Category Archives: Bee Basics

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

Bee Trees – Poplar (Populus spp)

Certain species of Poplar are a valuable source of propolis for honey bees. The spring catkins may be visited for pollen and the spores of a parasitic rust fungus may be an alternative protein source in times when pollen is in short supply.

Poplars are a complex, wind-pollinated, pioneer tree species and they interbreed like mad; as a result they can be difficult to identify. There are many species world wide and several native to Europe. In addition, fast growing hybrid cultivars have been bred and these are much planted for timber. There is also interest in the fast growing varieties for short rotation coppice as a biomass crop.

In Ireland only two Poplars are considered native – although other species have been introduced as ornamental trees or for timber, shelter-belt or screening. Continue reading Bee Trees – Poplar (Populus spp)

Michaelmas – Bees and Wintering

Michaelmas, or the Feast of St.Michael, is one of the four quarter days which mark the changing of the seasons.

The four quarter days are:

  • Lady day or the Feast of the Annunciation 25th March;
  • Midsummer’s day around 25th June;
  • Michaelmas 29th September;
  • Christmas 25th December – lest we forget – fat chance.

They all approximately coincide with either an equinox or a solstice. Continue reading Michaelmas – Bees and Wintering