2023 Beginners Beekeeping Course

Beekeeping Course

A beginners course in beekeeping will be held at the Community Cabra Wetlands Centre, Holycross, Thurles, E41 T266 commencing February 27th 2023


27th February          Life History of the Honey Bee

13th March   Siting an Apiary/ A year’s work with the bees         

6th March     Equipment and manipulation of the colony            

20th March   Beekeeping in the swarming season                        

27th March   Hygiene and Disease                                               

3rd April       Harvesting the crop                                                  

10th April     Review of Course and a Film on Beekeeping          

All Lectures will start at 8.00 sharp and will take roughly an hour with as much time for questions as required.

Following the course we will have a number of outdoor demonstrations at the hives where you will see full working colonies of bees and can handle the bees.

Cost €120 which includes membership of North Tipperary Beekeepers Association and all lecture handouts.

Contact Martina Maher (Hon. Secretary) 0861958442                                          

Please bring your Eir code as this is a requirement for posting the journal.

Beekeeping – why not  ?

It’s not rocket science, you know! People have been keeping bees for hundreds of years. In fact, our honeybees have been around for over 100 million years and man has been using their honey for thousands of years. Bees and honey had major significance in the Brehon laws where the ownership of a swarm of bees was defined by law.

Working with bees gives you an extra insight into the cycle of plants and weather throughout the year. You’ll never miss a flower from the early crocus or snowdrop in January right through to the ivy in September / October.

In recent years, the honeybee has hit the headlines with global reports of colonies collapsing and dying out – the finger being pointed at overuse of chemicals in farming or the progress of the Varroa mite around the world. In any case, the earth’s human population has been given the responsibility of protecting these valuable and very necessary pollinators. Bees, and pollinating insects in general play a huge role in the planets eco system and food supply chain – placing beehives close to apple orchards or a field of oilseed rape can lead to significant yield increases, up 20 -25%! Obviously, a beehive at the bottom of your garden will have a similar effect on wild plants in your local area – just think of the knock-on effect on birds and wildlife locally.

Beekeeping is all about keeping an eye on how the colony is developing through the year – typically the population of the hive will grow from about 7-8000 bees in springtime to approx. 60,000 bees in May/June. The beekeeper needs to maintain a well populated hive in order to get a good crop of honey in late summer – this is done by controlling the swarming impulse within a strong hive.

For the last number of years, North Tipperary Beekeepers Association has been providing a course for people interested in beekeeping. This year’s beginner’s course will include a series of lectures, 7 lectures over 7 weeks with open hive demonstrations later on when weather permits. The course will commence at the Cabra Wetlands Centre, Thurles E41 T266 on February 27th at 8pm.The course covers all the major topics, including

  • Life History of the Honeybee
  • Where to site your beehive
  • Handling bees and Swarm control
  • Equipment and Harvesting the honey crop.

It’s not all about honey – bees provide a useful pollinating service for much of our fruit crops. They also provide wax for candle making, furniture polish and cosmetics. Also, they provide propolis used to protect the hive from infection.  

People have taken part in the course for various reasons – many people just want to know about Honeybees and never intend keeping bees. Others want to enjoy the thrill of eating honey produced within a few yards of their own backdoor. Whatever the reason, now is the time to satisfy that curiosity about what’s going on in the beehive – it’s not rocket science, it’s much more important!

For further details ring 0861958442 or email northtippbees.secretary@gmail.com

North Tipperary Beekeeping Association is affiliated to the Federation of Irish beekeepers Associations (4FIBKA). FIBKA publishes a monthly magazine, An Beachaire, for members and also organises a summer Course each year.