Galtee Bee Breeding Group AGM of year 2008

The 2008 A.G.M. of the G.B.B.G. was held in the Band Room Cahir, Co. Tipperary on Sunday 26th January 2009, with a starting time of 2.00 pm. This year’s A.G.M. was to have been my second year of attendance as I was due to deliver the talk, but fate stepped in and two days before your web editor was due to leave for Ireland I ended up in hospital with no likelihood of immanent release. I was very disappointed in my lack of ability to fulfill my duty, but there is a possibility that the talk will be included in the Gormanston program.


  1. Apologies and votes of sympathy.
  2. Minutes of AGM 2007.
  3. Matters Arising.
  4. Chairman’s Annual Report and review of work to date. See Separate Page.
    • Treasurer’s Report.
    • Website Report.
    • Video Librarian’s Report.
    • Breeding Apiary and Bee Garden Report.
    • Colony Appraisals Report.
  5. Election of Officers and Working Committee.
  6. Membership Fee for 2009.
  7. Cost of Breeder Queens.
  8. Programme of activities for 2009.
  9. Address by secretary of FIBKA.
  10. Tea Break.
  11. Debate on our endeavour to make the island of Ireland a conservation area for the Dark European Honeybee.
  12. Group Photograph.

2008 Report

The AGM of the GBBG took place in the band room in Cahir presided over by the chairman Micheál MacGiollacoda, Michael Maunsell (secretary), and Gay Noonan (treasurer). The usual procedures were adopted and votes of sympathy cast. The hall was packed with over 45 members in attendance. Micheál paid a fulsome tribute to Dave Cushman, our website manager, unavoidably absent on this occasion, wishing him a speedy recovery.

2008 Successes

This past year saw many successes despite the inclement weather:

  • About 60 queens were successfully mated.
  • The apiary garden got a new fence, flowers and plants.
  • The workdays were well attended and fruitful,
  • The decision was made to reimburse those who would raise queens for sale with 50% of the cost.
  • Jim Power compiled the colony appraisal records necessary for monitoring bee improvement progress and requested increased participation in the scheme.
  • Jim also compiled a comprehensive list of all the books and DVDs available to the members.
  • Samples of bees were collected and sent to Padraig Whelan for morphometric analysis. Half pound jars for collecting samples for this purpose are available having been kindly donated by Alpack. Padraig requested more samples to be sent to him. This was outlined at the meeting by Eddie O’Sullivan in Padraig’s absence.
  • Dates for the forthcoming season were set – for the work days in the apiary, Feb.22nd. and Mar.29th., for the queen rearing workshops June 21st. and for the garden walk which will be held in Cush Kinney near Cobh in Co. Cork on Sunday 17th May.

Address by secretary of FIBKA

Our national secretary Michael Gleeson gave an account of some of the years national bee related activities, including Gormanstown beekeepers week, the National Ploughing Championship, the London Honeyshow, the Beehealth seminars, the meetings with government officials regards beekeeping affairs in Ireland, executive council meetings to amend the constitution, and the registration of beekeepers. He spoke briefly about the proposed new National Bee Centre in the county of Meath. Here, the Gleeson family have very kindly and unreservedly donated half an acre site for this purpose to FIBKA – a hugely significant generous and fortuitous gift by any standard, and a wonderful opportunity now in hand for the federation. Michael then presented a complete set of DVDs of the GBBG activities to date to Dennis Ryan, President FIBKA, for the FIBKA library archives. These DVDs were the work of Redmond Williams, the National Video-DVD Librarian and Honey Show secretary, after months of painstaking compilation and editing. Redmond also made and gave scale hives to the group to be used in different parts of the country to record honey yields. For these and the DVDs Redmond received a most fulsome tribute and thank you from the group.





Finally, a panel of two members from FIBKA, two from UBKA and BIG as well as the Chairman and Secretary of GBBG engaged the group with a discussion on an All-Ireland approach to beekeeping, and in particular bee breeding and the conservation of our native island bee – Apis mellifera mellifera. Mervyn Eddie and Norman Walsh of UBKA represented the Ulster Bee Improvement group, while Dennis Ryan and Michael Maunsell represented GBBG. The collective views of both the panel and the audience was to reiterate the importance of selecting and breeding from our own native stocks and the keeping of imports of other strains at bay.

This discussion ended the day’s proceedings. Micheál thanked all those who contributed to the day and the years events and he hoped, as did his audience, that 2009 would see continued success and pleasure for the GBBG group and programme.

Mary Ryan – (PRO).


Jim Ryan availed of the opportunity to display some of the material he has in the FIBKA archive. This is a very impressive collection of items including letters going back more than a hundred years. Norman Walsh and I were presented with copies of two letters from W. Herrod in 2005 where he replied to requests to judge honey shows or give lectures to the Irish Beekeepers’ Association.

Text by Dave Cushman and Mary Ryan.