Irish Beekeepers facing 'meltdown'

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Weeze 

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In Ireland in 2012 we had another cold wet Summer followed by a long cold grey damp spring until late April..

A lot of beekeepers have already replenished their stocks by splitting.

We are in the middle of a heatwave the hottest the weather has been in 7 years... it is now 10 days without rain

The nihbs.org is a new society launched last year with the To promote the conservation, study, improvement and re-introduction of Apis mellifera mellifera (Native Irish Honey Bee), throughout the island of Ireland
 

Chris Luck 

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In Ireland in 2012 we had another cold wet Summer followed by a long cold grey damp spring until late April..

A lot of beekeepers have already replenished their stocks by splitting.

We are in the middle of a heatwave the hottest the weather has been in 7 years... it is now 10 days without rain

The nihbs.org is a new society launched last year with the To promote the conservation, study, improvement and re-introduction of Apis mellifera mellifera (Native Irish Honey Bee), throughout the island of Ireland
It will be a sad day if you follow the rest of Europe when you have such an opportunity to keep your native bees.

Truth is that last year was the worst on record overall here for bee keeping, much the same with cold, wet weather until July when in went into drought and the same is happening this year except that the first 6 months this year were colder and wetter than last year. Overwinter losses were high for many keepers due to poor mating and although all my new queens this year have mated only time will tell how well. The weather here turned in the 3rd week of July and since then it has been hot and dry, (28 to 34°);

In the past Bee colony numbers here in France were widely reported as having fallen dramatically, what was omitted was to mention was that so had the number of people keeping bees OR registering them.

Chris
 
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It will be a sad day if you follow the rest of Europe when you have such an opportunity to keep your native bees.



:iagree::iagree::iagree:


One thing to be sure Apis mellifera mellifera is a GREAT survivor,............

... my concern with bee imports is the virus load they may carry, particularly if it is something new to the extant population.... decimation many many fold may be the consequence to all species of bee that has not had time to evolve an immunity.
Welcome to the HOMOCENE.... where invasive non native species will colonise the planet... assisted by the worst culprit of all US !
 

Eric knockalt 

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Myself lost a nuc and full hive this year ,that was in april but that was due to cold as there was stores left in both hives the numbers of bees was very small ,so my thinking was that they were reluctant to break the cluster ,my numbers are back up again and i will have a few to many hives i think ,will be uniting another two this weekend and making nucs up with 2 extra queens in apideas ,i have a couple of numbers for beekeepers looking for bees that i got last weekend from a meeting i was at with some fellow beekeepers from wicklow,i was surprised at the losses people have had .The bees i have though would be a mix though ,i have never bought bees since my first colony about six years ago and are made up from swarms that have arrived in my apiary ,but they are doing really well for now and the varroa count is lower than last year by far .
My dark bees are a bit more gentle than the golden striped bees that can be tetchy but they do gather nectar well,maybe its the mountains that are helping me along away from the main concentrations in the area .
 

Hivemaker. 

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Finman 

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icanhopit;346539 One thing to be sure [I said:
Apis mellifera mellifera[/I] is a GREAT survivorwill colonise the planet... assisted by the worst culprit of all US !
It vanished from Finland 20 years ago.

Now carniolan bee has been started to exist on areas, where is no beehives.


And in every continent it has been imported first, and it has disappeared first.

Only real survivor is Africanized bee scutellata. But it lives in tropics where mellifera cannot live.


All great man are great after their death.
And if we have a drunk artis, he will be a hero.
A drunk female artis will never be a hero.

.
.
 
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PBee 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by icanhopit View Post
One thing to be sure Apis mellifera mellifera is a GREAT survivor,............



Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Into the lions den View Post
The bees heaved out the drones in early June, some by the end of May, and really were reluctant to get going again, and the black bees were by far the worst for this, and have this springs highest losses, due to dwindling and being just too small to survive.
...
In general, they survive equally well in any weather here.

It vanished from Finland 20 years ago.

