Jim Ryan “Beekeeping – If the bees wrote the book”

As a child I used to help my grandfather making up section crates and wiring and waxing frames. I started my real career as a beekeeper in 1983 and since then I qualified as a lecturer in 1989. I edited An Beachaire the Irish Beekeeper for 14 years retiring in 2012. I lecture at Gormanston Summer Course regularly and have also lectured and demonstrated in Scotland and England. I run roughly 50 colonies for run honey and rear about 30/50 queens every year. I am Secretary of North Tipperary BKA, having been chairman for 16 years and am currently chairman of Galtee Bee Breeders.

Lecture Title: “Beekeeping – If the bees wrote the book”

As beekeepers we have certain ideas in our head each year as to what we hope to achieve in our beekeeping. But how do the bees look at it? What do they hope to achieve? Our main object should be to give the bees as much help, and as little hindrance as possible. Many beekeepers unwittingly put obstacles in the way of the bees, but being as tough and resilient as they are, they manage to overcome almost everything the beekeeper can throw at them.

Oftentimes in beekeeping we do things without thinking them through. It is the way we were taught to do things and we do them without thinking. I want to look at beekeeping taking the bees perspective into consideration in so far as that is possible, given that we want to produce as much honey as we can. I will focus on some of my own practices through the beekeeping year.