Phone: 091-442722

Beginners Beekeeping Course 2019

The Course begins on Spring 2019.

Registration night: 20th of February 2019 at 7:30PM – First night of the course: 26th February at 7:30PM

The course will run for six weeks. There will also be two hands on classes in the apiary subject to weather conditions.

You will have an exam set by FIBKA at the end of the course, usually in May, if you choose to do it.

You do not have to get your own bees or have any further involvement in beekeeping. Maybe you were just curious or wanted to learn what it was all about. But we hope that at the end of the course you will be as enthusiastic about honey bees as we are.

After the course you will be more than welcome at the monthly club meetings and all other club activities.


To book your place on the course please email our .

The course cost is €150 per person. This includes the exam fee, which is €30. We will cover €20 of that as a thanks for doing the course with us. If you do not intend to do the exam, you can pay €140 for the course.

The Examination comprises a written paper and a practical Apiary Examination on the material below…

Manipulation of a Colony of Honeybees

The student will be:

  • aware of the need for care when handling a colony of honeybees

  • aware of the reactions of honeybees to smoke

  • aware of the personal equipment needed to open a colony of honeybees

  • able to open a colony of honeybees and keep the colony under control

  • able to demonstrate the use of smoke

  • able to demonstrate the use of the hive tool

  • able to remove combs from the hive and identify worker, drone and queen cells or cups if present and to comment on the state of the combs

  • able to identify members of the three castes, identify brood at all stages

  • able to demonstrate the difference between drone, worker, and honey cappings

  • able to identify stored nectar, honey and pollen

  • able to catch a few worker bees and put them in a matchbox or carrying cage for disease diagnosis

Beekeeping Equipment

The student will be:

  • able to name the parts of a modem beehive

  • aware of the concept of the bee space and its significance in the modern hive

  • able to assemble a frame and fit it with wax foundation

  • aware of the reasons for the use of wax foundation

  • aware of the various spacings of combs in the brood chamber and super for both foundation and drawn comb

Natural History of the Honeybee

The student will be:

  • able to give an elementary account of production of queens, workers and drones in the honeybee colony

  • aware of the existence of laying workers and drone laying queens

  • able to specify the periods spent by each caste in the four stages of its life cycle (egg, larva, pupa, adult)

  • able to give an elementary description of the function of the members of each caste if the life of the colony

  • able to give a simple description of wax production and comb building by the honeybee

  • able to give a simple definition of nectar and describe how it is collected and brought back to the hive

  • able to name the main local flora from which honeybees gather pollen and nectar

  • able to give a simple description how nectar is converted into honey

  • aware of the use of nectar and honey in the life of the colony

  • aware of the collection of water and its uses in the colony

  • able to give a simple description of the collection of pollen and its importance in the life of the colony

  • able to describe the origins, collection, and use of propolis in the honeybee colony

  • able to give an elementary description of swarming in a honeybee colony

  • able to give an elementary description of the way in which the honeybee colony passes the winter period

Beekeeping

The student will be:

  • able to give an elementary description of the siting of colonies

  • able to give an elementary description of the year’s work in the apiary and the management of a colony throughout a season

  • able to describe how and when to feed bees and the preparation of syrup

  • aware of the need to add supers and the timing of the operations

  • aware of the use of the queen excluder

  • able to give an elementary account of one method of swarm control

  • able to describe how to take a honeybee swarm and how to hive it

  • aware of the condition of queenlessness

  • able to describe the signs of laying workers and a drone laying queen

  • aware of the dangers of robbing and how robbing can be avoided

Bee Disease and Poisoning

The student will:

  • be able to describe the Varroa mite, know how to test for its presence in the hive and be aware of the main methods of treatment

  • be able to describe the signs of American Foul Brood (AFB) and European Foul Brood (EFB)

  • be able to describe the appearance of healthy brood and how it differs from diseased brood or chilled brood

  • be aware of acarine, nosema and amoeba and their effect upon the colony

  • know how to obtain expert assistance if any disease or poisoning by toxic chemicals is suspected

Harvesting Honey and Wax

The student will be:

  • able to describe the methods used to clear honeybees from supers

  • able to describe the process of the extraction of honey from supers

  • aware of the value of bees to farmers and growers and of the hiring of colonies for pollination services

  • able to describe a way in which comb can be stored to prevent wax moth damage

  • able to describe a way by which mice can be excluded from the hives in winter.

Register for Beekeeping Classes