The FIBKA Constitution

(Comhnascadh Cumann Beachairí na hEireann)

Established 1881 Reconstituted 1943

January 2016


1. The Association shall be known as The Federation of Irish Beekeepers' Associations (FIBKA) (Comhnascadh Cumann Beachairí na hEireann)

2. The Federation shall be non-political and non-sectarian.

3. The objects of the Federation shall be:

  • To support the Beekeepers of Ireland for their mutual benefit.
  • To encourage and participate in research in problems of Apiculture and generally to foster efficient beekeeping, honey production and marketing.
  • To co-operate with the State and Public Authorities in all matters affecting the industry.
  • To provide helpful educational facilities through inter alia:
    • The publication of An Beachaire (The Irish Beekeeper)
    • The publication of informative leaflets
    • The promoting and holding of community lectures
    • Conducting examinations in the science of apiculture and the art of beekeeping.
  • In general to undertake all measures to promote the welfare of beekeeping andBeekeepers in Ireland.
  • To promote the conservation of the native dark bee, apis mellifera mellifera.

4. The Federation shall be constituted as follows:

  • Affiliated Associations
  • Executive Council
  • Congress

5. If the Federation is to be wound up all remaining funds are to be apportioned in proportion to the average membership of the Affiliated Associations during the three years prior to the date of such a winding up and returned to those associations.



6. The Annual General Meeting of the Federation of Irish Beekeepers’ Associations (hereinafter called Congress) shall be the supreme authority within the Federation, subject to the Constitution and shall be held each year at a venue and date which shall be determined by the preceding Congress or subsequently selected by the Executive Council on the authority of Congress.

Congress shall consist of:

  • Members of the out-going Executive Council including the Officers,
  • Delegates from the Associations which were affiliated prior to December 31st of the preceding year and who shall be selected as follows:
    One delegate for the first 15 paid-up members.
    One delegate for the next 15 paid-up members (or part thereof, such part being not less than five)
    One delegate for every succeeding 25 paid-up members (or part thereof, such part being not less than five).

7. In order to place any matter on the Agenda for Congress, Secretaries of Affiliated Associations shall forward such matters, in writing, including nominations for Officers of the Federation and members of the Executive Council, to the Federation Secretary at least eight clear weeks prior to Congress.

8. Four clear weeks prior to Congress, the Federation Secretary shall issue the Agenda to all Officers of the Federation, members of the Executive Council and Affiliated Associations.

9. The President, or in his/her absence the Vice-President, shall take the chair at Congress.

10. Any alteration or amendment to this Constitution shall be made only on a resolution of Congress of which due notice shall have been given in accordance with Article 8 or Article 12 and which has been passed by a two-thirds majority of the delegates present and voting, subject to a valid quorum. Such notice aforementioned shall specify that the matter relates to the Constitution and it shall be so described on the Agenda. Furthermore any motion for change to a particular Article in the Constitution, must also reference any additional Article/s which the said change might affect and be included in the motion for necessary review and amendment.

11. Should any matter arise concerning the interpretation of the Rules of the Federation, Congress shall interpret the particular Rule or Rules or Article(s) of the Constitution in question, in what it considers to be the fit and proper manner and in accordance with the Constitution.

12. Special meetings of Congress shall be called by or on the instructions of the President, on a decision of the Executive Council, or on written requisition of at least five Affiliated Associations. Announcements giving time, venue, date and agenda shall be sent to the Secretaries of Affiliated Associations and members of the Executive Council at least four weeks before the date of the meeting. The business to be transacted shall be confined to that for which the meeting was called.


13. The direction and administration of the Federation affairs shall be vested in the Executive Council.

14. The Executive Council shall comprise:

  • The Officers of the Federation
  • Ten members of Affiliated Associations elected at Congress

15. The Executive Council shall meet at least once quarterly and the Secretary shall send a provisional agenda of the business to be transacted by the Executive Council giving a minimum of fourteen days clear notice to Federation Officers and members of the Executive Council.

