March 2023 Newsletter
Hello beekeepers! Mara daoibh a bheachairí!
Welcome to our March 2023 newsletter. This March marks a full year of Donegal Bees newsletters! We now have a bank of monthly advice and tips for all your beekeeping needs throughout the year available on our blog. As always we are here if you need any help, and if you can’t find what you’re looking for in our blogs, please feel free to call us or send us an email and we’ll do our best to help!
And just a reminder about the free shipping offer we are currently running - at Christmas to thank everyone for their continued support and custom, we offered free shipping on their next orders, which kicked in from February 1st. To avail of this promotion make sure to use the code thankyou22 next time you’re at the checkout or making an order over the phone! (One use per customer.)
We are always working hard to ensure we’re doing the best we can in terms of sustainability and being eco-friendly, and as testament to that we are the current winners of the Donegal Local Enterprise’s Green Award. But there is always more we can all be doing! Donegal Town has been chosen as one of six towns nationwide to take part in a Green Hub initiative, in partnership with Donegal County Council and My Waste. As part of this initiative, the Donegal ETB is facilitating a new course – Environmental Sustainability in the Workplace, and Donegal Bees are delighted to be completing this course in order to improve our general knowledge and understanding of environmental sustainability in the workplace. By completing this course we hope to introduce additional sustainable practices within Donegal Bees, such as the further promotion of biodiversity, reducing our carbon footprint, recycling, advanced waste segregation, and reducing our energy consumption as a business.
Donegal Bees will be at Tullamore Court Hotel on Friday, March 10th and Saturday, March 11th for the Native Irish Honeybee Society Conference. This exciting event will feature presentations and discussions on the latest research, techniques, and challenges facing beekeepers and honeybee conservation in Ireland. For more info visit https://nihbs.org/
This month of March we will be running a few giveaways! World Book Day is Thursday 2nd March, and anyone who makes an order that day will be entered into the draw to win a Donegal Bees Family Pack Hamper worth €54.50! Mother’s Day is Sunday March 19th and we will be giving away a Mothers’ Day Gift Box, details to soon follow!
- Make sure that your colonies are flying well when the weather is good.
- Check to see if pollen loads are being taken into the hive.
- On a warm day use a little smoke and lift the inner cover. [See our Tool and Smoker Kit - €50]
- The bees should look as strong now as they did last September.
- Look for visible excreta on the top bars, which is a sign of dysentery.
- Remove the props under the inner cover and close the feed hole.
- Heft the hive and, if necessary, feed dilute syrup (1:1 sugar:water) in a contact feeder over the winter cluster. [See our Apimix (14kg) Drum - €23]
- Don’t feed until the weather is good enough for the bees to take flights to defecate on a nominal weekly basis.
- Don’t look at the brood nest too early or the bees may kill the queen.
- Wait for a warm day and you should be able to inspect your bees safely.
List courtesy of the Haynes Bee Manual, available on our website.
Start prepping for the season ahead, making sure all equipment is in good working order and replacing anything which is needed for the season ahead. – Check out our Frames & Foundations here.
If you’re looking to get started in beekeeping we have kits and packs available to make it a little easier for you – Check out our National Hive Kit in both timber and polystyrene.
The best time to order bees is in Jan/Feb – Type 2 National Polystyrene Nucleus can be used to transfer your bees into your hive.
Continue to do your research! Read some guide books such as Haynes Bee Manual, Beekeeping for Beginners, and if you haven’t already, join your local beekeeping association.
March can be a tricky month as the temperatures change so quickly, and there’s not a lot of flowers yet for the bees. March is all about monitoring, feeding, cleaning and hoping for the best.
TIP: Joining a local beekeeping association or club is the best way to learn about the particulars of beekeeping for your region. It’s one of the first things we suggest to anyone looking to become a beekeeper.
- Federation of Irish Beekeepers Association - https://irishbeekeeping.ie/
- Irish Beekeepers Association CLG - https://www.irishbeekeepersassociation.com/
- Native Irish Honey Bee Society - https://nihbs.org/
This year we are celebrating our 10th birthday! We have lots of exciting promotions and launches in store throughout the year so be sure to keep an eye on our social media and monthly newsletters!