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Gormanston Summer School Aims & Facilities

A convention organised by the Federation Of Irish Beekeeper's Associations. Here is a text from Eddie O'Sullivan that describes their aims.



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Gormanston College
Annual Summer Course for Beekeepers

The Federation of Irish Beekeepers organised the first summer course for beekeepers in 1947 in University College, Cork. For many years after that the course was held at different locations throughout the country. The idea was that it would attract more of the local beekeepers that may not travel to a central venue. However as the years went by the event became more popular and attracted more and more people. This prompted the National Council to select a suitable venue that would be available each year in mid July and discontinue the practice of changing the location each year. Gormanston College Co. Meath was chosen in 1961 and ever since the summer course is held in this lovely place about thirty miles north of Dublin on the road to Belfast.

The reason for holding a summer school at all was to provide a means of teaching beekeeping to interested people of varying experience in the craft. It also affords the opportunity for beekeepers from all parts of the country to come together for discussion in pleasant surroundings and at a time of year when most people are on holidays and can travel more readily.

The programme is laid out to cater for as many aspects of the craft as possible. A group of well known Irish lecturers headed by a guest lecturer from overseas conduct the lectures and workshops during the week. The social aspect is also well catered for. Visits to places of interest in the area are arranged for one afternoon. Activities such as golf, swimming and tennis are also possible within the college precincts.

The accommodation is mainly cubicled dormitories as the college is a school for boys at second level education. The food is excellent. Most visitors to the course enjoy themselves and quite a big number come back each year. The tariff is reasonable also - a little over one hundred pounds this year for full board, lectures etc., Monday afternoon to Saturday afternoon.

Eddie O'Sullivan... Course Manager


Facsimile of brochure for 2002
I have now been twice (2000) and (2001) and I aim to attend in 2002. I can thoroughly recommend anybody interested in bees and beekeeping to attend this magnificent and well organised event.

The numbers vary on the different days as some may only visit on a day basis. There are generally about 250 beekeepers attending and you will be required to pin an ID badge on your lapel. An example of which is shown below...

Gormanston ID cardThis was my ID for the 2001 conference.

The lecture and workshop streams include, Microscopy, Morphometry, Wax purification, Candle making, Foundation making, Computing, Breeding Selection, Drone Assembly, Grafting, Varroa and others. Much worthwhile conversation and discussion also takes place.

Book your place next year by sending a 40 Euro (or equivalent) deposit to:-

Michael Woulfe, Railway House, Middleton, Co. Cork. Eire.
or phone 00353-(0)21-631011.

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Written... Summer 2001, Revised... 28 October 2001
Revised... 04 June 2002, 02 January 2003
Transferred to New Domain... 03 July 2004