Castleisland bee-keeper Billy O’Rourke has come away from a long established, annual conference organised by the Federation of Irish Bee Keepers in Gormanston with a lecture’s certificate.
This means that Mr. O’Rourke is now qualified to lecture anywhere and on all aspects of bee-keeping.
The annual conference, having just completed its 70th unbroken year, is the community games of bee-keepers on an almost world-wide basis and Billy has come home with its nearest honour to a gold medal.
Life Long Interest
“I’ve always had a curiosity about bee-keeping but it wasn’t until I went to a conference in Gormanstown years ago that I took a real and life-long interest in it.
“It really enhanced my knowledge and interest in bee keeping. The conferences in Gormanston each year consists of lectures and many workshops. Bee Keepers from all over Ireland, the British Isles, Germany, France New Zealand and the U.S.A. also attend this conference every year.
“It is regarded as one of the top bee conferences in the world. The event celebrated its 70th year of summer courses this year and it has been held in Gormanston since 1961,” said Billy.
First Port of Call
It is as a result of attending lectures and workshops like this that makes Billy O’Rourke the first port of call when people in the Castleisland and wider area think of bee-keeping.
Over the years, while attending the conference, Billy enrolled and studied for the federation exams up to senior certificate level.
Success in the exams requires the sitter to possess a good knowledge of all aspects of bee keeping. Queen rearing and disease control are all aspects of the exam and it also involves practical and theory exams to qualify for the senior or lecturer’s certificate.
In order to provide assistance to bee keepers in the locality here and elsewhere, Billy and a few like-minded friends formed a club in 2011.
Sliabh Luachra Bee Keepers
“At present we have 20 members in the Sliabh Luachra Bee Keepers’ Club. Meetings are held in Browns Bar Castleisland on the first Tuesday night of every month. We discuss all aspects of bee keeping with anyone interested and we always welcome new members to our meetings.
‘This year was only very fair for bee keeping. May and early June were dry and warm which was good for queen rearing. July, which is the most important month for collecting nectar was only fair and this resulted in a below average crop of honey,” Billy concluded.
Anyone interested in the ancient and noble art of bee keeping should buzz off down to a hive of activity in the function room behind Browne’s Bar on the first Tuesday of each month at 8-30pm.
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