FERMANAGH WILD BEE PROJECT
WILD BEES PROJECT
This project was started in 2018 with 10 specially built bee boxes. We located the boxes in trees and other tall locations in old woodlands in Fermanagh. These are areas where feral or wild honey bee (sometimes referred to as free-living) colonies are thought to exist and thrive.
We intend to monitor the boxes for 3-4 years by visual observations. We will also collect data from temperature and humidity sensors fitted in each box.
The objectives of the Wild Bee Project are:
Test the design, building and locating of wild bee boxes.
Test the effectiveness of these wild bee boxes in attracting feral swarms.
Assess how wild bee boxes could support feral bee colonies.
Monitor the boxes to track and report their occupation by swarms (using non-intrusive digital sensors). This is to obtain more information on how bees living in the wild manage parasite and disease challenges.
The Association gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Eva Crane Trust.
We are also delighted to have the support and interest of a number of organisations including;
We will give updates of progress and hope to be able to share some findings soon. Our Wild Bee Project was recently (2020) reported on the Natural Bee Husbandry website (International Journal for Bee-Centered Beekeeping). Another website we can highly recommend is the COLOSS (Prevention of honeybee COlony LOSses) honeybeewatch website. Meantime, you can keep in touch through the Project's Twitter account @Fermanaghp.
FERMANAGH QUEEN REARING
At Fermanagh Beekeepers Association, we are involved in rearing queens under the able supervision of Thomas McCaffrey.
From May onwards we select eggs/small larvae from hives for placement in queen cells. This process is known as grafting. When these young queens emerge from their cells each of them is put into its own apidea or nucleus colony where a small number of worker bees look after them.
When the virgin queen is mature, she flies and mates with drones but only in good weather. A few days after that the queen will start to lay eggs.
NATIONAL BIODIVERSITY DATA CENTRE
Ireland’s biodiversity is under threat. Like elsewhere in the world, biodiversty loss is depriving future generations of its intrinsic and monetary value. International conventions, nature protection legislation and national initiatives have been supported by the Irish government to address biodiversity loss and improve the quality of life of its citizens. The National Biodiversity Data Centre is one such initiative.
The National Biodiversity Data Centre is a national centre for the collection, collation, management, analysis and dissemination of data on Ireland’s biological diversity. Biodiversity data are a key requirement for understanding our natural surroundings, for tracking change in our environment and for gaining a greater insight on how we benefit from, and impact upon, the ecosystem goods and services provided by biological diversity.