Dromore Beekeepers hold annual meeting

DROMORE Beekeepers’ Association recently held its Annual General Meeting, ushering in a change of office-bearers.

The club, with the exception of UBKA, is the only Beekeeping Association in Ireland to rotate its Principal Office Bearers in a planned way.

The Chairman can hold office for no longer than two consecutive years and the Secretary and Treasurer can hold office for no longer than three consecutive years. Continuity is ensured by not changing all the office bearers in the same year, by having a committee place for the Immediate Past Chairman and by having a Vice-Chairman and an Assistant Secretary.

At the AGM this year only the Treasurer, Gail Orr, was required to retire and he was replaced by Tom Hawthorne, a Dromore man, who served for the past year on the committee.

A vacancy appeared on the committee due to one member, Alan Porter, moving to America to work for a few years - he was replaced by Freda Wylie from Waringstown.

The reports all highlighted a successful year’s activities, the highlights being the equipping and opening of the Tullyhenan Fort Apiary, the overnight trip to County Tipperary, the large grant from the Big Lottery Fund and the visits of outstanding speakers at the monthly meetings.

In the unavoidable absence of John Wilkinson, the Dromore High School Principal, Gillian McMurran, also from the High School, chaired the election of Office bearers and committee. The Chairman, Liam Murtagh thanked Gillian and paid a glowing tribute to Gail Orr, the retiring treasurer.

Following the formal part of the AGM, Vanessa Drew spoke on pollination. As well a covering the scientific aspects she ended by discussing the opportunities for gardeners to enhance their gardens with plants valuable to honeybees for both nectar and pollen.

Vanessa has just commenced an Intermediate Beekeeping class in Dromore on behalf of UBKA, in association with CAFRE.

The October meeting will be held in Dromore High School on Tuesday 16 October at 7.30pm when Jim Ryan from County Tipperary will speak on Turlough O’Bryen.

Turlough O’Bryen commenced his professional beekeeping life as an employee of the Congested Districts Board (CDB) when, following the great famine in Ireland, the CDB introduced beekeeping to the range of initiatives destined to bring some prosperity to the congested areas of Ireland.

Later Turlough became an Itinerant Instructor in Beekeeping with the Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction and travelled all over Ireland. His journals include visits to beekeepers in Dromore, Dromara, Banbridge, Lurgan, Greenmount and many other places.

Jim Ryan has visited Dromore in the past; he is the Librarian and Archivist for the Federation of Irish Beekeepers’ Associations of which he is also a Past President and Past Editor.