Short Title:Apiculture
Full Title:Apiculture
Module Code:HTSC H3033
ECTS credits: 5
NFQ Level:7
Module Delivered in 4 programme(s)
Module Contributor:Eamon Kealy
Module Description:The aim of this module is to provide the learner with a fundamental knowledge and to develop the practical skills to competently manage an apiary.
Learning Outcomes:
On successful completion of this module the learner will be able to
  1. Describe the anatomy of the honeybee including the difference between queens, workers and drones.
  2. Explain the importance of honeybees to the horticultural industry.
  3. Manage a colony of bees in the spring.
  4. Describe honeybee behaviour and explain the factors that influence such behaviour.
  5. Diagnose honeybees for common pests and diseases in a laboratory.

Module Content & Assessment

Indicative Content
Honeybee Biology
External anatomy of the queen, worker and drone. Function and structure of the antennae, wings, legs, feet, mouth parts and setae. Physiological differences between laying workers and normal workers. Structure of sting mechanism and the delivery of venom.
Honeybee Management
Design of hives and frames. Spacing of frames in hives. Comb replacement. Sourcing bees. Personal equipment and safety precautions. Apiary hygiene. Feeding honeybees. Prevention of swarming. Types of queen excluders. Marking and clipping queens. Methods of uniting colonies of honeybees. Preparing colonies for the winter period. Spring management. Confirming queenlessness.
Honeybee Pests and Diseases
Laboratory diagnosis of honeybee pest and diseases. American foul brood (AFB) and European foul brood (EFB). Statutory requirements relating to the importation of honeybees. Varroa mite detection and control. Integrated Pest Management for Honeybees. Effects of pathogens, parasites and pests on bee behaviour. Colony Collapse Disorder.
Honeybee Behaviour
Worker bee function and behaviour. Mating behaviour of the honeybee queen. Egg laying behaviour. The social organisation of the honeybee colony. Collection of honey and water. Conversion of nectar to honey. Hydrolysis of sucrose.
Indicative Assessment Breakdown%
Course Work Assessment %40.00%
Final Exam Assessment %60.00%
Course Work Assessment %
Assessment Type Assessment Description Outcome addressed % of total Assessment Date
Written Report Report on Field Trip to Local Beekeeper's Hives 3 10.00 n/a
Lab work Laboratory Practical Reports 1,5 10.00 n/a
Presentation Presentation based on a detailed analysis of the horticulture industry and the influence of bees on pollination/yield. 2 10.00 n/a
Short Answer Questions Short answer questions based on both theory and practical content of course. 1,2,4,5 10.00 n/a
Final Exam Assessment %
Assessment Type Assessment Description Outcome addressed % of total Assessment Date
Formal Exam End of Semester Final Exam 1,2,3,4,5 60.00 End-of-Semester
Indicative Reassessment Requirement
Repeat examination
Reassessment of this module will consist of a repeat examination. It is possible that there will also be a requirement to be reassessed in a coursework element.

ITB reserves the right to alter the nature and timings of assessment


Indicative Module Workload & Resources

Indicative Workload: Full Time
Frequency Indicative Average Weekly Learner Workload
Every Week 2.00
Every Week 2.00
Every Week 2.00
Recommended Book Resources
  • Diana Sammataro, The Beekeeper's Handbook, Cornell University Press [ISBN: 0801476941]
  • Sue Hubbell; drawings by Sam Potthoff 1998, A book of bees, Houghton Mifflin Boston [ISBN: 0395883245]
  • Richard E. Bonney 1993, Beekeeping, Storey Communications Pownal, Vt. [ISBN: 0882668617]
  • Richard E. Bonney 1990, Hive management, Storey Communications Pownal, VT [ISBN: 0882666371]
  • Richard A. Jones, Sharon Sweeney-Lynch, The Beekeeper's Bible, Stewart, Tabori & Chang [ISBN: 1584799188]
  • 1945, Plants and beekeeping : an account of those plants, wild and cultivated, of value to the hive bee, and for honey production in the British isles
  • Gojmerac, Walter L. 1980, Bees, beekeeping, honey, and pollination
Recommended Article/Paper Resources
  • Conrad 2014, Natural Beekeeping Organic Approaches to Modern Apiculture [ISSN: 8750-7595]
This module does not have any other resources

Module Delivered in

Programme Code Programme Semester Delivery
BN_SHTSC_8 Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Horticulture [240 ECTS credits] 6 Elective
BN_SHTSC_7 Bachelor of Science in Horticulture [180 ECTS credits] 6 Elective
BN_SHTSC_D Bachelor of Science in Horticulture [NFQ level 7, Add on 60 ECTS credits] 4 Elective
BN_SHTSC_D Bachelor of Science in Horticulture [NFQ level 7, Add on 60 ECTS credits] 2 Mandatory