Connemara Beekeeepers’ Association - Conserving the Native Irish Honeybee
Céad Míle Fáilte!
Our mission is to promote and further the craft of beekeeping across the Connemara region through the conservation of the native Irish dark bee: Apis Millifera Mellifera. We endeavour to achieve this through the following main objectives:
- To promote the interests of the beekeeping fraternity for the mutual benefit of all
- To promote the conservation of the native dark bee, Apis Mellifera Mellifera via the Native Irish Honey Bee Society
- To promote and advance the science of Apiculture;
- Stimulating and assisting in the establishment and maintenance of education and training in all aspects of apiculture;
- To promote the preservation of bees in the environment and to educate and encourage members of the Public to be consciously aware of the benefits of having a sound and healthy bee population in both urban and rural areas;
- To hold regular meetings, Field Days and Field Trips for its members to educate, inform and stimulate discussions on issues of interest and importance to the practice and science of Apiculture;
- To promote intellectual and informative debate within the apicultural sector of Ireland by the organisation of Conferences, Seminars and Workshops for the wider beekeeping fraternity and general public.
Over hundreds of thousands of years the Native Irish Honeybee (Apis Mellifera Mellifera) has evolved so that it is uniquely suited to survive and thrive in our cool and often wet climate. Although once common, the Native Irish Honeybee has in recent years seen a serious decline in population due to a combination of factors including the destruction of habitat (hedgerows and wildflower meadows), the use of chemical pesticides, the arrival of invasive species and the spread of diseases. If our Native Irish Honeybee was allowed to die-out, it would mean not only a significant loss in food production (as fruiting plants and trees could no longer be pollinated) but also the loss of many native wildflower species that depend on bees for pollination. Protecting the Native Irish Honeybee is therefore crucial to preserving entire ecosystems.
The Connemara Beekeepers’ Association is working very hard to help conserve the Native Irish Honeybee. Through our breeding programme we have helped develop honeybees which are docile and easy to handle, resistant to disease, produce a large honey-crop and are uniquely suited to survive in the difficult conditions of Connemara. We have also collaborated with universities in scientific research programmes designed to develop our understanding of the Native Irish Honeybee. It is hoped that in the future Connemara may be established as a special area of conservation for the Native Irish Honeybee.
However, this important conservation work is threatened by the arrival of invasive honeybees into the area. Stocks of non-native honeybees may be purchased by inexperienced beekeepers in the mistaken belief that they will produce a greater honey-crop. Furthermore, non-native honeybees are unlikely to survive the wet winter conditions and are likely to interbreed with Native Irish Honeybees producing highly aggressive hybrids. We are therefore appealing to the public to support our work in conserving the Native Irish Honeybee by not purchasing and importing non-native bees into the area.
Our group was founded in January 2010, by a fervent nucleus of beekeepers led by Gerard Coyne and Seán Finnerty.
The association was constituted on the 14th of March 2010.
This year's (2018) officers and committee details are as follows:-
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Download our latest Newsletter 2018
The association is affiliated to the Federation of Irish Beekeepers' Associations (FIBKA).
If you are interested in joining our association, or seeking further information please contact the Secretary or PRO, through the following link.
If you would like to learn more about our conservation work with the Native Irish Honeybee, or if you are interested in taking-up beekeeping as a hobby please do not hesitate to get in touch by email via the Contact Us page.
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