Talk on queen bee rearing in Clonakilty

Bees are under threat worldwide, though according to chairman of Cork County Bee Keepers' Association, Noel Power “the main problem here (in Ireland) is the weather.  Bees don’t like wind or rain and we’ve had three bad summers on the trot, but one good summer would make up for the losses.  A few more weeks of good weather and things should be rosy in the garden — or orchard.”

Noel Power (right) helps James Scannel pollinate an orchard
The problem last year in South West Cork was the death of so many queens.  Queens are proving hard to keep for bee-keepers everywhere, and without queens the hives are less productive, produce too many drones, and eventually die.   Last year most of the queen bees in the south-west cork region died, and no wild queens could be found to replace them. 

The solution suggested by the association is to set up its own hives, managed by members, to be able to produce a stock of queens to keep all the hives in the area active.  In a first step towards setting up these hives the SWCBKA has invited Noel Power to give a talk on queen rearing.  The talk took place in O' Donovan's Hotel, Clonakilty on Monday 20th February.

As Gorey bee-keepers wrote about Noel, he "is a beekeeper of vast experience, one of the few who have actually worked with Brother Adam at Buckfast and if his last lecture to us was any thing to go by then we are in for a treat". 

Noel, who has been beekeeping for 25 years, said working with them is a cross between a fine science and a process of trial and error.  “Beekeeping is a real challenge. You’re working with an insect you don’t understand and that doesn’t understand you; that has a sting and is working on instinct only. So it’s all about experience. You’re working to get the best out of the bees,” he said.