Imports of Bees into Northern Ireland

Following the discovery of Varroa in Devon in 1992, all imports of bees into Northern Ireland were banned and therefore illegal.

Once our varroa-free status was breached in April 2002, the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) made it clear to the Ulster Beekeepers' Association on 24th April 2002 that Northern Ireland had to follow European regulations and allow imports of queen bees and attendant workers, under licence, from all European Union States, Hawaii and South Island, New Zealand.

The bees must be accompanied by an appropriate Health Certificate and are checked on arrival. UBKA was opposed to such imports and argued against them because of the dangers of the transportation other diseases, of which we are free at present.

A number of importations have been made following the arrangements mentioned above. These legal importations were under license, issued by DARD, and the bees were inspected by DARD officials at Newforge Lane.

UBKA expresses its total condemnation of the attempted illegal importation of ten queen bees from Georgia, USA, earlier this year. It compliments the United Kingdom Customs Authority on its diligence in intercepting the package of bees.

UBKA understands that the intended recipient of the bees was given an official warning but that no prosecution will take place. We would hope that further action would be taken were such a scenario to arise in the future since there are many beekeepers who do not belong to an Association.

The attendant publicity would do much to educate them about the parasites and viruses which could be present with the bees from unofficial sources, thus putting at risk the craft of beekeeping for their own selfish personal gain.

We have made every effort to make the facts, as we are aware of them, known to the beekeepers of Northern Ireland, since these queens may have been for sale to beekeepers who are unaware of the laws relating to, and the dangers of, such importation.



What does FIBKA offer its members?

Here is a comprehensive list of what FIBKA offers its members

Letter from FIBKA Executive to all Member Associations

The letter can be read here in its entirety by clicking here. There will also be a downloadable PDF file that you can share with other members of your Association

International Meeting of Young Beekeepers

We are currently looking for young beekeepers (12 -16 age group) to represent Ireland at France 2018. Full details can be seen here

Looking for honey labels and FIBKA lids?

For anyone looking to get the FIBKA jar lids or tamper proof labels for your honey, we have put together the following guidelines in how to apply for them. The document can be downloaded here

Hedge cutting

If you wish to report hedge cutting out of season
Contact the people below
National Parks & Wildlife Service
7 Ely Place
Dublin 2
For General Queries:
Tel: +353-1-888 3242
LoCall 1890 383 000 (within Republic of Ireland only - rates charged for the use of 1890 numbers may vary among different service providers)
Fax: +353-1-888 3272

Disease Sampling Form

Teagasc offers a Honeybee disease diagnostic service to beekeepers, more information available here

All-Ireland Pollinator Plan

Great news! - The All-Ireland Pollinator Plan 2015-2020 is released this week. Click here for more info!

Got something to say!?

We are looking for people to submit articles on beekeeping or anything related to it, on a once off or a regular basis. If you think you could put pen to paper, then please email the Beachaire Manager, Dermot O'Flaherty at