the spread of disease through cross-contamination of clothing or equipment and we therefore asked beekeepers attending to act responsibly by adhering to the following infection control precautions:

1.) Please wash your bee-suit (as per the manufacturer's instructions) prior to coming to the workshop on Sunday. We also recommend that you wash your suit again after the workshop (to prevent the spread of infection to your own colonies).

2.) Please do not bring your own hive-tools or other items of equipment to the workshop.

3.) Please use the disposable gloves that will be provided for use during the workshop. (These may be fitted over your own protective gloves.)


We are thankful for everyone's co-operation, and hope that they fully enjoyed the workshop!

We're delighted to present you with our new Cumann Beachairí Chonamara - Connemara Beekeepers Association leaflet.


  • We'd like to acknowledge the kind sponsorship of SSE Airtricity Community Fund - Galway Windpark in helping to pay for its printing.


  • We also wish to thank the National Biodiversity Data Centre and the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan 2015-2020 for the use of some of their content.

Please download a copy by clicking on the image on the left.


Our next Committee Meeting which will take place at Seamist House in Clifden at 20:00 on Monday 15th April.

Day Trip to NIHBS 2019 Conference - Athlone

Native Irish Honeybee Society's (NIHBS) Annual Conference is on in Athlone on 1st-2nd March.  We are proposing to arrange a minibus for anyone who wishes to attend the Conference on Saturday 2nd March which is the main day of the conference. The bus would leave Clifden at 06:00 stopping in Oughterard and/or Moycullen and arriving in Athlone in time for coffee break, registration and the start of the Conference at 09:00. The bus would then return to Clifden at approximately 19:00 in the evening.

The Conference registration fee for the day is €33 for NIHBS members and €43 for non-members (including lunch). The cost of the minibus would be dependent on the number of people travelling. If you are interested in participating please contact me Ken Figgis at: [email protected] before 31st January, as we need to establish the number of people travelling in order to determine the cost per person of the minibus. Payment (including conference registration and minibus hire) will be collected at our next monthly meeting on Sunday 10th February.

2019 Lectures & Courses

  • Beginners’ Course in Beekeeping, at Peacocke’s Hotel, Maam Cross, starting on 19th February 2019 at 7:30pm. Course fee of €30 for members or €100 for non-members includes:
  • Three weekly evening lectures
  • Visit to an apiary including practical demonstrations and hive inspections (This will take place during the summer months when the hives are at their busiest)
  • 12 months membership of the Connemara Beekeeepers’ Association (We meet monthly and hosts lectures and discussions on various aspects of beekeeping.)
  • Advice and guidance from experienced beekeepers through our mentorship programme (invaluable help when you establish your first hive!)
  • 12 months subscription to An Beachaire, the journal published by the Federation of Irish Beekeepers’ Association
  • Indemnity insurance

Limited places available. For bookings and enquiries, please contact Ken Figgis (Tel: 095 41092 or e-mail: [email protected]).

2. On Sunday 13th January a short Committee meeting at 1.00pm followed by a Lecture at 2.00pm on Recognizing and Identifying Honey Bee Diseases given by Dr Mary Coffey. For anyone who doesn't know her, Mary Coffey is Chief Scientist at the Bee Diagnostic Service provided by Teagasc and a leading researcher on Honey Bee Diseases. We are delighted that she has agreed to come and talk to us. It promises to be a very interesting lecture!