16. Special meetings of the Executive Council shall be called by or on the instructions of the President, or on written requisition of a least five members of the Executive Council.

17. The Executive Council shall be empowered to:

  • Transact all routine business of the Federation.
  • Convene all meetings, Congresses and Summer Courses.
  • Appoint Boards and Committees for such purposes as it may deem necessary from time to time.
  • Pay unvouched administration expenses out of Federation funds to any Officer or member in recognition of services rendered to the Federation, such sums to be decided in the absence of those involved.

18. A quorum at Executive Council meetings shall be half the total number of Executive members plus one.

19. At the first meeting of the Executive Council following Congress, a Committee shall be elected comprising The President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, and four other members of the Executive Council to be elected by secret ballot. The Committee shall be known as the Executive Council Committee
and shall meet at regular intervals to deal with such matters as shall be delegated to it by the Executive Council.




  • All Associations must affiliate all their members
  • An Association, applying for affiliation shall be a group of not less than fifteen persons.
  • An Association on affiliation to the Federation shall accept the Constitution of the Federation which shall be supplied free to each Association seeking affiliation and /or to any group or groups desirous of forming an Association.
  • Each application for affiliation shall be made in writing and shall be considered at a meeting of the Executive Council which may either accept the application or place it before Congress which may, in the exercise of its proper discretion:
    • Elect the Applicant for affiliation.
    • Defer consideration of the application until next Congress.
    • Or reject the application.

Any Association whose application for affiliation has been placed before Congress shall have the right to be represented there and to be heard before the application is determined. If the applicant Association decides not to make representations the debate by Congress and final decision can be made in the absence of the said applicant Association’s representative.

Secretaries of Affiliated Associations shall send to the Federation Secretary the names and addresses of their Officers. They shall send to the Federation Treasurer the names and addresses of their officers and all their members not later than December 31 each year together with the Capitation Fee, as fixed by preceding Congress and, in default of doing so by that date, the defaulting Association shall have no voting rights at the ensuing Congress. No newly affiliated Association shall have voting rights at Congress following its admission unless such affiliation took place before the 31st December preceding that Congress.
Any Congress meeting may, by a vote of not less than two-thirds of the delegates present and voting terminate the affiliation of any association which commits a breach of the Rules of this Constitution or whose conduct is, in the opinion of the delegates unbefitting an Affiliated Association of the Federation.
Provided that:

  • Not less than three months notice shall be given to the Association concerned of the intention to consider a resolution for disaffiliation under this clause.
  • The Association concerned shall be furnished with the reason for the proposed disaffiliation and shall be given the opportunity of attending and stating its case if so desires.

21. The Capitation Fee for members of Associations shall be fixed annually by Congress for the following calendar year.

22. The Capitation Fee, as per Article 21, shall be paid to the Association Treasurer and these monies forwarded to the Federation Treasurer by December 31 each year and shall be calculated on the membership of the Association.

23. No Officer of the Federation and no Affiliated Association member shall have any financial responsibility beyond Affiliation Fee.




  • The Officers of the Federation shall be the President, Life Vice-Presidents, the Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Manager, Editor, Education Officer, Public Relations Officer (PRO), Bee Health Officer, Summer Course Convenor, the Outgoing President shall ex-officio be a Vice-President for the succeeding year, that is to say in addition to the elected Vice-President.
  • No one person may hold more than one Officer position at one time.
  • In the event of illness or long term unavailability of the President, the elected VicePresident shall be empowered to undertake the functions of President.

25. A Candidate to be eligible for office shall have fulfilled the following conditions

  • He or she shall have been a member of an Affiliated Association for at least the two preceding years.
  • His or her nomination shall have been sent to the Federation Secretary at least eight clear weeksbefore Congress.

26. Not more than one person shall be nominated by an Affiliated Association for each office.

27. All offices other than life offices shall be deemed vacant at the conclusion of Congress. Persons elected or co-opted to offices of the Federation shall take up duty immediately after the close of Congress. Members of boards and committees established by the Executive Council shall hold office until a time decided by the incoming council.


