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Learning natural beekeeping

Hi everyone,
Does any one know where/when I could learn about natural beekeeping in Ireland? Preferably in the West/Midlands but anywhere really!

Hannah I've been using a

I've been using a combination of conventional and natural beekeeping methods since I started beekeeping 3-4 years ago. I'm based in Glenealy Co Wicklow, and happy to share ideas & information. I have 2 Nationals and a Horizontal top bar (tho the top bar is currently empty, lost all my bees last winter).

There's a group in Donegal who are starting in natural beekeeping using top bar hives - Aoife has posted on bees.ie here: http://www.bees.ie/node/84 and on the Transition website: http://transitiontownsireland.ning.com/group/beekeepingjoy

I started with Phil Chandler's barefoot beekeeping book and now have at least half a dozen natural beekeeping books and have done Biodynamic Beekeeping training. I agree with Phil's general approach and it makes good reading. He's really opinionated which I enjoy in a book, not sure what he's like in person! Critics would say he's not scientific and his approach is more intuitive , but I dont have a huge problem with that. I have a copy of his barefoot beeeping book for sale at the OOOOBY Store - if you're interested it's 12 euro including postage (costs about 12 pounds + shipping from Amazon).

I've been in touch with Phil about coming over to do a course here, at the time, he was willing, but at the time there wasn't enough natural beekeepers around. I'm thinking of trying to do that this year if you're interested.

In the meantime, I see that Phil has a distance natural beekeeping course - http://www.my-garden-school.com/course/introduction-to-natural-beekeeping No idea what it's like but might be a good intro.


Hi Mike, Thanks for that, I'm

Hi Mike,
Thanks for that,
I'm definately interested in a course with Phil if you get one organised let me know,
I also came across this: http://www.irishbeekeeping4you.info/index.html & spoke to them this morning, they will be running another series of workshops etc in Sligo starting in April,
Also there's a course in Seed savers next month which I might do for an intro though it's not specifically natural beekeeping,
Did you do any courses before starting to keep bees or have you learnt mostly through reading & doing?
I'll have a think about the book thanks!

I did a basic night class in

I did a basic night class in beekeeping, then got bees, joined an association, read a lot, and was lucky enough to attend a Biodynamic beekeeping course given by Michael Weiler (biodynamic beekeeping inspector in Germany)

A basic course is important, regardless of whether or not it is "conventional". Bees are bees, and you need to understand their biology and behaviour if you're going to keep them. Most courses will also cover conventional equipment and techniques, which are good to understand even if you decide afterwards to try different approaches.

Just confirmed I've got Phil coming this summer - see the Natural Beekeeping course description

Good luck, would like to hear what course you end up taking and what you think.

Mike (signed in as admin)

Hi again Mike & everyone,

Hi again Mike & everyone,

The course with phil looks fab, in the meantime there's a one day "Natural Beekeeping" course at Hillside Organic & Holistic Farm, (http://www.hillsidefarm.ie) near Athlone. -Directions available on the website-

Max Danann will be teaching the course. Max & April Danann & family are Bee Keepers using only Top Bar Hives and a natural approach to apiary, Max also makes & supplies top bar bee hives.http://web.mac.com/aprildanann/April/Honey_Project.html

The course will be on Sunday 4th March from 10am till 4.30/5.00pm.

The cost is 50e for the day including lunch.

If anyone is interested in coming to this, to book a place just give Sean B a buzz  at Hillside farm: 086 6021962


Pooh Bear
Hi Hannah,

Hi Hannah,

This looks good.  Unfortunately I missed it.  If you're running anything else please post it up here and I'll try to get the next one.