Category Archives: Bee Basics

Bee Stings

The sting of bees and other Hymenopteran insects is thought to be a modified ovipositor. An ovipositor is a pointed tube used to pierce a hole to lay an egg into. Honey bees have evolved beyond the need for an ovipositor – instead they have adapted it as a weapon. Despite the fact that using their sting is accompanied by disembowelment – they are not afraid to use it. Continue reading Bee Stings

How much does it cost to start beekeeping?

This question comes up quite often on our Beekeeping Course and it’s quite difficult to answer without making a list. There is much more choice of equipment available now with bargains to be had, but even then – it’s not cheap so be warned.

However something else to throw into the equation is that if you do take up beekeeping there should eventually be a payback in terms of honey which you can then either consume yourself or you can sell it. So an interesting way to consider the cost of starting up beekeeping is in jars of honey instead of euro.

The results of this exercise for 2009 and 2016 are shown in the table below where: Continue reading How much does it cost to start beekeeping?

Make Your Own Scale Hive

A scale hive is a great way of keeping an eye on how much nectar the bees bring in during the day, how much water is evaporated off during the night or how many bees and how much honey left with that swarm you just saw leaving!

It can be an expensive addition to the apiary hardware if you want to go electronic. However, it is quite easy to make one from wood with some cunningly placed mirrors and a bathroom scales.

Here’s how… Continue reading Make Your Own Scale Hive

Beekeeping for Beginners Course 2016

The South Kildare Beekeepers Association – ‘Beekeeping for Beginners’ Course starts on Monday 22nd February 2016 at 7.30 in the Church of Ireland Hall, Athy, Co.Kildare.

Includes talks, hands-on practical sessions with live bees, honey extraction and SKBA membership.

Booking now – only €50 – including membership of South Kildare Beekeepers for 2016.

For further details:

Honey Bees and Climate Change

Are you the sort of person that stares out at the sheeting rain and thinks ‘Global warming – ha!’

Well the globe is certainly heating up, but not here at the wet end of Europe so forget long sunny days and a grape vine in the garden; for us, climate change means the same old stuff – wind and rain – but more of it.

But how will climate change affect our bees? Continue reading Honey Bees and Climate Change