Welcome to the County Louth Beekeepers Association (LBKA) website
Originally founded in the summer of 1910, our association works on behalf of member beekeepers, providing opportunities to learn the craft and science of beekeeping. Equally important, we provide a social outlet for members to meet with fellow beekeepers - opportunities to share tips and tales. We are blessed to have many excellent beekeepers who are always willing to share their knowledge and experiences.
Our association is committed to supporting the native dark bee, Apis mellifera mellifera.
We are affiliated to our national body, the Federation of Irish Beekeepers Associations (FIBKA). We provide our members with classes and support to attain FIBKA academic and practical certifications.
The Kevin Griffin apiary is located near the M1 roundabout at Junction 16, where members can come and gain practical experience through the beekeeping year.
We also hold regular lectures on all aspects of beekeeping. Members and interested non-members are always welcome to attend.
Beekeeping falls under the category of farming and food production so you may attend to your bees during the lockdown. However, please don't abuse this privilege - remember that this freedom to travel to your bees is at the discretion of the Gardaí.
All events, including exams, apiary visits and even the FIBKA Summer School in Gormanston have been cancelled for the foreseeable future.
The secretary sent out information on holding beginners' sessions in the Kevin Griffin Apiary in Dundalk on Saturdays. The first two were on the morning and afternoon of the 18th: the weather was good and the hives were in a variety of situations so there was good experience of how good and bad a hive can be. Next Saturday, 25th July, we will be repeating this, and we expect a similar mix and variety of situations - a great learning experience.
For those who wonder about the various stages of larvae, our friends in La Familia de la Apicultura have posted a great photo that shows a wide range of ages together - obviously a very helpful queen has laid up a frame from the top left (oldest larvae) to the bottom right (the youngest eggs):
Looking after your bees
This website is a work in progress, if members have interesting articles, stories, pictures, videos etc. that they'd like to submit for inclusion, please get in touch. We would be delighted to publish a blog post from anyone who has something to say. If you would like to share something but you're unsure about any aspect, we'll be delighted to help where we can. You can contact us at: email@example.com, or through the contact form.
News and External Events
The news section has information on:
You have probably seen the mail sent by the secretary about an outbreak of European Foulbrood between Collon and Monasterboice. This is a bacterial disease of the brood, usually before the cells are sealed. Infected larvae can be seen twisted in an unnatural position and they lose their pearly white colour, becoming first yellow and then brown. Often the bees clean up and remove the dead larvae so all you'll notice is a patchy brood pattern. This Facebook post contains a video from the Scottish Beekeepers Association, showing what infected brood looks like:
If you're missing the monthly lectures and want something to push you to learn new techniques and think about how you're looking after your bees, we have two possible solutions.
It's hard to believe that some people have not yet paid their 2020 membership by now. If that's you, you will have noticed that you have not received your monthly copies of An Beachaire and, importantly, you are not covered by insurance.
Remember that you get insurance, 12 copies of An Beachaire, online copies of BBKA News, access to the association apiary and the learning opportunities there, as well as the monthly lectures, so it's a real bargain.
The fee for an adult is €80. There are a number of ways to pay:
All lectures start at 8pm in Teagasc, Dundalk (see map). Beginners are welcome and admission is free. See the map below if you need help finding us.