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 are currently cleaning up an old semi-derelict building, a remnant of the M1 construction, in the Kevin Griffin Apiary - the before and after pictures below show how much of the old grime has been removed from the walls.
Those who took the beginners introductory course earlier this year will be able to collect their certificates at the Honey Show and at the AGM. For those who decided to continue their study following the Stage 2 Logbook from FIBKA, we have produced an e-book to help you understand what's needed by each question. It may be made available as a hard copy in the future, but you can download the current version here.
This year we kick off with a meet-the-beekeepers meeting:
The series of lectures will begin on 6th March, continuing on Monday evenings for 8 weeks, with a certificate of completion at the end.
For those who then decide that they really do want to keep bees, the second part is a practical course, where we will show how to look after your bees in a practical way. This will include membership of Louth Beekeepers' Association, membership of FIBKA, liability insurance, monthly copies of An Beachaire magazine, and the FIBKA log book. This log book is used to track what you learn, where a senior beekeeper signs off when you have mastered each skill.
Intermediates & Seniors 2023
The old exam-based system is replaced by a log book system, similar to the beginners' log book, although (obviously) at a higher standard. The new Stage 3 and Stage 4 logbooks will be made available soon, and we will probably organise study groups to address the needs of the students.
Our lectures are back!
We had our first lecture since the COVID interruption in October and this was followed by the Honey Show and AGM in November. Our Christmas Party was held in December, and we hope to have lectures again in 2023.
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.
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 membership form below.
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
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.