The Federation of Irish Beekeepers Associations FIBKA

What does FIBKA Offer its Members

FIBKA is not-for-profit federation of beekeeping Associations in Ireland. Currently, there are 61 affiliated Associations, which between them have over 3,500 members. FIBKA acts as an umbrella organisation, providing unity and strength in numbers in its promotion of the interests of bees, beekeepers and beekeeping in Ireland.
Included in the annual affiliation fee, no extra cost to members:

  • A most comprehensive insurance package to cover your beekeeping activities at your own apiary or anywhere else in the Republic of Ireland.
  • Monthly magazine An Beachaire delivered to your door, with back issues available on the website. Articles relevant to Irish beekeepers operating in Irish conditions. Contributions from members always welcome. The Journal is now in its 71st year serving the beekeepers of Ireland for generations. Sponsored prizes for annual photographic competition.
  • Website www.irishbeekeeping.ie and Facebook page www.facebook.com/fibka
  • Panel of Certified Federation Lecturers (CFLs), including many who hold a diploma in Apiculture {NatDipSc (Apic)} from Cork Institute of Technology. FIBKA covers mileage costs of CFLs travelling to lecture to local Associations in order to reduce the cost to the Associations. This is especially beneficial to new, small or remote Associations with no CFLs amongst their own members.
  • Annual Congress with each affiliated Association entitled to send delegates as per FIBKA Constitution. Associations can submit motions for consideration at Congress and can nominate candidates for election to Executive Council at Congress.
  • Organising Bee Health Workshops for the benefit of our members throughout the country.
  • Annual National Honey Shows at Gormanston and at Fota. FIBKA covers mileage costs of Honey Judges to attend these Shows and other Honey Shows recognised by FIBKA.
  • Promotion and lobbying on behalf of beekeepers with the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Marine (DAFM) to promote the good health of bees and the interests of beekeepers.
  • Negotiation with Coillte regarding standard terms and conditions for apiary sites for beekeepers
  • Working with DAFM in securing EU funding for beekeeping. To date we have secured €1.4m under the Apicultural programme for Irish Beekeeping.
  • Working with the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) in preventing fraud and misinformation on honey in the market place.
  • Working closely with Bord Bia in the promotion of Irish honey, Bord Bia are generous sponsors of our National Honey Show since 1999.
  • Working closely with the Office of Public Works (OPW) in promoting beekeeping in the Phoenix Park, the Botanic Gardens and other OPW properties. The OPW Phoenix Park Honey Show now in its third year is one of the leading shows in the county with easy access to one third of the population of the Republic. In 2018 it is planned to expand the event to include a Honey Festival.
  • Working with Teagasc to inform the farming community the importance bees.
  • Working with other environmental bodies to fight Hedgerows Bill and promote environmentally sustainable practice for the benefit of honeybees and other wildlife.
  • FIBKA is a signatory, contributor to and supporter of the All Ireland Pollinator Plan
  • FIBKA is a member of the European Professional Beekeepers Association to be kept informed what is happening at EU level.
  • FIBKA is a member of the Council of National Beekeeping Associations in the United Kingdom and Ireland (CONBA). Through this body we have a voice in Brussels with a representative attending meetings there where many decisions affecting beekeeping are made.
  • FIBKA is a member of Apimonida the worldwide body of beekeepers. This entitles our members who wish to attend the Apimondia Conference held every 2 years to a reduced registration fee. We are proud that the
  • Corporate members of the National Honey Show U.K. Supporting Irish exhibitors who wish to send exhibits to this World Class International Event, a great shop window for Irish Honey.
  • Sponsorship of three young beekeepers to attend the International Meeting of Young Beekeepers (IMYB) each year, by paying the registration fee and contributing towards travel and accommodation costs.
  • Comprehensive Library of Beekeeping Books and Videos. Books and videos on loan free, borrower pays return postage. Our Library contains some rare out of print books that can be made available to students of research or other interested parties.
  • Our archives contain some valuable documents illustrating the history of our organisation since its foundation in April 1881. Included are bound volumes of the Irish Bee Journal (IBJ) published by the father of Irish Beekeeping Rev J.G. Digges from 1901 to 1933 and its successor An Beachaire published from 1947 to date. All this material is available to students of history and researchers.
  • FIBKA is a book publisher. Some years ago we, jointly with Teagasc, published the recent update of “The Blueprint for Profitable Honey Production”. We reprinted “Practical Bee guide” by J.G. Digges in 2000. We also published “Bees, Hives and Honey”, edited by Eddie O’Sullivan and John McMullan’s book “Having Healthy Bees”. Most recently “Gormanston: The Summer Course in Beekeeping” by James Ryan.
  • Arbour Week – week following first Sunday in March. FIBKA are founding members of the Tree Council of Ireland, actively promoting the planting of pollen and nectar bearing tree which are made available yearly to our members free of charge.
  • A FIBKA stand promoting beekeeping and Irish Honey at most of the large public events such as The National Ploughing Championships, Bord Bia Bloom in the Park, The RDS Horse Show, Tullamore Agricultural Show amongst others.

Available to affiliated members at reduced / low cost:

  • Annual Summer Course at Gormanston College internationally renowned throughout the beekeeping world. A full week of lectures, fun, trade stands and bee-talk. Options to stay on site for the week or part week, or come as a day-visitor. All examinations available from the Preliminary to Honey Judges and Certified Federation Lectureship. This event has been held continuously since 1947 which is unique in the beekeeping world. Because of its international dimension we are able to acquire and share beekeeping knowledge from many other regions of the world.
  • Full Education programme, from Preliminary exams, through Intermediate, BeeMaster, Senior, CFL and Honey Judge qualifications.
  • Subject to availability, books published by FIBKA books are available at reduced cost to affiliated Associations.
  • Arrangement with suppliers of Sugar to affiliated Associations, for bee feeding, at cost price.
  • Tamper-proof bar-coded labels (as required by many retail outlets) at cost price. Your own unique bar code for each of your products
  • A honey jar lid incorporating the Federation Logo printed in colour and also the words “Irish Honey Direct from the Beekeeper” is available from Alpack Ltd to our members to fit the eight and twelve ounce jars. This lid has come to be accepted by many as proof that the jar contains good quality Irish honey.

Coming soon / in development:

  • FIBKA honey jars with distinctive design, full traceability and guarantee to customer of genuine 100% Irish beekeeper’s honey, will command a premium price for all your hard work.