.........
From Apiservices - beekeeping in Finland ....
Two thirds of the bee colonies are Italian, 25% hybrids, 5% Carnica, 2% Buckfast and 3% Black. Other races are very rare but the carniolan bees have become more popular in the last few years.
http://www.beekeeping.org/countries/finland.htm
 

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keith pierce 

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Ireland needs restocking, next thing they will be importing package bees.
To late, we already have a importer of buckfast bees in Ireland and he has posted on this thread.

On the subject of winter losses, thing are not all that bad now, We were encouraged to only include in our winter losses, those that would not produce honey in the season. I had about 20 that were weak and included these in my losses returns. Most of these now, have supers on them with about 30lb + of honey on. All my brood chamber are just about full again and once that in done I will be filling the rest of my nucs. The same reports are coming back from all over the county and a friend of mine who has run out of supers is splitting down some of his hives and making up nucs, and spreading the supers around. He now has over 40 surplus nucs of black native bees to sell. It was a bad year for beginners starting to get into beekeeping and looking to get started early with an overwintered nuc. Most of all the beginner's are now supplied with bees and those that have not got get their hives ready yet, will get their bees as soon as they are set up. I grafted into 40 cells cups last night and will graft again next week after gormanstown. My last graft of the season always come my top performer of the year and the one that has given me the least amount of trouble.
 
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To late, we already have a importer of buckfast bees in Ireland and he has posted on this thread.

On the subject of winter losses, thing are not all that bad now, We were encouraged to only include in our winter losses, those that would not produce honey in the season. I had about 20 that were weak and included these in my losses returns. Most of these now, have supers on them with about 30lb + of honey on. All my brood chamber are just about full again and once that in done I will be filling the rest of my nucs. The same reports are coming back from all over the county and a friend of mine who has run out of supers is splitting down some of his hives and making up nucs, and spreading the supers around. He now has over 40 surplus nucs of black native bees to sell. It was a bad year for beginners starting to get into beekeeping and looking to get started early with an overwintered nuc. Most of all the beginner's are now supplied with bees and those that have not got get their hives ready yet, will get their bees as soon as they are set up. I grafted into 40 cells cups last night and will graft again next week after gormanstown. My last graft of the season always come my top performer of the year and the one that has given me the least amount of trouble.
Possibly a little bit of Hybrid Vigour from introgession is not such a terrible thing... importing bees from overseas is as it may bring in virus that extant bees have not as yet evolved an immunity to.
The "so called" buckfast hybrids have a considerable amount of Apis mellifera mellefera DNA and if allowed to interbreed with the local population the mix of non Amm genes will soon dwindle.

Needles to say at present there has been very little research carried out on levels of introgression with imported species of honeybee in the British isles, basically because it is not high on the government funded research, however nuclear DNA microsatellite testing costs are coming down with the massive advances in molecular science.

At the end of the day most beekeeperers just want a bee that is fit for purpose
 
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mbc 

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To late, we already have a importer of buckfast bees in Ireland and he has posted on this thread.

On the subject of winter losses, thing are not all that bad now, We were encouraged to only include in our winter losses, those that would not produce honey in the season. I had about 20 that were weak and included these in my losses returns. Most of these now, have supers on them with about 30lb + of honey on. All my brood chamber are just about full again and once that in done I will be filling the rest of my nucs. The same reports are coming back from all over the county and a friend of mine who has run out of supers is splitting down some of his hives and making up nucs, and spreading the supers around. He now has over 40 surplus nucs of black native bees to sell. It was a bad year for beginners starting to get into beekeeping and looking to get started early with an overwintered nuc. Most of all the beginner's are now supplied with bees and those that have not got get their hives ready yet, will get their bees as soon as they are set up. I grafted into 40 cells cups last night and will graft again next week after gormanstown. My last graft of the season always come my top performer of the year and the one that has given me the least amount of trouble.
Sounds like a similar tale to what is occurring in my part of the world, barring the impatient short cutters who took the easy (in the short term) route of buying imported stock in to fill their boxes :( ( Sardinia, Slovacia and Romania seem to be where the foreign bees are coming from this year)
Thanks for posting the good news about the natives holding sway Keith :)
 

sipa 

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I'm afraid people are ignoring the bleedin obvious.

