Gormanston Summer School
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The Monday afternoon saw me in company with John Pollard in
the 'Beekeeper's Lounge' (room 14) where we 'brain stormed' the design
of a special pair of tweezers for use in instrumental insemination.
In honour of the place and occasion we named it the "Gormanston Tweezer".
are well represented at Gormanston, this
picture shows their respective displays of photographs and information
in the beekeeper's lounge.
Beekeeping videos are played on a machine in the beekeeper's lounge... FIBKA has an extensive video collection organised by Redmond Williams.
The beekeeper's lounge is used on the Thursday evening for what is termed a 'social evening' in the brochure, but in reality is a 'sing along' and 'party piece' occasion.
The guest lecturer this year was
Professor Mark L. Winston
B.A., M.A. Boston University
PhD University of Kansas
Room B8276, (604) 291-4459
APICULTURE AND SOCIAL INSECTS
Simon Fraser University
He is pictured here relaxing in the Cock Tavern with a beer.
|Discussion and talk among visitors and lecturers
is a big feature of this gathering. Here are some chatting in the main
foyer, but you will see small groups like this in all the corridors
and on the landings of the main staircase, as well as outside the
front of the building on the main stone steps of the entrance.
There is a floor below the foyer where there are drinks machines, vending machines and a 'tuck shop'.
The dinner queue is another place that many conversations
take place. The queue forms in a very large corridor shown at right.
The meals are not lavish, but they are always tasty and wholesome. The queues form early so that is a good indication that they are well thought of.
Mealtimes are rigid with breakfast at 8.00 am, lunch at 12.30 pm and the evening meal is served at 17.00 hrs.
In the above picture you will notice that there is a
screened off area at the left, this is the salad bar at mealtimes and
is also used to serve coffee, tea and biscuits during the mid morning
and mid afternoon breaks in the lecture streams.
To keep everyone informed there is a notice board in one of the main corridors. All lectures and examination schedules are listed along with any schedule changes or notices.
There is a coach tour that runs on the Thursday afternoon, the details of this can be found on the notice board.
Just visible on the notice board is a copy of the group photograph that is normally taken before Wednesday lunch, but this year there was a downpour of rain at the critical time, several attempts were made to get everyone together, but only a few were present when the picture was finally taken.
This main corridor is always bustling with activity as it
has the Federation Office, Treasurer's office, the beekeeper's lounge
and a room at the end where
Ben Harden will sell you some
These offices are multi function... Michael Woulfe is the course convener and is aided by his wife Kathleen. Eddie O'Sullivan is the course manager (who is always kept busy). Dr Brendan Coughlan is the education officer and Graham Hall will sort out your subscription to 'An Beachaire' (The Irish Beekeeper) magazine.
The main corridor also houses an observation hive that has a tubular entrance set in a wooden plate that temporarily replaces the window that would normally be present.
Ben Harden's room is partly illustrated at right, where yet
more discussion is taking place. Ben has a range of equipment
available, but as his customer base is relatively small, this range is
not quite as wide as many suppliers in mainland Britain. He is always
willing to give advice on any aspect of beekeeping equipment or
You may gather that much discussion and occasionally argument goes on among beekeepers, but any disagreements are usually friendly.
On a day to day basis we keep in touch by using the 'Irish List' which is one of the Email discussion groups for beekeepers.
|Here is a picture of Dody Dineen who organises the honey show and her family, who have been going to Gormanston for many years.|
I told you that we drank the pub out of bottled Guinness last Year!
You cannot go very far in Ireland without encountering nuns
or monks. Beekeeping is no exception and the three ladies depicted
at right are well know at Gormanston. They are from left to right
Sr. Catherine, Sr. Paul and Sr. Monica. They are from
the Convent of Mercy, Hale Street, Ardee, Co. Louth.
more details of Sr. Catherine's work are available on this link (as well as a larger version of the photograph).
Originated... 02-06 August 2003,