From 7:25 for 7:30
Colm ONeill has been beekeeping for over 50 years, he and his three brothers worked 30 colonies with their father until Colm took over the beekeeping operation in his early 20s. With his wife Imelda he manages 60 honey production colonies and supporting nuclei, producing honey, native queens, drones and worker bees.
They use only Amm bees for local adaption, ease of management and rapid Spring build-up. Both have full-time jobs, working the bees the weekends and queen rearing tasks as needed on weekday evenings.
He is education officer for his local association, a committee member for the Native Irish Honey Bee Society and holds beekeeping, bee improvement and queen rearing classes at his home apiary. Along with Jonathan Getty, he has been giving online training to the more than 200 members of the NIHBS Queen Rearing Group Scheme since 2021. Their management system gives them little or no swarming and facilitates the replacement of up to 50% of the brood combs each year. While there may be 20 or more frames with brood in a colony, only 14 frames need to be looked at during weekly inspections.