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International beekeeping photography competition open for entries – but hurry!

2011's first prize winner. Beautiful, isn't it?

Now in its twelfth year, the international beekeeping photography competition organised by the town council of Azuqueca de Henares, outside Madrid is now open.  It’s an excellent competition – free to enter and with a cash prize.  In previous years, entrants have each received a free book showing the top 100 photographs.  Over the years the number of entrants has increased to about a thousand from all over the world, as you’ll see here.  As you’ll see from the rules and the previous winning entries (e.g. 2010), they particularly like pictures of people working at beekeeping, rather than just photos of bees.

If you have some beekeeping photos of which you are proud, why not enter them?  If you don’t have any photos to hand, you have until the end of April to take some photos and submit them.

Good luck all.  Let’s hope we have a Dublin winner this year!


p.s. talking of phototgraphs, our own Eamonn Magee made it into the Irish Times this week, in a story on the return of bees to Dublin’s botanic gardens.

p.p.s. There will be a beekeepers’ stand at the Bloom in the Phoenix Park this June bank holiday weekend.  If you’re there, do drop in and say hello.

Happy new year – a busy year ahead

A box of baker's fondant (honey shown for scale)

February is just round the corner and still the beekeeper in Ireland does not feel that winter has really arrived.

The mild weather means that many honeybee colonies have been more active that usual over the last few months – and in consequence require extra feeding.  In winter, most beekeepers use baker’s fondant – the bees can’t take down liquid feed in cold weather.

The new year has begun for the Co Dublin BKA.  We had our AGM this week and elected a new chairperson, John Killian.  The association’s in good health – and for the first time in living memory we have over 200 members. On Monday week, the sixth of Feb we have our first spring lecture – Mary Montaut will talk on bees and plants.  On the following day our beginners’ course starts – it is practically full, so if you want to try for a place, contact Ann (details here) immediately.

This year Dublin plays host to an Apimondia conference on bee health – on the 24th March.  Our friends in the North, the Ulster BKA have their conference in spring too.

Hope you can make it to one of these events.


Honey show this Saturday, 5th November

The 24 jar class

Finally, the Dublin Honey Show is upon us.  The cups are polished and ready for this year’s winners, the Dublin Beekeepers’ Association honey is bottled and labelled ready for sale, the volunteers are all signed up and ready to make the show run like clockwork, and throughout the county and wider country, competitors are putting the finishing touches to their entries.

The Irish did very well at the UK National Honey Show last weekend as you can see here, and some of the winning entries will come to Dublin to try their luck.  There are a number of competition classes that are designed for beginners, including the ‘dark jar ‘ class where the honey is judged on taste and aroma alone, so if you are relatively new to beekeeping competitions, do try a quick entry – you never know!  The entry form and rules can be found here.

We look forward to welcoming you all to our honey show.  As well as a beekeeping competition it’s a chance to buy honey from Co Dublin and to browse the craft stalls which are always popular. It’s held at Christ Church, Rathgar D6, from 10:30am to 4pm this Saturday, 5th November.

We look forward to welcoming you!  As per last year, the entry fee is €2, which goes to this year’s charity, the Royal Hospital, Donnybrook.


Simon Rees, Chairperson


Meet the beekeepers at Bloom 2011

Once again, FIBKA have been invited to exhibit at the June bank holiday ‘Bloom’ show in the Phoenix Park which runs from Thursday 2nd to bank holiday Monday 6th June. The County Dublin Beekeeepers’ Association and our friends the Fingal Beekeepers will run the stand on behalf of FIBKA.  We’ll be there for the entire show, with bees and expert beekeepers on hand.

Calling CDBKA members – we’d like your help in manning the stand, so please get in touch with a committee member if you can spare a few hours to represent us.

You’ll find us in the ‘Conservation at Bloom’ area – drop in and see us!


Beekeeping events Saturday, Sunday, Monday…

…and this one’s not an April Fool!


The film ‘colony’ will be shown at the Botanic Gardens this weekend.  Here’s the announcement:

“There will be a screening of the film ‘COLONY’ at the Lecture Theatre National Botanic Gardens next Saturday 2nd  & Sunday 3rd April at 2.30pm both days.

This documentary film highlighting the collapse of global honeybee populations due to the little-understood Colony Collapse Disorder was directed by Dubliner Ross McDonnell.

The unexplainable phenomenon known as Colony Collapse Disorder has left landscapes of empty beehives all across America, threatening not only the beekeeping industry but our food supply.

As scientists and beekeepers search for the cause, Colony captures the struggle within the beekeeping community to save the honeybee and themselves.

Colony documents a time of unprecedented crisis in the world of the honeybee through the eyes of both veteran beekeeper, David Mendes, and Lance and Victor Seppi, two young brothers getting into beekeeping when most are getting out. As Mendes tries to save the nation’s collapsing hives, the Seppis try to keep their business alive amidst a collapsing economy.”

While not every beekeeper agrees with the film’s messages, it certainly is a good opportunity to see this film in a cinema setting. For more information contact the Bots at


Following that, next Monday, Co. Dublin BKA members are treated to the last of our spring lectures.  The lecturer is Jim Fletcher and his talk is entitled ‘That’s not in the book’.  If you are not yet a member you can still come along and join on the night.