Author Archives: Rose Breslin

Results of Dublin Honey Show 2019

ClassDescriptionFirst prizeSecond prizeThird prize
124 jars of light, medium or dark honey.No AwardNo AwardNo Award
212 jars of light, medium or dark honey.  As offered for sale.Malachy MatthewsPeter WalshJohn Summerville
32 jars light honey.Eveyln O'ReillyRaymond FitzpatrickSean Doyle
42 jars medium honey.  Heather excluded.Peter WalshRaymond FitzpatrickJohn Summerville
52 jars dark honey.  Heather excluded.Malachy MatthewsHubert MartinJohn Summerville
62 jars heather honey.Orla DevaneTom StuartNo Award
72 jars granulated or creamed honey.Malachy MatthewsOrla DevaneMartin Nolan
82 Floral honey sections.  Ling free.Tony LynchThomas O'BrienDara Kilmartin
92 jars chunk honey.No AwardNo AwardNo Award
102 containers of cut comb.No AwardNo AwardJohn Summerville
111 frame suitable for extraction.Peter WalshChris MerriganOrla Devane
121 cake of beeswax.Sinead MortellOrla DevanePeter Walsh
135 blocks beeswax matching.Rena McDonaldOrla DevanePauline Flannery
143 beeswax candles all made by moulding.Kathleen ShoebridgeSeamus MurphyMalachy Matthews
15Beeswax polish in tin or jar.Orla DevaneNo AwardNo Award
16Honey cake.Ann O'SuilleabhanJohn SpeirsConor Hogan
176 honey biscuits.Ciara HoganFrances LavelleKen Norton
18Dry mead.John SummervilleMalachy MatthewsNo Award
19Sweet mead.John SummervilleNo AwardNo Award
20Metheglin / Melomel.John SummervilleNo AwardMalachy Matthews
21Honey BeerNo AwardNo AwardNo Award
22Photograph.  Black and white or colour.Pat WoganHelen DoranCarmel Doran
23Display class.  Collection of bee products consisting of jars of different honey sections, cut comb, mead, beeswax, etc.Bernie O'ReillyNo AwardNo Award
24Any item related to bees or beekeeping and ineligible for entry in another class.Shay MurphyElizabeth ByrneNo Award
252 Jars of Light, Medium or Dark HoneyRose BreslinDave McManusLiam McGarry
262 Jars of Light, Medium or Dark HoneyArun LobidhasFrances LavellePaul O'Brien
271 Jar of Light Medium or Dark HoneySebastian GroultJonathan GroultRichie Timmins
281 Covered Jar of Light Medium or Dark HoneyVincent GroultSebastian GroultNo Award
292 Jars of Light Medium or Dark HoneyKevin CullenDave McManusM. Brennan
301 Jar of Light Medium or Dark HoneyJenny SteinCiara HoganMairead Doherty
311 Covered Jar of Light Medium or Dark HoneySt. Michael's CollegeElizabeth ByrneEleanor Nolan

Getting Ready for Winter

Aoife Nic Giolla Coda An Beachaire Vol.71 No. 9 September 2016

September is here and our summer is over. While it was not a very good summer, some colonies have had a surplus honey crop. Supers should be removed at this stage and stored away. While you may be leaving on a super of honey for the bees over winter, it is not a good idea to leave all the supers on over winter. This is a large area for the bees to try and temperature regulate and a smaller space is easier for them.

Getting ready for winter

The sooner you can remove your honey crop, the better. I always harvest it in the beginning of August. This allows for plenty of time for the use of the Apiguard treatment while the temperature is closer the the 15 degrees Celsius. IT is also better to reduce varroa populations as soon as possible, so that the developing larvae are not being burdened with a high mite load, which results in a shortening of their life. Ir is essential to have varroa free, long-lived, healthy bees this time of year going into the winter.

Queen excluders should be removed over the winter. The colony may wish to move up into the super above the excluder during the winter for extra warmth. However, if the excluder is on the queen gets trapped and isolated below, ultimately leading to the death of the colony.

Make sure all hives are bee tight at this time of year. Reduce entrance size to prevent robbing and allow guard bees to protect the hive more effectively.

Late Supersedure and Uniting Colonies

You may have a colony which has raised late supersedure cells. Unlike swarm cells, proper supersedure cells are generally a bit later in the summer. There are usually between 1 and 3 of them in the colony, generally around the same age. The queen can often be still alive and laying in the colony. It is a sigh that the queen may be failing and that the colony wish to replace her, even though she could be OK and survive in another colony.

If it is early/mid August that you come across this situation, the new queen emerging could still have a decent chance at mating. However this is all relative to the amount of drones still available in the locality, which is generally dictated by the weather and the amount of stores coming into the hive.

A supersedure cell in September has a much slimmer chance of success. You could take the chance that the new queen will mate but it is at a high risk of losing your colony over winter. In this situation, it would be wiser to get rid of the supersedure cells (and queen if she is still present). Then unite the colony with a queenright one. This can be easily done by lifting one brood box onto another and placing a sheet of newspaper in between. Prick a few holes into the newspaper. Both colonies will chew away slowly at the paper, allowing the odour of both colonies to mingle and combine.

Uniting can also be carried out if you have a colony which is too small t survive the winter on its own. Many small colonies, say on 3 or 4 frames, will not be able to maintain the correct temperature in order to survive the winter months.


September is the time to carry out Autumn feeding if necessary. The colony requires 35-40 lbs of stores to carry them through the winter, so if your colony is not at this weight in September you need to feed. The most common feeds for Autumn are 2:1 sugar syrup. This consists of a ratio of 2kg white sugar to 1 litre water. Add some warm water to the sugar to melt it. It can be topped up with cold water to the correct ratio. Keep stirring until dissolved.

