News & Events

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: secretary.connemarabeekeepers[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!

2018 Meetings


⛄ Our Christmas Party will be held in the Boat Inn in Oughterard on Sunday 9th December at 2pm. There will be a three-course lunch costing €25 per person. Partners are welcome. Please send me a short email if you wish to attend, [email protected] as we need to advise the hotel of numbers.⛄

On Sunday 13th January, 2019 we will have a Lecture 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!

Please remember that if you haven't already renewed your membership subscription, it is now due. Membership rates remain €70 for Individuals and €100 for Family Membership. Subscriptions can be paid at the Christmas Party or by sending a cheque to the Treasurer, Rod Teck at Seamist House, Clifden, Co. Galway.


Annual General Meeting was held on Sunday 11th November.

  • We are always looking for new members to join the Committee and help with the running of the Association. There is a lot of work in managing the three Association apiaries and in order to maintain the apiaries and develop other projects we need additional help. You don't need to be a very experienced beekeeper, in fact getting involved and helping-out in the apiaries is a very good way to learn! So, if anyone would like to put their name forward for election to the Committee, please let me know. Ken Figgis, Secretary.
  • We have been asked by the Federation to collect membership subscriptions for 2019 by mid-December, to ensure that there is no interruption in receiving your copies of "An Beachaire". Please download a membership form here: ( and have it completed before you come to the meeting. It would greatly help to speed-up the administration of your membership if you pay your subscription for 2019 at the AGM. (Subscriptions rates will remain the same for the coming year.)


  • Committee Meeting took place at Peacocke’s Hotel, Maam Cross on Thursday 1st November, 8.00pm

Registration for Beekeepers?

Brendan Murray, the Secretary of FIBKA has recently contacted all Associations seeking to answer whether or not there is a need for us as beekeepers to register with the Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine (DAFM).

"Our insurance has no explicit reference to registration and only has the generic requirement that we comply with the current legislation. This has, of course, always been the case, just like any other insurance. Beekeepers who only produce honey for their own use or do not produce honey at all are completely exempt from this registration requirement – it simply does not apply. Our insurance covers this group of beekeepers.

On the other hand, Beekeepers with a larger number of hives who produce commercial levels of honey are definitely primary producers of honey and, as such, are required to register.

We have been trying to arrange a meeting with DAFM and it looks like this will happen on 8th December. Until we have the complete response from DAFM and an agreement as to what registration is necessary, please hold off with returning the updated registration. We will probably have complete information in a few weeks so it’s not an undue delay."

Phillip Mc Cabe: Ireland's Bee Man

Philip McCabe R.I.P.

Born: July 17th, 1945
Died: October 20th, 2018

Philip McCabe, who has died suddenly after a short illness, was the best known and most respected expert in beekeeping in Ireland. A third generation beekeeper, he was a passionate promoter of beekeeping through his courses at the Beekeeping Summer School in Gormanston College, his talks at Bloom, the Ploughing Championships and in schools and latterly through his work as president of Apimondia, the international federation of beekeeper associations.


Our next Committee Meeting will take place at Seamist House in Clifden at 20:00 next Friday 28th September.

Many thanks to Rod and Sheila for offering to host this meeting.

SSE Páirc Gaoithe Community Fund 2018

Cumann Beachairí Chonamara were delighted to be awarded €1,000 by the SSE Páirc Gaoithe Community Fund 2018, towards our Community Education Programme. Two of our representatives attended the presentation on the 15th of August in Oughterard Community Centre to accept the cheque on our behalf. We are most grateful for this. Míle buíochas!


Prime quality Native Connemara Black Bees for Sale

We are pleased to announce that we now have Nucs from our Association apiaries for sale for the special price of €180.

These Nucs contain young queens bred in Connemara from prime quality Native Black Bees (Apis Mellifera Mellifera).

(Please note that €180 is for the bees only. You can choose between transferring the bees and brood into your own hive or purchasing the nuc box for an additional €20.)

For enquiries, you may contact me, Ken Figgis, by telephone at 095 41092.

Lock up your Bees?

August 2018

Sean Devaney of Galway County Council emailed our group regarding Treatment of Invasive Plant Species along the N59.

“We are about to undertake the 3rd year of treatment of Invasive Plants along the N59 in County Galway. The treatment is planned for next week (w/c 20/08/2018) but it will likely be the Wednesday or Thursday before it starts.”

An Beachaire now available online


Dermot O Flaherty the manager of An Beachaire has announced that all current 2018 issues of An Beachaire magazine are now also available in digital format on FIBKA's new website:

If members register on the new website they will be able to read this year's issues of the magazine which will be made available online in this manner for registered members.

APRIL LECTURE on NOSEMA, by Helen Mooney

Our Monthly Lecture for Members took place on Sunday 8th April, at 2.00pm in the Boat Inn, Oughterard.

Helen Mooney from Ballina BKA, who has studied bee genetics and diseases, gave an excellent Lecture and Demonstration on how to check for Nosema in your bees using the microscope. We had the opportunity of preparing slides from a sample of dead bees and  then checking these for Nosema. Helen was focusing on Nosema in particular because of its prevalence in our bees this year. She advised on the necessary procedures to cut down on its spread in our apiaries.

Scéalta spéisiúla ón gCósta Thiar

Na Beacha - Paddy Ó Fiannachta

Tá bliain eile curtha tharainn againn, an tríú bliain fliuch i ndiaidh a chéile, aimsir nach raibh feiliúnach do dhaoine, d’ainmhí ná go na beacha. Níor tháinig aon tseachtain tirim as a chéile ó dheireadh Bealtaine ach mar sin fhéin rinne na beacha a ndícheall agus bhí toradh maith go leor ar a gcuid oibre agus tuairim is 30 punt meala i ngach coirceog. An scéal is fearr faoi na beacha i mbliana, dár liomsa, ná go bhfuil an bheach dúchasach, Apis Mellifera Mellifera, ag leathnú amach ar fud Chonamara ar fad agus i mbliana iad tagtha chomh fada le Muighinis i gCarna, Leitir Móir, An Trá Bháin agus Baile Chonaola agus tá scéalta maithe ag teacht ar ais ó na beachairí a bhfuil siad acu. Taispeánann sé seo dúinn gur fiú go mór an phóir seo a choinneal ag imeacht agus is fiú go mór an t-iarracht a dhéanamh iad a scaipe ar fud na tíre ar fad. Tá an-mholadh á fháil ag an mhil freisin agus tuairiscí dearfacha ag teacht ar ais chugainn. Tá an-tóir ar an mhil fraoigh, an ghnáth mhil agus ar an mhil ón eidhneán agus daoine ag rá go bhfuil sé ag déanamh anmhaitheas go deo dhóib ó thaobh sláinte de agus é ag cuidiú le daoine a bhfuil fadhbanna scamhóga, boilg, craicinn agus go leor rudaí eile acu. Tá ard-mholadh ag dul do Choiste Chumann Beachairí Chonamara a raibh bliain an-ghnóthach acu agus an t-uafás oibre déanta acu. Is láidre muid nuair a sheasann muid ar fad le chéile agus go mba fada buan an cumann.