An overview of the season to date (August 2019).

We are coming to the end of another beekeeping year. Colonies were generally strong coming out of the winter, boosted in most locations from good ivy flows in the previous autumn. Winter losses (per COLOSS returns) at 8% were well below the national average. Colonies built up well through May but a cold, damp period in the first half of June saw colonies using up honey stores and there were claims of poor queen mating. Good early honey flows were attributed to dandelion and hawthorn, and later flows to white clover and bramble. On the varroa front almost 80% of members no longer treat their bees, which has risen from 50% three years ago.

Monthly Meetings

Fingal North Dublin Beekeepers Association usually meet at 8.00p.m. in the Christian Brothers School, Swords on the first Thursday of each month (unless otherwise stated).
(see list below) Map  to get to the Christian Brothers School in Swords.

November 2019

CDBA Honey Show - 2nd November 2019

The Association is providing a facility for members who wish to show their honey at the County Dublin BKA. Members can bring their exhibits to the CBS on Thursday 31st October from 8-9 and they will be collected and brought to the show on the 2nd November 2019.
Show Schedule and Entry Forms were distributed as part of the October circular.

November Meeting - Thursday 7th Nov.

The "Honey Tasting Night" has now been established as an annual event. The format will be the same as in previous years. Each member should bring along a jar of his or her own honey or honey in the comb and there will be a discussion on the floral source, taste etc of the honey. Always an enjoyable night. Guests will be welcome.

Honey for long-service members - This is the sixth year that the Association is proposing to provide honey to retired (or partners of deceased) long term members of not less than 15 years standing. These are the members who put down the foundations for the present growth in our Association from which we have all benefited. With retirement or death, the predictable supply of honey suddenly dries up. It will happen to us all some day. To help ease this situation, the Association is suggesting that each active member provide a pound (or equivalent) of honey. Please bring this to the November meeting in addition to your tasting pot. All honey should have the donor's label. Your Committee has identified a number of recipients who fall into the category and it would be hoped to collect enough so that we can put together some nice hampers for them. The heart-felt responses from recipients last year demonstrated that our efforts were much appreciated.

December 2019

Annual Christmas Dinner - Thursday 5th Dec.

The Annual Christmas Dinner will be held on Thursday 5th December 2019 in Malahide Golf Club.

Venue : Malahide Golf Club, Beechwood, The Grange, Malahide, Co. Dublin
Time : 7.30 for 8.00(sharp)
Price : EUR 35
Menu : Similar to last year

Members can confirm their attendance by making their payment at the November meeting. Otherwise you can send a cheque, bank draft or postal order, made payable to Fingal North Dublin BKA to the Hon. Treasurer Kevin Proctor (at the address provided in the October circular). Prizes should be donated by members. These will be raffled and the proceeds will be divided between Bother and St. Michael's House. This is a good way to get to know other members in a relaxed atmosphere and particularly so in the case of beginner-beekeepers who have recently joined the Association.

Other Events / Notifications

Honey Shows

There will be a several honey shows coming up in the autumn including the County Dublin, Royal County and Louth BKA shows. Please check the Federation website  or An Beachaire for details. Attending honey shows is a good way for beekeepers and beginners in particular to improve their honey extraction and preparation skills, and an enjoyable way of gaining a lot of worthwhile experience.

Study Group

The next meeting of the Group will be from 7 and 8 pm, before our September meeting on 12th September 2019. The group shall be dealing with one question on the Intermediate Practical Paper – July 2016, Question 6(c). Then commencing the Provincial Intermediate Practical Paper – April 2019. All questions are to be tackled by all members of the Study Group. Our thanks are due to Judith Leonard for organizing the group. Those members who would like to join can contact Judith at

Extractor Hire

The Association’s honey extractors are available for hire at €5 per session. Requests for the use of an extractor should be made to the Hon. Treasurer, Kevin Proctor (086 2445528). Members should have a turnaround within two days.

Bee Disease Testing

One important thing we all should be planning to do as part of our preparations for winter is checking the health of our bees. Healthy, disease-free colonies are essential for successful honey production. To help determine the health status of your bees, send a sample of bees to Dr. Mary Coffey, Teagasc Bee Disease Diagnostic Service, Teagasc Oak Park Research Centre, Carlow. This is currently a free service. Details on taking a sample etc. are given in the Seasonal Note #1, (see members area). Copies will also be available at the September meeting. We must also continue to check for American Foul Brood (AFB) and European Foul Brood (EFB). Remember that a major safeguard in maintaining the health of our bees is to refrain from bringing in colonies from outside our area.

Library Facilities

With the evenings closing in, now is a great time to start planning to read all the great beekeeping books you keep promising yourself. The Association library has now got a large and varied selection of books to loan to members and will be available from our librarian at each monthly meeting. This is a fantastic facility and one members should make full use of particularly during the autumn / winter months to refresh their beekeeping knowledge.

The list of books available from the association can be viewed here.

If you would like to borrow a book please contact our Librarian before one of the monthly meetings so the book can be brought along for you.

Annual Subscriptions

The membership subscription for 2020, are now due.
The membership subscription covers the period from the 1st November to 31st October each year, and includes your insurance premium, affiliation fee to the Federation of Irish Beekeepers Association and your monthly subscription to An Beachaire, for the same period.
Fingal North Dublin Beekeepers Association Membership fee for 2020 is €65.00, Family membership is an additional €30 for each member.
Subscriptions can be paid at the November meeting. Otherwise, if you wish to renew your membership you should send a cheque to the Hon. Treasurer, Kevin Proctor, at the address provided in the October circular. Cheques should be made payable to Fingal North Dublin Beekeepers Association.
Please note that a member’s insurance is only effective from the time payment is made and receipt given, and late payment will result in some of the issues of An Beachaire for 2020 not being posted.

Events for Future Reference

Beekeeping Course

Fingal North Dublin Beekeeper's Association (FNDBA) run a popular beginners beekeeping course once a year during February and March.
Please Note the 2020 course is now oversubscribed with a long waiting list. Registration for the 2021 course will open in Sept. 2020.

This is the only beginners course run by FNDBA.

FNDBA also hold regular monthly meetings which anyone interested in beekeeping are always welcome to attend. (see the events listed above). For any querys please contact:- Our Beginners Secretary.  

Other Events

The instruction continues during the Spring with outdoor demonstrations in our association apiary for beginners. This gives inexperienced beekeepers and those who are complete beginners first hand, up close experience of veteran beekeepers in action.

The courses are offered to those who may have had some previous experience with keeping bees and also those with no previous experience whatsoever.

Our more experienced members will act as mentors to beginners to coach and advise them on beekeeping procedures, protocols and how to get the best from their bees.

On the Saturday 14th April 2018, beginners first look inside a live hive at the associations apiary in Kinsealy.

Apiary Demonstration

Following the well-attended demonstration in the Association apiary this year, it is planned to run another workshop in 2020 for all members on raising Queens from an 'artificial swarm' (taking out a Nuc with queen) and raising ripe queen cells for introduction to Apideas.
This is a skill that all of our members should be able to master. Further details to follow.

Home  About Us  Swarms   Courses  Members  Membership  F.A.Q.'s  News