Another common feed is invert sugar syrup. Ambrosia syrup would be an example. It does not ferment. It is fructose and glucose so the bees do not need to use energy to invert it before storing. It is also very thick, which means less ripening off of moisture for the bees before storing.

The best way to feed this time of year in with a top feeder like an ashforth or miller feeder – there are many different types on the market. It is put directly over the brood nest where the bees access it easily. Ensure that it is well covered over with the roof placed on it properly to prevent robbing from other bees. It is a good idea to reduce down the entrance also to defend more easily against robbing. Never spill the syrup if you do ensure that it is washed away quickly.

Dead Drones

You might find lost of dead bees on the ground in front of the entrance of the hive in September (or maybe August). If you look more closely you may see that they are drones being killed off by the colony. This is a natural occurrence this tie of the year, when the colony is feeling the autumn chill and start preparing for winter.

Results of the 75th Dublin Honey Show

Class1 st2 nd3 rdVery Highly Commended
1G. Clancy-J. SummervilleM. Nolan
2J. Summerville---
3J. SummervilleR. FitzpatrickG. ClancyE. Fuller
4J. SummervilleD. & T. O’BrienE. ByrneB. O’Reilly
5J. SummervilleH. Martin
6K. PreschM. Gleeson--
7M. NolanR. FitspatrickG. Clancy-
8T. LynchR. BreslinJ. SummervilleJ. Fuller
10J. SummervilleJ. Keogh--
11P. WalshG. ClancyJ. HillO. Devane
12O. DevaneM. MathewsB. O’Reilly-
13O. DevaneS. MurphyB. O’ReillyA. Hamilton
14S. MurphyB. O’ReillyJ. LeonardJ. Cowan
15A. HamiltonO. Devane-B. O’Reilly
16O. ReillyH. MartinA. Cullen-
17A. O’SuilleabhainO. ReillyH. MartinK. Norton
18J. SummervilleD. McCartneyA. HamiltonM. Mathews
19J. SummervilleD. McCartney--
20D. McCartneyJ. Summerville--
21D. McCartney---
22T. O’BrienAlbert HamiltonS. MortellS. O’Hara
23B. O’Reilly---
24L. McCleanJ. SummervilleR. KleeB. O’Reilly
25C. MerriganO. Devane-D. Christodoulides
26M. WallS. O’DwyerM. O’NeillP. O’Brien
27M. KellyV. GroultJ. Thorp-
28S. GroultR. TimminsD. MorrisV. Groult
29S. MortellJ. GroultP. WasylecS. Groult
30S. GroultK. ShoebridgeJ. GroultSt. Michael’s College

Latest news on the County Dublin honey show

Here’s the latest update on the County Dublin Honey Show on Saturday 2nd November:

Lots of entries already in the honey show competition

_N8R2477.jpgAs of Monday 16th, we are already receiving  entries to the honey show – so it’s shaping up to be another busy show.

If you want to enter the honey show competition, have a read of the competition classes and rules here and here – then you can enter online here.  You might like to read Keith Pierce’s tips on preparing your entries for show.

Honey for sale

As usual, we will be selling our own County Dublin Beekeepers’ Association honey at the show.  It’s beautiful honey at a good price, so we usually sell out by lunchtime.  Once the association’s honey is all gone, our members are permitted to sell their own honey – but even that usually sells out before the show closes!

Face Painting

This year we again have our very popular face painter to entertain some of the younger visitors, so bring the children along and get a bee without a sting.

Parking for the show

As the honey show’s in the centre of Rathgar, parking is limited.  The main entrance to the Honey Show in Christ Church Rathgar is on Highfield Road.  There is parking here but very limited, and we are required to keep the entrance to the inner cap park free for traders who rent spaces there.   Here’s where you will find other parking:

    • Coming from the village on Highfield Road take the first turn right onto Oaklands Drive, (entrance to St Luke’s Hospital) There is free parking on the right generally quiet on a Saturday. 
    • Almost opposite the turn for Oaklands Drive is Templemore Ave. This is a narrow road with limited free spaces, just as you turn onto the road. 
    • Parallel with Templemore Ave is Neville Road and this is free at the weekend. Plenty of spaces here.
    • All of these Roads will take a 5 minute walk approx to honey show.
    • Coming from Rathmines on the Rathgar Road into Rathgar village, at the traffic lights turn left onto Orwell Road (left at Deli Boutique), Just after SuperValu turn right into a recycling centre with parking. Free on a Saturday. From this car park is the entrance to Rathgar Tennis club and parking here is free.
  • If you miss the turn into the recycling centre keep right at the “V” and take the first turn right onto Victoria Road. Free parking Saturday. 

All these parking spots are a 5 min walk approx to Christ Church. ( a little quicker if you walk in one entrance of SuperValu  and out the other!)

We look forward to seeing you – and your entries – at the Honey Show in Christ Church, Rathgar.

Congratulations Olly

Olly Nolan a member of the Co Dublin Beekeepers just won gold for his entry into the Blas Na hEireann food awards and then some……. Congratulation to him on his success.

“Super excited, still can’t believe it, I’ve just won #gold for my heather #honey at the Blas Na HEireann Irish Food Awards 😀😀😀

As I was picking up the award they announced that I was also ‘Best in #Dublin‘ too, can you believe it, best food producer in Dublin.

Well done to all my busy #bees 🐝🐝🐝💤💤💤💤💤🍯🍯🍯🍯🍯”

#Blas2017 #ollysfarm #irishhoney

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