Category Archives: Beekeeping events

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

Get ready for the Dublin Honey Show!

Entries in the dark jar class

Entries in the dark jar class. Photo: Kieran Harnett

It’s time to get your entries ready for the Dublin honey show.  The Rules, regulations and entry form and the Honey show classes have just been published (click here and here to download them)- and we are pleased to announce 2 excellent lectures at the show.

Date for your diary: Saturday 2nd November in Christ Church Rathgar, from 10:30am to 4:00pm.

Beekeepers – you can enter your honey, wax, candles, mead, cakes, biscuits, photographs, displays – just about anything to do with beekeeping – in the competition.

There are two classes that will appeal to the first-time or less experienced entrant – the novice class, which is open to any CDBKA member who has not yet won a honey show prize, and the dark jar class, where the jar  is covered in paper except for the lid, and the contents are judged purely on the taste and smell of the honey.  Also, this year we have introduced a new class – a two-jar class for CDBKA members only. Enter two unlabelled jars of your best honey in this class and see if you can win!

Attention bakers: this year there is no prescribed honey cake recipe – any cake is allowed as long as it contains honey, so dig out your best recipes!


Gerry Ryan (L), 2012 prizewinner with John Killian, Chairman Co Dublin BKA. Photo: Kieran Harnett.

Last year we put on two lectures – and they proved very popular, so this year we have two more excellent lectures:

  • At 12:00 noon, Master beekeeper Gerry Ryan from Tipperary will give a talk on ‘The beekeeping year’.  Gerry will doubtless be winning prizes at our show again this year.
  • At 2pm, Joe and Annette Kelly from Dublin will give a talk on plants for bees entitled ‘Plants – bees – food for thought’.  Joe is a senior beekeeper in the Co. Dublin BKA, and his wife Annette is a master gardener.

Arrive early for the lectures because last year there was standing room only.

Honey lovers will like this year’s innovation – as well as selling our own Co. Dublin Beekeepers’ Association honey, this year our members will have a stand selling their own honey once the association honey is all sold – which should be by lunchtime or so.

Finally, once again we will have a craft fair in the hall where you can come any buy your Christmas gifts.

Co. Dublin BKA members – putting on the honey show is a huge amount of work, so if you can spare a few hours to volunteer, do let us know.

The charge on the door of just €2 goes to our nominated charity.  See you at the show!

Autumn events


Irene Power. Photo: South Tipp Bees

And autumn is upon us.  After a dreadful winter that lasted through spring we had a fine summer – now in its last gasp.  The honey is harvested, the bees are made ready for winter.  The season for mending, planning, learning and socialising is upon us.

Our first autumn lecture this year is next Monday, 7th October. The lecture on will be delivered by Irene Power from South Tipp BKA.  Irene has just become a Federation lecturer, and she is an experienced and successful beekeeper.  Irene’s chosen topic is:

‘Autumn management leading to successful overwintering’

Given the losses that many experenced last winter, this is an important topic and the timing is perfect.  Entry is free for CDBKA members.


Next up after that is the highlight of the beekeeping calendar, The Dublin Honey Show.  Once again this year we will have:

  • Competitions for honey, wax, mead, cakes, etc.
  • Two lectures on beekeeping-related topics, at 12:00 noon and 2pm.  Make sure you arrive early – last year they were oversubscribed
  • A variety of local honeys for sale from the association’s bees and for the first time, a stand where members can sell their honey by arrangement

    An entry in the honey show. Photo: Kieran Harnett

    An entry in the honey show. Photo: Kieran Harnett

  • Beekeeping equipment and books for sale
  • A craft fair
  • Tea, coffee and biscuits.

Check out the wonderful photos taken at last year’s event here.

The Dublin Honey Show will be held on Saturday 2nd November from 10:30am to 4:00pm in Christ Church, Rathgar.  The entry fee of just €2 goes to our chosen charity.  This year there will be a new class, restricted to members of Co Dublin BKA – so Dublin beekeepers – please enter your honey but also your wax, mead, cakes etc. and please, if you can spare a few hours, give us a hand by volunteering on the day.

See you there!

Can we please have some warm weather?


Maulin, Wicklow mountains, 5th April 2013.

As I type this I look out on a frosty lawn.  Yesterday I walked in the Wicklow mountains, in snow a foot deep on the mountaintop. When I checked on my bees last weekend, one colony (from seven) had almost died out, and two were low on stores and had to be fed.  It’s been a cold, cold spring with Met Eireann reporting the coldest March on record in some parts, and ‘Dublin stations reporting around 60% of their long term average sunshine and their dullest Marchs since 1996’. are currently forecasting more of the same for the next few days  However, warmer weather should come by the middle of April according to the UK Met Office’s long term forecast.  Of course, by the time you read this, sod’s law says the forecasts will have changed completely!

So our beekeeping season starts late this year.  We will have to do our best to get our colonies built up as quickly as we can.

Here in our association we have our final spring lecture on Monday coming – Eoin McGiolla Coda will talk on the important topic of swarm prevention & control.  Our beginners’ course has moved out of the classroom and out into the apiary for hands-on teaching, and a number of our beginners have signed up to sit the FIBKA preliminary exam in April.  The beekeepers are all ready to start the season – all we need is some seasonal weather!


Suddenly we have spring upon us!

An apidea mini-nuc

An apidea mini-nuc

Hello friends of bees,

At last we have a little warm weather and at the time of writing the weather is dry and warmish.  Most of the Co Dublin BKA members among you will have heard by now about the extra lecture put on by the CDBKA committee in response to the dreadful weather we have had over the winter and spring, and the consequent losses of bee stocks that many have suffered.  The lecture title is PRODUCING NUCLEI for REPLACEMENT or SALE – and will be give by senior beekeeper Keith Pearce at 7:30 next Monday in Wesley House, Leeson Park.  We look forward to seeing you there.

Two smaller items of interest: First, Facebook users may be interested to learn of the ‘Beekeepers of Ireland’ discussion group.  It is currently host to some lively discussions and all are welcome to join.  Secondly, there are some notes on building a hive barrow on my own website here. It may be of interest to some.

The next event in the Dublin beekeeper’s calendar is Bloom in the Park – on the June Bank Holiday weekend.  The Co Dublin BKA will be manning the FIBKA stand on at least two of the days – any members who can give some time to volunteer in exchange for entry to the show should contact our secretary, Liam McGarry.  We hope to see you there!