North West beekeepers are making a real splash before the ‘Honey Show’ returns

There is a real buzz in the air in Donegal this week after the Three Rivers Beekeepers Association (TRBKA) announced the return of their annual honey show in Castlefinn after the Covid break.

They look forward to meeting many new budding beekeepers as well as catching up with old friends.

Welcoming members from Donegal, Derry/Londonderry and Tyrone, our Ball Show will showcase the best from the North West.

The show will take place on Sunday 9th October 2022 from 2pm to 6pm at the Castlefinn CPI Center and is a FREE event.

The Honey Show brings together all aspects of beekeeping, honey production and bee-related crafts in one day suitable for beekeepers and non-beekeepers alike. Honey shows are a great way to meet beekeepers and learn more about bees and beekeeping.

Full details of the honey show, competitions, talks and exhibitions are at

During the judging we hold beekeeping talks and demonstrations in the Main Hall. In the afternoon, participants will be able to visit competition booths, see judges at work, chat with local beekeepers and learn about beekeeping arts such as candle making. There are experienced beekeepers for quizzes for beginners and beekeepers alike.

If you are already a beekeeper, there are talks on more advanced topics to improve your beekeeping knowledge.

Remember – you don’t have to be a beekeeper to enter or participate in our competitions.


Beekeepers and other participants submit their entries for the Honey Show competitions from 9am to 12.30pm on the morning of the event. There are different types and grades of honey, honey cakes, mead, artwork and more.

The best competition classes for non-beekeepers, including baking, crafts, flower arranging and photography.

beekeepers and non-beekeepers are welcome to the competitions. To enter, see the website for more details.

Afternoon Program

2:00 pm Welcome address by Three Rivers BKA Chairman, Connell Herron

14:10 “Propolis” Ulster Beekeepers Association Chairman, John Hill

15:10 Drinks, bee talk, opportunity to view the stands and see the judges at work

16:00 “It’s not all about the ladies” from Ethel Irvine, Senior Lecturer, Federation of Irish Beekeepers’ Associations

16:45 Experiences of a new beekeeper

17:00 Presentation of gifts

* A honey bee visits 50-100 flowers during a collection trip
* a bee colony consists of 20,000-60,000 honey bees and one queen bee. Worker honey bees are females, live for about 6 weeks and do all the work
* the role of the queen bee is to fill the hive with eggs. She is most active in the summer, laying up to 2,500 eggs a day when the hive should be at its maximum capacity.
Male honey bees (also called drones), which are larger than worker bees, do not sting and do nothing. All they do is mate. In fact, before winter or when food is scarce, female honeybees force the surviving males out of the nest.
only worker bees sting and die only when they sense danger and sting once. It is estimated that it takes 1,100 honey bee stings to be fatal
* 2 million flowers must be visited to produce 1 pound (450 g) of honey.
a beehive must fly 55,000 miles to produce one pound of honey (about 450 g). A bee colony can produce 60-100 pounds (27-45 kg) of honey per year.
* Honey contains all the substances necessary to sustain life, including enzymes, water, minerals and vitamins
honey is the only food that contains “pinocembrin”, an antioxidant that improves brain function
* A bee makes only 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey in its lifetime
* many plants rely on insects such as bees for pollination; so they give nectar to thank
* Each colony smells different to the bees, so they can tell where they live
* Bees have been around for over 30 million years
* There are many different types of honey that taste different depending on the flowers used to make them
* The term “honeymoon” is derived from an old Northern European custom in which newlyweds eat a daily cup of oatmeal made with fermented honey for a month so that the honey never spoils. Never
* There are 98 bee species in Ireland: 1 honey bee, 20 bumble bees and 77 solitary bees

Three Rivers Beekeepers Association (TRBKA) is a friendly group of beekeepers in the North West of Ireland.

Based in Doneyloop, they have members from Donegal, Tyrone and Derry-Londonderry. Always open to new members, they welcome both novice and experienced beekeepers.

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