Keith has been beekeeping for more than 25 years, selectively rearing dark native Irish queens Apis mellifera mellifera
He says, “My selection programme is based on the ability of my bees to overwinter strongly, together with disease resistance, docility, productivity, colour and more.
My home and main mating apiary is just on the outskirts of Dublin city, with the bees foraging over the extensive area of the Phoenix Park and the Liffey Valley, including the gardens of suburban Castleknock.
My queens are naturally open mated, but I have been flooding the vicinity of my apiary with drones from my own native dark bees. Each year I over winter more colonies of bees than I need, keeping only the best and requeening those that do not come up to my criteria.”
For this talk, Keith will explain how he is still able to selectively rear quality Queens of our dark native bee, despite having neighbours who are not all using native bees.