Newsletter December 2018

Dromore Beekeepers’ Association.

Newsletter  December 2018


Photo by Cathryn Cochrane.

Joe Thompson and Cecil McMullan who have been awarded honorary membership of Dromore Beekeepers.

Cecil McMullan is a founder member of Dromore Beekeepers, being present at the very first meeting in 1984. He is the current Honey Show Manager, a top showman and honey judge, and has been an active committee member for many years.


Joe Thompson has been a member of Dromore for almost as long, being a past Chairman and mentor to countless of beginners over the years. He is always willing to impart his knowledge to everyone, and until recently a highlight of the season was the open day he ran at his apiary outside Newcastle.



October  meeting.

Two Latvian beekeepers Janis Kronbergs and Janis Trops addressed the meeting in October. They gave a fascinating insight into beekeeping in Latvian, a country with approximately 4000 beekeepers keeping on average 25 colonies per beekeeper. They keep mostly black bees, using double skinned hives to keep colonies warm in cold weather. They stressed the importance of hive hygiene, and gave details of the funding available from their government if you are a registered beekeeper with 30 or more colonies.

November  meeting.

Photo  Jesus Borobia


Thomas Ellis from Donegal Bees spoke to the meeting on “The CDB Hive” and his method of producing comb honey.  The CDB hive is double skinned keeping the colony warm, and this seems to be the key to successful section production, this along with strong colonies headed by young queens.


Please note there is no indoor meeting in December due to the Christmas holidays.

There is however an outdoor demonstration at the association apiary on Saturday 29thDecember @ 12 noon. Here Api-Bioxal will be applied to colonies. Members who wish to obtain quantities of Api-Bioxal for their own bees can pre-order, simply contact David Gamble on 07752247279 or  specify number of hives, method of application (trickle or vaporisation) Cost is £1 per hive pay on the day.

Please contact David before14thDecemberto enable stocks to be ordered for day.

January Meeting 15thJanuary 2019 @7:30pm

Joe Thompson will address the meeting and show us new inventions and techniques he uses to manage his 20 or so colonies.

February Meeting  19thFebruary 2019 @7:30pm

 Jonathan Getty (Belfast Beekeepers) will speak on “Preparing Bees for the Spring”

Beekeeping News in brief.

UBKA  75th Annual Conference takes place at  CAFRE Greenmount Campus Friday 15th& Saturday 16thFebruary 2019. Guest speakers include Prof. Marla Spivak, Prof.Giles Budge, Clive de Bruyn, Margaret Ginman, Irene Power, Jim Ryan, and Nigel Semmence. Full details at

Mushrooms used to fight Infection in honey bees.

A mushroom extract fed to honey bees greatly reduced virus levels , according to a new study from Washington State University. In field trials colonies fed mycelium extract from fungi showed a 79-fold reduction in deformed wing virus and a 45,000-fold reduction in Lake Sinai virus, compared to control colonies.

Nature Scientific

Asian Hornet update.

Asian hornet incursions into the British Isles continue and appear to be increasing. In 2018 nearly fifty secondary nests have been found and destroyed on Jersey. Reports suggest at least five nests on neighbouring Guernsey this year. Defra has stated that since 2016 in England, there have been twelve confirmed sightings with six nests destroyed. Seven of these sightings occurred in 2018; a single hornet in Lancashire in April, another in Hull in September ,three sightings in Cornwall September, with two nests destroyed in Fowley. In Hampshire two sightings have been confirmed, with one nest destroyed in New Alresford near Winchester, and a second close to Brokenhurst. In Guilford, Surrey one hornet was confirmed at a car dealership.

Tracking Asian Hornets.

Electronic radio tags have been used successfully for the first time on the UK mainland to help find a nest of invasive Asian hornets near Brokenhurst, Hampshire. Dr Peter Kennedy from Exeter University and his team pinpointed the nest with radio telemetry and destroyed the nest.

Solar Eclipse kills the Buzz.

A group of scientists watched the latest solar eclipse to see how bees reacted. Using tiny microphones, the group from the University of Missouri, found that as complete darkness fell the bees stopped buzzing. Candace Galen from Missouri University said “ Getting dark in the middle of the day is not something that happens in a bee’s normal life. It’s a behavioural miscue…Did they use it as a cue or not, even  if completely out of context?

What we found is yes, they do” Before and after the totality longer buzzes were recorded, which suggests bees may be using a technique of reducing flight speed to lower risks.

Irish Honey.

Researchers from Dublin City University and Trinity College Dublin have found that Irish Heather Honey has similar levels of powerful antioxidants, called phenolic compounds, as Manuka honey. Published in Food Chemistry, the team also found that multi-floral honeys produced by urban bees had a greater level of the compounds than their rural counterparts. The finding is possibly attributed to the flower diversity and abundance near hives. Dr.Blanaid White said” Our research shows that Irish honey is a high quality product and something that we should really value. Interest in beekeeping and honey production is growing in Ireland, and we are delighted to be able to support it”

Herbicide risk.

New research by the University of Texas, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, has suggested that the common herbicide, glyphosate, reduces the beneficial bacteria in honey bee guts. The researchers collected and marked honey bees, and then exposed some to levels of glyphosate they claim are commonly found in the environment. Three days later, they observed that the herbicide had significantly reduced the healthy gut microbial in the treated bees. When those bees were exposed to a harmful bacterial pathogen, increased mortality rates were detected. A spokesperson for Bayer commented “Claims that glyphosate has a negative impact on honey bees are simply not true”


Membership subscriptions for the year 2018-2019 are now due, single membership for the year is £20 while family membership is £25. To renew send a cheque to our treasurer Therese Bennett 8 Farranfad Road, Downpatrick BT 30 8JD. This will safeguard your insurance being up to date.

















Leave a Reply