Author Archives: Simon Rees

Bloom In The Park 2014!


Bloom garden2

Welcome Beekeepers & Friends!

Bloom runs from Thursday 29th May to Monday 2nd June 2014.

The Federation of Irish Beekeepers Associations will have a marquee in the Conservation Zone. Please come find us & pick up some information on Beekeeping in Ireland, the Native Irish Black Bee & our very own Gormanston Summer School held from Sunday 27th July to Friday 1st August 2014.



Beekeepers will be in the marquee to:

  • Show you an Observation Hive – see if you can spot the Queen!
  • Describe what Beekeeping involves and how you can get started.
  • Talk about what Bees can do for your garden.

To keep your garden blooming select some bee-friendly plants & flowers that will keep the “Bees of Ireland” thriving!

Check out all info via the Bloom website by clicking here.

The beekeeping new year is here…

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness…

As every beekeeper knows, the beekeeping year ends with the harvest.  For Dublin beekeepers, the harvest is in and it’s time to start the new year by preparing the bees for winter.  By this time most of our bees will be fed and tucked up for the winter.

It is in the colder months that beekeepers have more time to learn, to socialise and to repair equipment.  The Co. Dublin beekeepers’ association’s programme of events for members starts next Monday, 3rd October, with the first of our autumn lectures at Wesley Hall, Leeson Park, D6 – we hold three in autum and three more in spring.  Monday’s lecture is on how honeybees fly, given by yours truly, Simon Rees.

There are two more lectures to come before Christmas (as you’ll see from our online association diary) – and of course, our Honey Show.  That’s on Saturday 5th November in Christ Church, Rathgar.  For the beekeeper it’s a chance to enter competitions and win kudos and prizes – and for everyone else it’s a chance to buy top-quality local honey, learn about beekeeping and buy some early Christmas presents at the craft fair.  If you are in the market for honey, you might need to arrive early – last year we sold out of run honey by lunchtime, such was the demand and the short supply.  Mind, this year we have more to sell, happily.

Hope to see you at a beekeeping event soon…

Dublin Honey Show results 2013

The Dublin Honey Show is over and what a great show it was!  We had more than double the number of entries last year – and more entries, some senior Dublin members said, than in living memory.

The 2013 Dublin Honey Show in full swing

The 2013 Dublin Honey Show in full swing

All our CDBKA apiary honey was sold by twelve noon.  This year for the first time, members were invited to sell their own honey at the show – two members sold honey until two o’clock or so – but as usual, we were all sold out by early afternoon.  Once again we held two free lectures, and once again they were well attended.

This year we held a raffle, with prizes from Co Dublin BKA and generously donated by craft fair stallholders.  One prize remains unclaimed: a pack of fondant sponsored by Paul O’Sullivan of Bee Supplies.  The winner is yellow ticket strip nos. 461-465, book no. A57L 5H57.  If you have it, please get in touch.

Our honey show attracted 203 entries this year, from 50 entrants. 30 of the entrants were from Co. Dublin BKA, and the other entries (and many of the winners) came from many counties of Ireland.  Thanks to all who entered the honey show, and special congratulations to the Dublin members who came away with prize certificates.

Special thanks too, to everyone who volunteered with setting up the night before and on the day – we could not have done it without you.  Despite the huge number of entries and all the visitors, we coped – although we were all dead on our feet by the end!

If we get some good photos we will post them here.  Put the 8th November 2014 (not the 1st Nov as previously advised) in your diary.

Thanks again everyone

Simon, Honey show secretary

Dublin Honey Show 2013 awards

The results are below.  If the results table is too wide for your computer screen you can download a .pdf file of the results here.

Class Description Prize Open/
CDBKA only
# of entries First prize Second prize Third prize Very highly commended Highly commended Commended
1 24 jars of light, medium or dark honey. Powers to bees trophy Open 9 No award No award Keith Pierce, Co Dublin
2 12 jars of light, medium or dark honey.  As offered for sale. Avoca Nurseries perpetual trophy Open 11 John Summerville, Offaly Michael Gleeson, Offaly Keith Pierce, Co Dublin Gerry Ryan, North Tipp
3 2 jars light honey. Chivers trophy Open 18 Mark Fitzpatrick, North Kildare Michael Gleeson, Offaly No award
4 2 jars medium honey.  Heather excluded. Monument Creamery cup Open 16 John Summerville, Offaly Gerry Ryan, North Tipp Rena McDonald, Co. Dublin Keith Pierce, Co Dublin
5 2 jars dark honey.  Heather excluded. I.A.C. perpetual trophy Open 8 John Summerville, Offaly Kevin Griffin, Louth Michael Gleeson, Offaly
6 2 jars heather honey. C.D.B.K.A trophy Open 9 No award Rena McDonald, Co. Dublin Keith Pierce, Co. Dublin
7 2 jars granulated or creamed honey. C.D.B.K.A challenge cup Open 4 Gerry Ryan, North Tipp John Summerville, Offaly No award
8 2 Floral honey sections.  Ling free. Rowans trophy Open 7 Tony Lynch, Co. Dublin Jenny Fuller, Co. Dublin John Killian, Co. Dublin James McGinley, no BKA
9 2 Heather honey sections. Sir James Mackey trophy Open 0 No entries No entries No entries
10 2 jars chunk honey. Tom Kehoe trophy Open 0 No entries No entries No entries
11 2 containers of cut comb. Ned Smyth trophy Open 2 Tony Lynch, Co. Dublin No award No award
12 1 frame suitable for extraction. Green Acres cup Open 4 Stuart Hayes, Co. Dublin Rachel Smith, Co. Louth Paul Boyle, Louth George Pedlow, Co. Dublin
13 1 cake of beeswax. McGrane Apiaries trophy Open 3 Jesus Borobia, Dromore Conor Nolan, Co. Dublin No award
14 5 blocks beeswax matching. C.D.B.K.A bowl Open 8 Gerry Ryan, North Tipp John Summerville, Offaly No award
15 6 honey biscuits. Hans Flohr trophy Open 6 Ann O’Suilleabhain, Co. Dublin Paul Boyle, Louth No award
16 Honey cake. McGrane cake knife Open 7 Rachel Smith, Louth Orla Devane, Co. Dublin Norman Robins, North Kildare Niall Ringrose. Co. Dublin
17 Beeswax polish in tin or jar. C.D.B.K.A trophy Open 3 Conor Nolan, Co. Dublin Dorothy McGinley, no BKA No award
18 3 beeswax candles all made by moulding. C.D.B.K.A trophy Open 2 Jesus Borobia, Dromore Dorothy McGinley, no BKA No award
19 3 beeswax candles made any method other than moulding. N.K.B cup Open 0 No entries No entries No entries
20 Dry mead. Grape & grain trophy Open 3 Benny Myers, Co Dublin Conor Nolan, Co. Dublin No entries
21 Sweet mead. Country cellar trophy Open 1 Benny Myers, Co Dublin No award No award
22 Metheglin / Melomel. C.D.B.K.A trophy Open 2 John Summerville, Offaly Conor Nolan, Co. Dublin No award
23 Photograph.  Black and white or colour. C.D.B.K.A silver frame Open 27 Luan Alton, Co. Dublin Keith Pierce, Co. Dublin Kieran Harnett, Co. Dublin Jesus Borobia, Dromore Joe Kelly, Co Dublin
24 Dark jar of honey.  To be completely covered except cap.  Judged by taste and smell. C.D.B.K.A perpetual trophy Open 29 Dorothy McGinley, no BKA Padraig O’Chaomhánaig Ruth Feighery, Fingal North Dublin Keith Pierce, Co. Dublin Paul Boyle, Louth Jim Kelly, Orla Devane
25 Display class.  Collection of bee products consisting of jars of different honey sections, cut comb, mead, beeswax, etc. C.D.B.K.A display class cup Open 1 Paul Boyle, Louth No award No award
26 1 section (novice class) Bill Mellon trophy CDBKA only 0 No entries No entries No entries
27 1 jar honey (novice class) R. Shackleton trophy CDBKA only 10 David McManus, Kilternan Michelle Merne, Co. Dublin No award Orla Devane, Co. Dublin Brian Porter, Co. Dublin
28 2 jars light, medium or dark honey. C.D.B.K.A trophy CDBKA only 13 Padraig O’Chaomhánaig David McManus, Kilternan Benny Myers, Co. Dublin Michelle Merne, Co. Dublin
n/a Supreme run honey John Kerney Cup Open Mark Fitzpatrick, North Kildare n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
n/a Supreme comb honey Dan Deasy Cup Open Stuart Hayes, Co. Dublin n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
n/a Highest points in classes 1-11 Gourmet cup Open John Summerville, Offaly n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a

Gormanston summer school is almost upon us!

It’s that time of year when the thoughts of beekeepers in Ireland turn to Gormanston.  The excellent FIBKA beekeeping summer school is the highlight of the beekeeper’s calendar in Ireland, so if you are a beekeeper already or are interested in learning about bees, do consider taking a day or more to travel up to Gormanston for the summer school at the end of July.  It’s great value.  With the motorways now it’s easy to to a day trip, and there may even be some accommodation still available.  For other opinions you can check out our Gormaston page here. Last year Claire and I made some video interviews at Gormanston, so maybe check them out.

And finally, below is a brief video interview with Richard Jones of IBRA, the International Bee Research Association at Gormanston last year.  The boffins from Cardiff will be at Gormanston again this year, so if you want to order any special IBRA books from their bookshop – for example Eva Crane’s excellent World history of beekeeping and honey hunting – get in touch with IBRA’s bookshop!  This writer has ordered a signed copy of their Welsh honey recipes.