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Saturday 7th March 2020

Saturday 6th June 2020

Saturday 5th September 2020

10am to 3.30pm

€ 235

This comprehensive Bee Keeping workshop will provide you with the knowledge, the confidence and the practical skills that is necessary to keep bees and have the joy of your own honey. You will discover all you need to know about safe and successful beekeeping. This three-day workshop will take you from complete novice to someone who has the knowledge to start this rewarding hobby. It is also suitable for those who have bees for a short time and would like some more reassurance.

The workshop will be delivered by Anthony Nea a highly experienced beekeeper. Anthony has been keeping bees for over 15 years and now has 22 colonies. He places great emphasis and is a strong believer on the value of doing and hands-on practical experience.  Everyone will be suited and kitted out. There will be plenty of opportunity to work with the bees. A bee suit will be provided if required but we do advise to bring your own suitable footwear.

An observation hive will be on display so all participants can really benefit and see exactly the workings of the hive through the glass viewing pane.

The theoretical element of the course will be held in the newly renovated out buildings of Coolamber House. This characterful building with log burning stove will provide the perfect setting to build your knowledge, be inspired and meet people with a shared interest. Although the classroom based work will be limited, it is an important element

Everyone will be treated to Coolamber hospitality. Tea/Coffee and hot scones will be available on arrival,  elevenses and a tasty two course lunch will be served in the dining room of the House. All you need is your enthusiasm as everything will be provided.

There will also be an opportunity to see the many outbuildings and our walled garden. Ann Marie will also give a short walk and talk around the walled garden which currently is in the development phase . It will be interesting to see how this develops over the course of the 9 months whilst on this workshop.We hope to further develop the orchard, fruit  and veg garden, cut flower garden and wild flower areas.

A general guideline of what will be covered on the workshop is explained for each session below. The workshop will be highly interactive and there will be lots of time to have all your questions answered. 

Once the workshop is complete you should be equipped with the knowledge and experience to start your own native Irish Bee colony. The dream of having an apiary and producing your own honey is now a reality. You will have the opportunity to meet other participants who are also on the same Journey. 

Note: If desired a number of Participants on the course will have the option to purchase a nuc hive of native Irish black bees. This will be on a first come bases and can be discussed with tutor Anthony during the workshop as these nuc hives will be limited.

Part 1     Saturday 7th March : ESTABLISHING THE HIVE

  • The Colony  ( Queen Worker,Drone)

  • The Colony through the year

  • Types of Hives and Parts

  • Pollination Nectar and Pollen

  • Protection Handling and Personal Safety

As the first workshop is held in March it will not be possible to open the hive however the observation hive will be viewed and the workings explained. This is an amazing opportunity to have time to see exactly the activity inside the hive including inspecting and identifying the queen, worker and drone. This knowledge will prove invaluable for the rest of the workshop.

A number of empty hives will also be on display and the merits of each explained. Everyone will learn how to build a frame which is the timber structure that holds the honeycomb.

Part 2     Saturday 6th June : HIVE MAINTENANCE AND INSPECTION

  • Setting an apiary

  • Acquiring Bees

  • Using a smoker /water sprayer

  • Opening a Hive

  • Reading the Comb

  • Hive Records

  • Swarming 

  • Supering

  • Diseases

Most of this workshop will be spent out with the bees. Everyone will have the opportunity to read the honey comb and handle the hive. Everyone must be appropriately dressed with good closed footwear. No sandals please! There will be a lot of information shared and a lot to absorb but there is no better way to learn than to actually do and see first hand. 


  • Removing Supers

  • Spinning, Filtering, Jaring

  • Feeding Bees for Winter

  • Wintering Hives

  • Storage of Equipment

Apart from the detailed content listed above this workshop will build great confidence. Like any hobby/business there will always be more to learn but after our series of workshops you will have the knowledge,confidence and support network to get started on your own first colony. 

Bee keeping is something that can be enjoyed by anyone, young or old. The benefits are so numerous having your own natural honey, now proven to help overcome seasonal allergies, your own wax, possibly candles , lip balms etc, the environmental benefits, bees are needed to pollenate your flowers and vegetables or simply helping increase the number of bees which unfortunately are in decline. So if you have contemplated raising bees, you wont be disappointed these amazing little creatures have a lot to offer!!!!

The course will be strictly limited to 12 participants. Booking in advance online  or contact Ann Marie on 087 1436292  to secure your place. Places allocated on an first come basis.

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