Your chance to learn how to be a beekeeper

A preliminary Beekeeping course will begin in Dromore in late January next year; the tutor will be Robert McCreery.

Over the last five years more than 100 people have attended Preliminary Beekeeping courses in Dromore, with a view to becoming beekeepers.

Enrolment forms for the upcoming course can be obtained from Robert McCreery at Robert@mccreery71.freeserve.co.uk or Norman Walsh at norman@walsh43.plus.com

A spokesperson said, “Recently bees have been in the news and not for the best of reasons. Colonies had died out due to disease, inclement weather, changes in the availability of forage and chemical damage. As a result, many of the older beekeepers, who never learned to treat for disease or manage their bees properly, did not restock when their colonies died. Surprisingly though, this plight of the honeybees attracted many newcomers to the craft; they wanted to do their bit to ‘save the bees’.

“ . . . People entering the craft are now better educated and trained to succeed in these more difficult times and, indeed there is a strong demand for training beyond Preliminary level.

“This is being met by the Ulster Beekeepers’ Association, in conjunction with CAFRE, organising classes in four centres in Northern Ireland each year, including Dromore, where Vanessa Drew is currently delivering the second half of the Intermediate syllabus to an enthusiastic class of 14 beekeepers, all of whom have passed their Preliminary.

“ . . . Dromore Beekeepers’ Association, in conjunction with its neighbouring associations in Belfast and Killinchy, have set up queen rearing programmes in their Association apiaries to propagate Native Irish Black bees. These bees are docile, thrifty and healthy in our climate. Dromore BKA endeavours to offer to sell a nucleus of these superior bees to each candidate completing their Preliminary Course.”

Dromore Beekeepers’ Association meets tonight (Tuesday) at 7.30PM in Dromore High School.