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. Of course, at the moment these are all cancelled. However, there are numerous online lectures to help you improve your knowledge.
This year, we're offering gift certificates for sale in the shop for annual membership (individual & family). So if you know someone who might appreciate an unusual birthday present, this might just be for them!
The FIBKA education system is undergoing a complete overhaul. This means that this year our beginners course will be split into two parts, with the theory provided as online lectures first, starting on Wednesday, 16th February and continuing for 8 weeks in all, 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's 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.
There are a number of ways to pay:
The old system for Intermediates & Seniors
The old exam-based system is to continue for those that have already started in this process. While we don't have any dates yet, we expect the written Intermediate and Senior Practical exams to be held in the coming months. The old Apiary Practical exam will be replaced by a log book system, similar to the beginners' log book, although (obviously) at a higher standard. Note that this is being resolved now, and the details will be available soon.
The new system for Intermediates & Seniors
The new system will include a log book process as described above, with associated multiple-choice exams for the theory side of things. The new logbooks are being finalised and will be available soom.
In the meantime, you can read all about it on the FIBKA 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: firstname.lastname@example.org, or through the contact form.
Honey Show 2022
You have probably seen the email from the secretary about this year's Honey Show, back after the COVID-enforced break. See here for up to date information.
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 are way past due. 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, and there are a number of ways to pay:
Note: Please make sure the secretary has your address, including your Eircode!
Looking after your bees
When the limitations of COVID have been resolved, lectures will 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.