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.
Two association apiaries are maintained in the county, 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.
American Foul Brood Outbreak
There were two, related, cases of American Foul Brood (AFB) identified last week. A colony in the association apiary in Rockmarshall, and a nucleus taken from it a few weeks earlier, were both found to be infected.
In line with the relevant legislation, both colonies were destroyed and the frames, etc. were burned and buried along with the bees.
The other colonies in Rockmarshall have been checked and found to be clear. Nothing from Rockmarshall, neither bees nor any hive parts, have been brought to the main association apiary over this past year, and so while we will remain vigilant there is no risk of cross contamination.
There has been a case of European Foul Brood (EFB) detected in an apiary east of Louth village. Again the beekeeper has dealt with the issue in an appropriate manner.
For whatever reason, perhaps increased vigilance by beekeepers, there have been several cases of AFB reported this year throughout Ireland, and particularly in the Dublin region.
There is no shame in detecting and reporting incidence of disease in your apiary. The good beekeeper is the one who conducts regular inspections for disease, only sources bees and hive parts from reputable sources and who implements good hygiene. Best practice includes; maintaining strong stocks, controlling varroa levels and regularly changing old comb - all key issues in minimising the risk of disease.
If you suspect that you have a serious issue and would like some advice, then please don't hesitate to ask anyone on the committee for help.
There are some excellent sources of information on the internet, e.g. here and here. Remember also that you may send samples of bees and comb for disease diagnosis to Dr. Mary Coffey at no cost - full details can be found here.
COLOSS winter losses survey
The annual COLOSS survey on winter colony losses has started. It's quite easy - simply fill in the form online. Alternatively, you can download the form, print it, fill it out and send it to Mary F Coffey, Teagasc, Oakpark Research Centre, Carlow
Upcoming Events (Past Events)
All lectures start at 8pm in Teagasc, Dundalk. Beginners are welcome and admission is free. See the map below if you need help finding us.
Looking after your bees
Watch out for the Asian hornet
The Asian Hornet, Vespa velutina, also known as the Yellow-legged Hornet is probably on its way to Ireland. It was discovered in the UK last year, first on Guernsey and then in Gloucester. Over the winter, one was found in a warehouse in Scotland, and two were spotted in Jersey a couple of weeks ago. This is a real danger to our bees - they can wipe out an entire colony in a couple of hours. There is good information about this pest from Beebase, and any sightings should be reported to the Dept. of Agriculture. More information available on the non-native species website.
We have a great new blog post thanks to Rhona Kelly, detailing her first couple of years keeping bees.