Limerick apiculture course for absolute bee-ginners

The beginners course is being organised by the Limerick Beekeepers Association.

A BEGINNERS course in beekeeping will be held in Rathkeale over two Saturdays in March and April.

Organised by Limerick Beekeepers Association, the course aims to give would-be beekeepers a good foundation in the basics of setting up a bee colony.

Limerick Beekeepers Association is a well-established club in the county, with between 80 and 100 members who meet fortnightly.

Association Secretary Sinéad Mortell says that their beginners course aims to teach newcomers to beekeeping everything they need to know starting off.

“We cover all the basics. We go through what you would need to start up beekeeping, what equipment, and then how to look after the bees throughout the year.

Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter

“Then we cover pests and diseases and, of course, how to harvest your honey. We have a bit of a talk at the end on plants and flowers as well.”

Sinéad says that there are many benefits to beekeeping – apart from having a continuous supply of honey – adding that beekeepers can help in areas of biodiversity and pollination.

Traditionally beekeeping has been hobby for those with considerable amounts of land on account of advice not to keep bees too close to the home, but Sinéad says that this is changing.

“There’s definitely a diverse range of backgrounds. I suppose traditionally it would have been more a rural hobby, but now more and more people in cities are taking it up.

“Ideally you don’t keep them in your back garden, but some people living in towns and cities would advertise through the club looking for an apiary.”

For anyone looking to get into the buzzing world of beekeeping, Sinéad has some simple tips: “I would definitely recommend our  beginners course, there is quite a lot to learn at the start.”

“Then – buy your first colony of bees from a reputable person, so you know that they’re healthy and have no diseases or pests. I recommend joining a club, because then you get to know more people in the hobby and you can ask for help.”

The Beginners Beekeepers Course will be held in the Rathkeale House Hotel on March 25 and April 1, with a practical element at Limerick Beekeepers’ apiary at a later date. Anyone interested in attending can register here