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Beekeeping Class

Updated: Dec 16, 2018

The first class of the County Wexford Beekeeping classes 2018 got off to a great start last night, the 6th of March, and was very well attended. New members were able to sign up from 7.30 pm. The class was originally scheduled to run from the 27th of February, but had to be postponed due to the recent bad weather.

People attending beginner beekeeping classes run by County Wexford Beekeepers' Association
People attending beginner beekeeping classes run by County Wexford Beekeepers' Association

This week's topic was beekeeping equipment and was very kindly given by Ben Harden. It was a very interesting talk, covering a wide range of areas. Ben was introduced by John Cloney, the Chairperson of our association and Ben then went on to discuss the equipment needed for beekeeping.

A straw skep and a smoking tool on a table.
A straw skep (right hand side) and a smoking tool (left hand side) on a table.

He demonstrated different types of protective clothing, including a veil and a full bee suit and discussed the advantages and disadvantages of leather as opposed to plastic gloves. He also covered smokers and how to use and fuel them, as well as looking at the various options in hive tools.

The merits and issues with the different types of hives were also discussed, National, Commercial and Langstroth as well as polystyrene hives. There was a very interesting aside on the use of the old-fashioned skeps, traditionally made from straw or rushes. Ben also demonstrated the different parts of a hive (floor, incuding a mesh floor, brood chamber, queen excluders, both metal and plastic, supers, crownboard, including porter bee escapes and roof). We were also introduced to rapid and bucket feeders as well how how to make frames and the different types of foundation wax. The class finished with recommendations of beekeeping books, followed by a brief slideshow.

A selection of popular beekeeping books, including Bee Manual, Guide to Bees and Honey & Practical Beekeeping
A selection of popular beekeeping books

All in all, it was an extremely interesting class including as it did many opportunities to familiarize ourselves with beekeeping equipment and how it is used. The second class will be held on the 13th of March, at the same time and place. James Hogan will be giving the week two class and will be looking at the Beekeeping Year.

Many thanks to Ben for the time and effort he put into his talk. Thank you also to the members of the association who helped out with organising and preparing for the classes and who attended on the night to lend their assistance.

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