UBKA holds an annual conference usually in Mid Feb in Greenmount College, Tirgracy Road, Antrim, BT41 1AA. This commences on Friday afternoon and continues through to Saturday afternoon. It comprises lectures, workshops and a trade exhibition showing all the latest beekeeping equipment.
The lectures are from renowned bee scientists and beekeepers coming from abroad, UK and Ireland and they deliver a combination of science and practical beekeeping. In recent years we have had several American speakers including Prof Tom Seeley from Cornell University widely regarded as the most prestigious bee scientist in the world. The workshops offer participants the chance to try or improve practical skills such as microscopy, mead making or encaustic art.
The bee traders bring a wide range of equipment and bee-related materials for all beginner and experienced beekeepers to peruse and buy. A very social occasion not to be missed.
The 2023 Conference
The UBKA Annual Conference 2023 was held in Greenmount College on the 17th and 18th of February. The theme was “Back to the Future” meaning back from Covid and looking to the future.
Covid had deprived us of a conference for 2 years.
Our principal speaker was Prof Juliana Rangel from Texas A&M University who spoke on Swarming, Queen health problems, and Bee Nutrition to great acclaim. Dr. Kirsty Stainton covered Varroa and the various treatments which were outlined in her new book. She also covered the Foulbrood diseases. Lynda Davies discussed the management of healthy colonies and preparing for swarm management. Eoghan Mac Giolla Coda imparted his knowledge on Spring Management and on Queen Rearing. John Greenaway from NIHBS outlined the black bee conservation scheme. Sustainable Biodiversity was covered by Melina Quinn and Esther Ross outlined the development and range of activities of Belfast Beekeepers.
The workshops had skep making, encaustic art, mead making, candle making, and microscopy. There were several trade stands showing a wide range of bee equipment. About 360 delegates enjoyed the occasion which was opened by the Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey Council. Alderman Stephen Ross.