The Apimondia 2005 International
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
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
conserve, and improve the native dark
European bee of
This honey bee (Apis mellifera mellifera L.) has largely been replaced by Italian and
central European stock during the past 150 years.
(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
hundred tourist-beekeepers who visited their main breeding station near
inner workings of these hives without the benefit of bee gear and despite the occasional drizzly weather.
(Galtee Breeding Station) (
(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
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
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)