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.
Read more about us here.
We have four apiaries: one is located outside Newry and our training, queen-rearing and mating apiaries are located near the M1 roundabout at Junction 16, where members can come and gain practical experience through the beekeeping year.
We have completely renovated what was a semi-derelict building on the site and cleared and levelled much of the surrounding ground. It was recently painted, and now has functioning ladies' & gents' toilets too. The roof has been repaired and it's a wonderful location for lectures, although with the lack of heating, that will have to be reserved for the summer.
This was one of the early photos - on the left was when we first started to do it up, and on the right was after a weekend of initial cleaning.
FIBKA has reintroduced the old education system, which means that they will hold Intermediate and Senior Scientific exams around April 2024. There are also plans to hold a Senior Microscopy exam, with an updated, more detailed, syllabus. Because of this, we plan on organising study groups for all three areas - watch this space for more details over the next couple of weeks.
The season is coming to a close - the bees are now loading up on ivy before the winter. The beginners had a great introduction and those that chose to come along to the apiary practical sessions learned a lot. If anyone has any feedback, please let us know - we are constantly trying to improve so anything that we're not doing well should be highlighted (we also like compliments, so if there's anything we do well, please let us know too).
Autumn & Winter lectures
We are planning on holding a number of lectures during the quiet season. The first was on September 28th, and the next two are:
We have three other events coming up:
Events 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.
Civic Award for Louth Beekeepers
Congratulations to us - we are the delighted recipients of a Civic Award. At a ceremony in Ardee Courthouse on 12th December, Co. Louth Beekeepers Association was recognised for our work in educating beekeepers and members of the public.
Read all about it here.
FIBKA's Youth Development Panel is looking for young beekeepers who would be interested in participating in a potential TG4 series about children’s hobbies and lifestyles. All interested young beekeepers should contact FIBKA via their parents/guardians at firstname.lastname@example.org. Fluent Irish essential!
For a change, here's some information on something that's FREE! The Department of Agriculture's Honey bee Health Surveillance Programme provides disease testing for bees for free. If you send samples of bees and/or comb, they can test for Foulbrood, Nosema and more, and all it'll cost you is the price of a stamp. A surprisingly small number of beekeepers avail of this service - the department would like far more samples since this also gives them an idea of what diseases are present in Ireland. The recommendation is to send in samples from all your hives twice a year, and especially if you suspect there may be something wrong.
Send your samples along with this form to the address on the form.
Membership fees for 2023 can be paid now. 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.
All new members should complete the FIBKA membership form.
Note: Please make sure the secretary has your address, including your Eircode!
There are a number of ways to pay:
We're offering gift certificates for sale in the shop for annual membership (individual & family), as well as for the beginners course. So if you know someone who might appreciate an unusual birthday or Christmas present, this might just be for them!
Looking after your bees
About this website
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.