Feed your bees adequately, at the right time with the correct food and they will survive almost anything that mankind and nature can throw at them.

People are obsessed with feeding syrups, fondant, anything sugary. You are all missing the point, which is to make sure your colony's have enough protein, ie Pollen, or a very good protein supplement.
Without that your bees are doomed !!
 

snoop 

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Feeding bees is fine , but I had stocks died out over the winter with plenty of stores , both pollen and honey.
They were out and about on Christmas day , still collecting nectar from ivy and gorse.
However the cold 6 weeks from March to the end of April did the damage. Brood nests were abandoned, bees were stressed from bad weather last summer and failure of queens to mate as a result. All hives that died tested positive for Nosema at Christmas
 

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Needles to say at present there has been very little research carried out on levels of introgression with imported species of honeybee in the British isles, basically because it is not high on the government funded research, however nuclear DNA microsatellite testing costs are coming down with the massive advances in molecular
Here we go again with misinformation from Icanhopit - get your information correct about imports - they are NOT a separate species! Haven't you been able to understand this after all the time you have been a beekeeper?
 

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The reason is miserable summer and autumn and bees do not get sufficient pollen nutrients. You say that you have always pollen, but if weathers are wet, they do not get enough stores. And do you have in brood boxes room for pollen stores?

What happened? Very experienced beekeepers lost so much hives that at least reason is not "how to winter". And weather is "once in 50 years", you cannot live all the time in panic.

It just happened. Beeks will keep their habit. Nothing will change, so I see.
At least this gang does not want to learn anything.

.
 

BILL.HEARD 

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I'm afraid people are ignoring the bleedin obvious.

Feed your bees adequately, at the right time with the correct food and they will survive almost anything that mankind and nature can throw at them.

People are obsessed with feeding syrups, fondant, anything sugary. You are all missing the point, which is to make sure your colony's have enough protein, ie Pollen, or a very good protein supplement.
Without that your bees are doomed !!
:iagree:

I tend to agree with this obsession for feeding fondant, feed heavily in September with syrup if required and then leave until March. a lot of the problems encountered this spring were due to a lack of a good protein source.
 

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with imported species of honeybee in the British isles, basically because it is not high on the government funded research, I]
Is Bristish Isles some "Lost world", isolated from another world and from others knowledge.

There is only 20 miles to France.

What idea is even try to isolate? And in fact British Isles is not isolated, continuous flow of package bees and queen comes every year from other countries. It is according to law, and why to cry for it.

Local honey from British Empire. How it sounds? (picture)

Own bee stock is not an answer to British bee losses.

I know very much faults in your beekeeping. First, too compex with vain tricks, and too few hives to get real experience. And then unskilled beeks advice each others and the soup is ready.

Skill is the basic of beekeeping. And it keeps the hobby vivid. If some one do not need skill in his hobby, it is doomed to be "sad and expencive hobby". It is better to take aquarium. When you feed them one year, you are tired to stir their beauty. Then you say, I have seen everything.

To teach "how to be unefficient", it is like to teach how to drive with car into ditch. I cannot believe what I have seen here during last 2 weeks.


Local local


.



.
 
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Finman 

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:iagree:

I tend to agree with this obsession for feeding fondant, feed heavily in September with syrup if required and then leave until March. .
In Finland no one feed hives with fondant in September. It is syrup and hives are feeded so full that it is enough to May, when willows start to bloom.

If hives are not insulated, food will be finish at March.

Feeding happens very quickly that bees do not start brooding again.
One box hive will be feeded in 2 days. Slow feeding keeps brooding on. And brooding consumes last pollen stores. - for example to say
 
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