This blog documents the story of the Bee Limerick Group and their quest to introduce honey bees back into the city centre of Limerick. Bee Limerick along with its partners are also involved in planting native Irish flowers, shrubs and trees to create a resilient urban ecology.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The arrival of our first bees to Limerick City

Bee Limerick have brought their first bee colony into Limerick City thanks to the pledges made by the many generous people. The bees are the native Irish dark bee Apis Mellifera Mellifera and were sourced from a reputable supplier.  Presently the amount of bees in the hive number between 10,000- 20,000. If the weather improves and the hive thrives -  we hope the population in the hive will expand to 50,000 plus over the summer.
The bee hive we are using is called a national standard hive and it was generously donated by bee keeper John O’Neill.  It is our hope to make a more ecological sound second hive known as a ‘Top Bar’ hive. The idea is to compare the honey yields and colony successes of the National hive verses the Top Bar hive.
The bees were given to us by county Limerick bee keeper Leslie Hartigan. Recognition must be given to Leslie for offering us the bees at a huge knock down price as Irish bees are very scarce these days and a nucleus may fetch anywhere between 175 – 275 euros. Leslie has also been very helpful in giving us bundles of advice to help Bee Limerick find our feet.
We will have a honey back guarantee of Limerick City honey in 2012 for all pledges, if the colonies are successful!
Please stay posted for updates on our general progress, hive  making and honey processing classes.
            Our third visit to Leslie and our first look at our hive with the new bee nucleus installed

                                            Leslie inspecting the varroa tray. Our hive has the all clear : ))

                           Thorough inspection of our hive for vorroa and yep we have the all clear : ))

                              Luciana and Brian look on as Leslie describes in detail the behaviour of the bees
       Bee Propolis: a resinous mixture that honey bees collect from tree buds, sap flows, or other botanical sources. It is used as a sealant for unwanted open spaces in the hive.
Propolis is used for small gaps (approximately 6 millimeters (0.24 in) or less), while larger spaces are usually filled with beeswax.

The five frames from the mini nucleus inserted into our hive. In time the bees will expand out to fill all frames....with luck!!

Leslie sharing some truly important information with us on maintaining a thriving hive

                                  And finally.....we have our first bee hive safely installed in Limerick City

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