Education and training for beekeepers

DAERA has an important role in the competence development of good standards of beekeeping and husbandry, in order to minimise pests and disease risks to the honey bee. To promote and improve bee health, it is important that beekeepers develop skills and knowledge to manage honey bees effectively.

Beekeeping courses approved by the Federation of Irish Beekeepers Association

The College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) in association with the Ulster Beekeepers Association (UBKA) coordinates accredited Preliminary and Intermediate Beekeeping Courses, which are approved by the Federation of Irish Beekeepers Association.

DAERA, through CAFRE, Greenmount Campus, is tasked with organising courses at various centres throughout Northern Ireland to meet this need for information and advice on the main aspects of Beekeeping.  

The Preliminary Beekeepers' Course is a practical and informative course delivered over 10 evenings providing the necessary knowledge and skills to get established in beekeeping. It is applicable to anyone new to or interested in keeping bees who wants to learn more about the craft.  The course is both theoretical and practical in nature. 

The Intermediate Beekeeping Course builds significantly on the knowledge acquired on the Preliminary course and aims to improve the understanding a beekeeper has of both the practical and scientific aspects of beekeeping. This course is for applicants who have achieved the Federation of Irish Beekeepers Association (FIBKA) Preliminary Beekeeping Certificate. The course is delivered over 30 sessions (15 practical and 15 scientific sessions). 

Bees policy and legislation

Managed honey bees contribute directly to local food production and make an important contribution, through pollination, to crop production and maintenance of a health environment. The Department implements legislation relating to the health and welfare of bees. Work includes an annual survey for notifiable diseases and checks on imports. The team is responsible for the supervision of control and elimination of disease outbreaks.

Bee health

Bees contribute to the sustainability of the countryside, through their crucial role of pollinating flowers and contributing to the diversity within agriculture and horticulture. The Department implements legislation relating to the health and welfare of bees. The annual work programme implemented by Bee Inspectors includes an annual survey for notifiable diseases, follow up inspections after disease outbreaks and checks on imports.

Honeybee and bumblebee imports and exports

Information and guidelines to beekeepers on importing and exporting bees within the EU and other Third Countries.

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