  • The Annual Congress of the Federation may on the proposal of the Executive Council or by the proposal of six or more Affiliated Associations admit to Life Vice-Presidency a person whom the Federation desires to honour because of having rendered signal service to the organization. The number of Life VicePresidents shall not at any time exceed two except in the case of the existing incumbents who will hold their offices during their lifetime.
  • Life Vice-Presidents will have the right to attend and speak and vote at all meetings of the Federation. They will not, however, have the right to propose or second or vote at Congress.

29. On matters of extreme urgency the President and Secretary shall be empowered to act forthwith.

30. Out-of-pocket travelling expenses (a) of the Federation Officers (b) of members of boards and committees acting on authority of Congress of the Executive Council or (c) of members of the Executive Council or Congress acting on the authority of the Executive Council or Congress (d) of lecturers, honey
judges and instructors on the current lecturers panel may when claimed, and subject to the discretion of the Executive Council, be payable out of funds of the Federation; the expenses of the Congress delegates should be met by arrangement with their respective Associations.

31. All Officers shall attend to the duties set out, particularly in the Rules and Constitution and in general such other duties as may be assigned to them by the Executive Council or Congress.




  • A President may not hold office for more than three successive years and may not be a candidate for election to the office of either President or Vice-President for a period of five years following his/her period of Presidency.
  • The primary responsibility of the President shall be the promotion and advancement of the Federation objects together with the exercise of general supervision over the Federation administration, and for this purpose he/she shall be entitled to call for the production of all records, books and documents. He/she may at any time depute some or all of those duties to the Vice-President.
  • The President shall take the chair at all meetings of Congress and the Executive Council. d) If voting is equal at any meeting the chairman shall have a casting vote in addition to his/her deliberative vote.



33. The duties of the Secretary shall include:

  • Attendance at all Federation meetings as far as practicable and recording the minutes of all Executive Council meetings and Congresses.
  • The conduct of correspondence.
  • Keeping of all records, books and documents of the Federation relating to his/her office.
  • Accounting to the Treasurer for all monies received.


34. The duties of the Treasurer shall include:

  • To keep a record of the membership of the Federation.
  • To keep in a proper manner all books and accounts of the Federation relating to his/her office.
  • He/she shall at any time on request by the Executive Council or other authority on its direction produce all books and accounts relating to the Federation.
  • Gather all Capitation Fees from Affiliated Associations and discharge the liabilities of the Federation.
  • Lodge all monies received to the credit of the Federation's bank account.
  • Submit to the Executive Council at each ordinary meting a statement of receipts and payments since the previous meeting.
  • The accounts of the Federation shall be maintained so as to conform with good current business practice and in such a manner as will readily facilitate inspection and check of any or all items of expenditure and/or income by the Executive Council at its ordinary and special meetings.
  • All expenditure as authorised by the Executive Council for any purpose or by one or more officers acting on the authority of the Executive Council shall be defrayed out of the Federation funds. All payments shall be authorised by two of the three following officers, the President, the Treasurer and the Vice- President .
  • The accounts shall be prepared by an independent firm of practising accountants at least once a year. The cost of such will be deemed a proper charge on the funds of the Federation.


35. The duties of the Manager shall include:

  • The collection of readers' subscriptions and proceeds of advertisements in the Journal.
  • The making arrangements for the printing and issue of such Journal as well as for sale and distribution thereof.
  • Accounting to the Treasurer for all monies received.



36. The duties of the Editor shall be:

  • To carry out any suggestions and/or recommendations of Congress or the Executive Council in compiling the Journal
  • To be responsible for the literary content of the Journal.
  • To use discretion in refusing to publish any article or letter of a controversial nature in the Journal.


37. The Education Officer of the Federation shall have responsibility for all matters pertaining to beekeeping education within the Federation and in particular for the administrative duties necessary in the setting and general organisation of the FIBKA examinations.



