The 1999 A.G.M. of the G.B.B.G. was held on Sunday 30/1/2000 in the Band Room Cahir at 3:00 p.m.

Present were:

Bea Flavin Dunphy,   Eileen Gahan,   Michael G. Gleeson,   Jim Ryan,   Liam Brett,   Joe Martin,   Jacob Kahn,   Michael Woulfe,   Liam Rice,   Georgie Penruddock,   Claire Chavasse,   P.J. Curran,   Vincent Walsh,   Gwen Roe,   David 0′ Meara,   Tom Barrett,   John Donoghue,   Eddie 0′ Sullivan,   James Power,   Tadhg 0′ Mahony,   Michael Mac Giolla Coda,   Redmond Williams,   Dennis Ryan.

Apologies were received from…

Ben Harden,   John Summerville,   Ger 0′ Donoghue   and John Cunningham.

All stood for one minute silence as a mark of respect for Thomas Lonergan R.I.P. and William Rice R.I.P. – both of whom died recently. Ar dheis De go raibh a n-anam.


Item 1 Chairman’s Address:

In his opening address our chairman Micheál welcomed all members especially the President and Secretary of F.I.B.K.A. He thanked the office holders for work done during the year and also he thanked those who took part in the Varroa Seminar [future link]. “It is fitting”, he said, “that this initiative has now been taken up by F.I.B.K.A in organising similar seminars throughout the country to educate beekeepers about Varroa”. He thanked Georgie for a wonderful guided tour of Lismore Castle and Gardens in May. He congratulated those members who were successful in F.I.B.K.A. examinations at Gormanston namely Tom, Finola, David and Bridie and also to Redmond who passed his Senior Honey Judges Examination of B.B.K.A. at the London Honey Show. He also congratulated members who were successful in exhibiting at all the Honey Shows especially at the London Honey Show. Michael then referred to the research work currently being carried out by B.I.B.B.A. in testing colonies for hygienic behaviour in removal of dead brood and monitoring damaged adult Varroa mites. He said B.I.B.B.A. has committed forty thousand pounds over five years to research projects to do with selective breeding for Varroa tolerance and D.N.A. testing for purity of mating. Research in the Derwent Valley Apiary last year proved that queens were 95% successful in mating with the drones provided. In conclusion Micheál referred to the establishment of a Queen Mating Apiary set up during the year with the help of grant aid from the Dept. of Agriculture. This development, he said, “should greatly improve the availability of breeder queens to members during the years ahead”. He welcomed contributions to our Newsletter which he said will be sent out shortly.

Item 2: The minutes of the 1998 A.G.M. (not reported here)


Item 3: Matters arising.

A request should be made to the Dept. of Agriculture to continue the ban on the importation of bees because of the effect such imports would have on our existing indigenous population of Apis m. m. colonies and also because of the fear of importing Kashmir Bee Virus.

Item 4: Treasurer’s Report. (not reported here)


Item 5: Group Activities 1999. (not reported here)


Item 6: New Queen Mating Apiary.

A sub-committee formed in July drew up a submission to the Dept. of Agriculture with an application for grant aid to fund our project which is titled “The Conservation and Improvement of Local Strains of Dark European Honey Bee (Apis m.m.)”. The funds received were used last Autumn to purchase equipment for the establishment of a Queen Mating Apiary at Glengarra Wood, Burncourt. The breeder queens produced in this apiary will be distributed to members on an annual basis and so help to improve their own stock as well as playing a role in improving the bees of other members of their local beekeeping association. The secretary then concluded by outlining a Summary Report which has been forwarded to the Dept. of Agriculture detailing the progress made to date.

Item 7: Election of Officers.

The following members were re-elected


Micheál Mac Giolla Coda.


Dennis Ryan


Redmond Williams


Item 8: Membership Fees

(1)   Membership of G.B.B.G. £10. It was agreed to increase the fee to £10 pounds in order to cover extra costs. Fees are to be paid before 31st March 2000. B.I.B.B.A’s annual affiliation fee is now £15 sterling. The importance of membership of the local B.K.A. as well as B.I.B.B.A in order to qualify for G.B.B.G. membership was stressed.

(2)   Membership of G.B.B.G. and B.I.B.B.A. = £30.(Irish)


Item 9: Price of Breeder Queens.

It was agreed to charge members £5 for the first breeder queen ordered and thereafter £10 each. It is hoped to have queens available by the end of June. Orders for breeder queens must be placed by 31st March 2000.

Item 10: Programme of Activities for 2000. (open to members, their families and friends)

(1)   Tree planting ceremony at Cahir Castle on Sat. 25th March at 11 a.m. in conjunction with visit of the Bee Farmers Association.

(2)   Open Hive Demonstration on Sunday 7th May 2000 at 2 p.m at Carrigmore Apiary.

(3)   Open Hive Demonstration on Sunday 28th May 2000 at 2 p.m at Michael Woulfe’s apiary.

(4)   Garden Walk on Sunday 18th June at 2 p.m. Venue Mount Congreve Gardens, Kilmeadon. Co. Waterford.


Item 11: Open Forum on “Varroa” chaired by John Donoghue F.I.B.K.A. President.

Open Forum on Varroa chaired by John Donoghue, Photo… Micheál Mac Giolla Coda Michael G. Gleeson gave an update on the spread of Varroa – there were ten cases reported in Carlow and two in Kilkenny he said. He stressed the importance of encouraging leave alone bee-keepers to go to the lectures and seminars which are organised throughout the country. We need to educate the beekeeper on Varroa since the mite cannot be eradicated.

A general discussion then took place on many aspects of the disease namely:-

(1)   The best way to provide for losses is by forming nuclei in late Summer.

(2)   The best time to treat is after the crop is removed in August during the break in brood rearing – this will ensure good supply of healthy winter bees in Autumn.

(3)   There is a need for research into Varroa to be carried out in Ireland under Irish conditions similar to research work currently ongoing in other countries.

(4)   Individual Associations should bulk buy Bayvarol for their members In order to keep cost of treatment low and so encourage its use.

(5)   We need to set up Bait hives to catch Swarms and so prevent reinfection of our treated colonies.

(6)   Swarm control in our own colonies will be vitally important.

(7)   We need to test for Varroa tolerance and breed from the more hygienic bees