The Apimondia 2005 International Beekeeping Conference, attended by 4000 folks from around the world, was

held in Dublin, Ireland.    Dozens of exhibitors demonstrated their wares and hundreds of bee masters exchanged ideas.

Technical tours allowed visitors to examine local beekeeping while the warm and friendly Irish residents

made visitors feel very, very welcome. 

Those of us lucky enough to make this trip would agree that the island is as marvellous as its legends. 




The heather was blooming throughout Ireland during the conference. The photos, from northern moor lands,

are typical mid-August scenes.  At the Galtee Bee Breeders’ station, visitors were treated to a taste of fresh

heather honey right from the hive (below):


A visit to the Galtee Bee Breeding Group was part of a technical tour offered by Apimondia. 

Named for the nearby Galtee Mountains of south-central Ireland, the group’s aim is to study,

conserve, and improve the native dark European bee of Ireland.

This honey bee (Apis mellifera mellifera L.) has largely been replaced by Italian and

central European stock during the past 150 years.


       (Galtee Mts.)

    (heather honey sample)


Since 1991, the Galtee group has provided the stock to beekeeper-members in the region

and worked at monitoring the bee’s genetic purity and improving its disposition and honey collecting efficiency.  

Other breeding criteria include disease-resistance and swarm-suppression. 

Galtee Bee Breeders has softened the temperament of these notoriously aggressive bees to such an extent that

the two hundred tourist-beekeepers who visited their main breeding station near Tipperary were easily shown the

inner workings of these hives without the benefit of bee gear and despite the occasional drizzly weather.



                (Galtee Breeding Station)                                      (Erika Miksha inspecting mating nucs)



                (gentle dark European bees)                               (breeder queen housed in styrofoam hive)




                                                (mating nuc is styro with plastic frames – note the

      black bees and their fresh heather honey)


The Apimondia Conference was held in Dublin, capital of the Irish republic and home to almost a million folks.

Those beekeepers with time to spare after pub-hopping and sight-seeing found the venue well organized and

the displays informative. Among the dozens of hive-ware retailers were booths promoting various forms of

apitherapy and honey-monitoring devices.  Entire countries were represented with materials to promote regional

exports and investment opportunities.  A surprising number (I noticed at least four.) booths represented

charity (non-profit) organizations seeking to raise awareness and funds for the development of beekeeping

in third-world environments.


A new feature at this year’s conference was a honey show and competition.

The best of the show entry went to the Carl and Virginia Webb of Georgia for

their sourwood honey.  For most of us,  the best part of the conference was

meeting beekeeping acquaintances – some of whom were e-mail corresponds

or authors with whom we were familiar, but had never met!









(honey and wax display at Apimondia)




Here are a few photos from the conference itself:



                       (Ron Miksha brought his Segway to help him zip around the convention floor)



        (the Baumgartners and the Mikshas)                        (Ron Miksha, John Phipps, Jeremy Burbidge)