The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) in consultation with the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Northern Ireland initiated a Small Hive Beetle (Aethina tumida), Tropilaelaps Mite and Asian Hornet Sentinel Apiary Monitoring Programme on an all-island basis in 2015. The programme followed a similar format in the Republic of Ireland as well as Northern Ireland.
In both jurisdictions the programmes rely heavily on volunteer beekeeper cooperation and are currently looking for three volunteer experienced beekeepers in County Wexford to take part in the Sentinel Apiary Monitoring Programme. If possible one beekeeper close to Rosslare, one in North Wexford and the other one geographically dispersed from these two.
Each volunteer will be provided with a kit to facilitate their monitoring. The kits will include training materials, Small Hive Beetle traps, Asian Hornet traps, sampling equipment and pre-paid envelopes for sample submission. The volunteers will be requested to maintain a simple Sentinel Apiary Log to record their activities and to submit samples to the Department as part of the monitoring programme.
Those who volunteer to participate for the current beekeeping season will be able to opt out at the end of the season if they wish; however, DAFM’s aspiration is that those involved would also be willing to continue to monitor their hives as part of the programme over future years.
The official sampling this year will be for a 4-week period starting in September and ending in October. SHB and Asian Hornet monitoring will continue throughout the summer months and samples will be analysed if a suspected species is found. The samples will be analysed by Dr Mary Coffey and the Bee Health laboratory team at DAFM’s Plant Health Laboratories, Backweston Laboratory Campus, Celbridge, Co Kildare.
If you are interested, or if you'd like further information, please contact CWBA by email.