Great news for local beekeeping as Killinchy and District Beekeeperss’ Association are buzzing after being voted Best Association in a shield competition held by Ulster Beekeeper’s Association, the representative body of the ten or so local associations spread all over the country.
Ken Tait, spokesperson for the Killinchy beekeepers, said, “The award is well deserved, as this association has striven over the past year to overcome considerable losses of bee colonies, resulting from the theft of several hives and bees from their apiary at Delamont, and the great number of losses suffered during the late spring and prolonged winter.
The Killinchy beekeepers class pictured during a training session.
“The competition required the association to give an account of the past year in beekeeping, and how it had taken steps to advance the knowledge of beekeepers and the public of the plight of the honeybee, and how as beekeepers we can try to combat the problems we are experiencing.
“In the case of Killinchy and District, we have done a great deal, from introducing beekeeping to another group of beekeepers of all ages, from ten years upwards, all of whom successfully passed our preliminary beekeeper’s course and exam in March.
“We transferred our apiary from the site in Delamont to it’s new location near Downpatrick, and which has now become our training apiary. There, as the season progressed, we carried out a very successful summer season of mentoring classes, and enjoyed a great opening barbecue in May.
“We also undertook to start in association with Belfast and Dromore Beekeeper’s Associations, to form our own queen-rearing group, successfully rearing and mating 29 queens, potentially leading to 29 new colonies to replace some of our losses.
“The work goes on, and we have plenty of new ideas to continue our quest to care for our honeybee population. The association has grown in strength and now boasts a membership of around seventy, with a good lively winter programme just stating to gather momentum.
“New members and visitors very welcome to join us at our regular monthly meetings, held at Lisbarnet Community Centre, on the forth Wednesday evening of the winter months until May, from 7.30-9pm.”
Refreshments will be served. For more information, Please contact the secretary, at: