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.

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 : €30 excl. service
Menu : See below

Please note that the price is unchanged from last year and any person who has already paid at the earlier announced price of €35 can, if they wish, allow the extra €5 to go towards a service charge that is normally collected after the meal. (Note the price has not gone up in over ten years)
Members 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 our email circulars). Alternatively, you can pay on the night, but you need to let Kevin know this in advance to ensure the booking is made for the right numbers. If members wish to bring a prize on the night, it will be raffled and the proceeds divided between Bóthar and St. Michael's House.

The Christmas Party is a great 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 Study Group get together from 7 to 8 pm, just before our scheduled monthly meetings. The group shall be working their way through questions from past Intermediate Practical Papers and its a great way to prepare for anyone considering taking the Federation exams next April. Our thanks 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.

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