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August 2016




1        Recent Events


2        Programme 2016


3        Notifiable Diseases


4        Membership Renewal


5        In Your Apiary


6        Announcements




1        Recent Events



11th June. “DBKA BBQ”.


This year we had the honour of being visited by the Co. Meath Beekeepers’ Association. The DBKA brought them to the “Bee Curious Event” organised in Oxford Island (Lough Neagh Discovery Centre). Our Educational Officer (Lorna Gordon) was representing DBKA in at the event. Later, everybody went to the DBKA apiary for BBQ followed by inspection of the hives.

The event was well attended and the weather and craic were mighty! A big thank you to everyone who organised this event as well as those who attended and brought along extra supplies!



28th July. “DBKA Outing”.


We had proposed a day trip to Gormanstown excellent FIBKA annual conference. Unfortunately, due to lack of the low interest shown, the outing was cancelled.



2        Programme 2016


The year is moving fast and we have a range of interesting topics coming up in the next few months.


16th August. “Preparing for a Honey Show”. By: Lorraine McBride (UBKA Secretary). Lorraine McBride will give a talk about the preparation of honey and/or honey bee products for exhibiting in honey shows. This is a good opportunity for new members who would like to enter in the DBKA Honey Show in September to hone in their honey prep skills as well as brushing up the skills of more experienced exhibitors.


20th September. “AGM + Topic to Be Confirmed”. By: Philip McCabe (President of Apimondia). Philip McCabe is a world renowned expert in bees. He is a regular contributor to nature programmes on Irish radio and a great educator in bee matters.


18th October. “Preparing Mead”. By: Gail Orr (Dromore Beekeepers’ Association). Gail has been brewing mead for decades. He is an experienced brewer and he will share his knowledge will us. Prepare your taste buds and remember: Don’t drink and drive!


NOTE: Please note that, although speakers and topics are confirmed, changes may occur due to unforeseen circumstances. In the event of any changes in the program, we will immediately notify DBKA members by e-mail and/or post.


3        Notifiable Diseases


American Foulbrood Disease (AFB) has been identified in 12 apiaries this year up to June 2016. No cases of European Foulbrood Disease (EFB) have been detected yet. Please have a though inspection of hives and if in doubt please contact the Bee Inspector. For more information, please click the following link





Further details about these diseases can be found in the Foulbrood Disease of Honey Bees and other common brood disorders advisory leaflet published by the National Bee Unit on file:///C:/Users/jborobia/Downloads/2904120_Defra_Foulbrood_Disease_Accessible_v0.2.pdf






4        Membership Renewal


September is the renewal month for the DBKA Membership. You can send a cheque made payable to DBKA to the Treasurer, Sandra Pinion (89 Ballykine Road, Ballynahinch, Co. Down, BT24 8JD). Alternatively you can pay directly to the treasurer by cash during our monthly meeting.

You may also renew on-line. Please click the following link to view:

The only data PayPal will collect for the association is the Name and the Home Address due to data protection.

There are three categories of membership:

1-      DBKA Family Membership: Covers 2 adults living at the same address. The Price is £25.

2-      DBKA Individual Membership: Covers one adult. The Price is £20.

3-      DBKA Junior Membership: Covers one minor under the age of 18. The Price is £10.

4-      DBKA Membership without Insurance: Covers one adult. The Price is £10. (Please note that it is the members’ responsibility to have their own insurance within the UBKA or BBKA. DBKA are not liable or responsible for members that are not insured).


Being a member of DBKA means you have public liability insurance cover with the UBKA.



5        In Your Apiary


August.  For some the season will already be over or coming to an end. For others it will be at a peak and perhaps, you may be bringing your bees to the heather. The foraging season for most of us will be over. However, there is plenty of work to be done such as extracting honey. After extraction, if possible return supers to the hives. Remove cleaned supers for secure storage after 3 days. Once supers are removed, check for varroa mites. If the daily mite drop is above 33, treat immediately.  Feed as necessary until the ivy blossoms.


September. Estimate how well the winter food storage is going by hefting hives and/or inspecting each frame. Top up stores to a minimum of 18 kg by feeding thick syrup. Remove the queen excluder if you are leaving a super of honey in the hive for the winter. Monitor for varroa mites and treat immediately if the daily drop excess 20 per day. Join a bee course such as the Preliminary or the Intermediate Course of FIBKA done in Dromore.


October. As the days get shorter and the temperature drops, the queen will lay fewer eggs. Drones should have been ejected so if you notice drones in October, suspect a problem (drone layer queen or queenless hive). Unite small colonies to create large ones. Check hives are secure with no gaps/holes. Make the entrance small to prevent mice entering and secure roofs and stands. Wash your beesuit. Add a bag of fondant over the feed hole if you fear stores are on the light side.


NOTE: These notes are for guidance only and each person should take necessary care of their own bees according to individual circumstances, experience and weather factors. We are not responsible for any misfortunes be falling on your bees by following the above notes.


6        Announcements


Dates for your calendar:


-          BIBBA Conference 20th – 22nd September 2016. The Bee Improvement and Bee Breeders Association (BIBBA) will be holding their biennial conference in the Isle of Man.  More details in the following link:

-          3rd September. DBKA Honey Show. Our Association’s Honey Show will be in Hillborough Village Centre from 2pm to 4pm.

-          22nd and 23rd September. South Tipperary Honey Show. This is probably one of the best shows in the whole island. Worth visiting at least once. It will take place in the Central Technical College, The Mall, Clonmel. More information at

-          27th to 29th October. National Honey Show. This is the biggest show in the UK. This venue will take place in a new location: Sandown Park Racecourse, Esher, Surrey, KT10 9AJ, England, UK. More information at

-          The 73rd UBKA Annual Conference is set to take place at the usual venue, Greenmount Campus, outside Antrim on Friday 10th and Saturday 11th March 2017. There will be key speakers like Professor Steve Martin, Adam Leitch, Pam Hunter, Ethel Irvine, Jim Loughrey, Ben Harden, Ged Marshall and Eoghan Mac Giolla Coda. A must to go for any beekeeper in Northern Ireland.




1-      “Towards integrated control of varroa: 2)comparing application methods and doses of oxalic acid on the mortality of phoretic Varroa destructor mites and their honey bee hosts” (Al Toufailia H, Scandian L and Ratnieks FLW, Journal of Apicultural Research, 54:2, 108 - 120).  The authors determined the efficacy of the natural chemical oxalic acid (OA) in killing phoretic mites on adult worker bees under field conditions in southern England. They compared three OA application methods (trickling, spraying, and sublimation) at three or four (sublimation) doses, using 110 broodless colonies in early January 2013. The study confirms that applying OA via sublimation in broodless honey bee colonies in winter is a highly effective way of controlling Varroa destructor and causes no harm to the colonies. More details in the following link:

2-      New Varroa treatment.  Apitraz 500 has recently been licenced in the UK Veterinary Medicines Directorate. It contains the active substance amitraz. It works through a neurotoxic effect on susceptible parasites. Apitraz 500 comes in plastic strips for insertion between combs. It is not recommended for use during honey flows. The strips are left in place for six weeks before removal. More information in the following link:

3-      There are queen cells in my hive. What should I do? First of all, don’t panic! Read the excellent article in the following link before swarming season starts and you may see queen cells from a different point of view.

4-      If you have any bee news or stories that may be of interest to the association please do not hesitate to contact the Secretary (



Fame is a bee. 

It has a song

It has a sting

Ah, too, it has a wing.


Fame is a Bee by Emily Dickinson (1788)