38. The Bee Health Officer shall have responsibility for the promotion of bee heath within the Federation.
The duties shall include:

  • The development of policy relating to bee heath (and diseases)
  • Liaising with Associations (local Bee Heath Officers where appointed) in relation to training needs and bee-losses returns
  • Briefing Associations on diseases and related issues as they arise, and providing advice and guidance as required. This will necessitate keeping abreast of the latest scientific research on bee health, liaising with bee health bodies at home and abroad




  • The Public Relations Officer of the FIBKA shall promote the development of beekeeping.
  • Prepare publicity documents for the promotion of beekeeping. Organize and arrange publicity relating to various beekeeping events through all modern media.
  • Maintain press relations, through the issue of press notes, press briefings and also arrange press conferences where necessary to promote beekeeping.
  • Be the main spokesperson to the media on any matters of public interest regarding beekeeping.



40. The Summer Course Convenor shall have responsibility for convening and organising the annual Summer Course at a time and a place so decided by the Executive Council. The duties shall include:

  • Accounting to the Treasurer for all monies received
  • Collaborating with the Summer course Manager in organising the course programme
  • Reporting to the Executive on all matters pertaining to the Summer Course



41. Nominations by Affiliated Associations of candidates for membership of the Executive Council shall be sent to the Federation Secretary at least eight weeks prior to Congress and in making such nominations regards must be had to the availability of the candidate to attend meetings. If unable to attend at Congress, nominated candidates must have indicated their consent to stand by phone call, letter or email to the Federation Secretary. In the absence of such confirmation the candidate will be deemed to have declined the nomination. No Affiliated Association may nominate more than four candidates. These nominations need not be confined to the Association's province, but can only be for a member of an affiliated association.

  • The first four members of the Executive Council shall be elected on a regional basis that is to say one for each province, namely the candidate being a member of an Association within that province and getting the highest vote amongst those proposed by Associations in that province. The electorate for each province shall comprise the delegates of the Associations within that province.
  • The next six members shall be elected on a non-regional basis that is to say those getting the highest vote amongst the remaining candidates on a non-regional basis. The maximum number of votes a delegate can give is for the number of vacancies existing. Should there be a failure to elect a candidate on a regional basis for a particular province an extra member shall be elected on a non-regional basis so as to bring the total of members up to ten.

42. All accredited delegates are entitled to vote. Out going officers (Article 28) (Except Life Vice-Presidents) are entitled to vote providing they constitute one of the delegates their association is entitled to under Article 6.

43. Congress or the Executive Council may appoint any committee from their own body and subject to the provisions of this Constitution, they may delegate any of their powers to such committee but the proceedings of such committee shall be subject to confirmation by Congress.

44. All Boards and Committees for specified purposes shall be empowered to add to their number by cooption. The President and Secretary of the Federation are ex-officio members of all Boards and Committees. Such Boards and Committees shall have the power to elect their own Officers.

45. This revised Constitution shall come into effect immediately on being passed by the requisite twothirds majority.

46. Congress may from time to time make such standing orders as it shall consider convenient and needful for the good management of the Federation. Provided that such standing orders shall not be inconsistent with the provisions of this Constitution and that the same may be rescinded, altered and amended from time to time by Congress for the good management of the Federation. The standing orders annexed hereto shall come into force on the adoption by Congress of this amended Constitution.



1. No speaker shall speak for more than five minutes except with permission from the presiding Chairman.

2. No motion nor amendment shall be spoken to except by the mover until it has been seconded by a member of another association. No other discussion shall take place on a motion unless and until any amendment is moved and seconded.

3. If there is more than one amendment to the original motion the Chairman shall put the first amendment against the original motion. If the amendment is defeated the original motion stands and the second amendment may be moved to it and so on until all are disposed of. If the amendment is accepted or
incorporated in the original motion, that now becomes the substantive motion to which all other amendments must be proposed and so on.

4. No delegate shall be permitted to speak more than once to the same motion or amendment except the proposer who shall have the right to reply.

5.Each motion before Congress shall be decided by a simple majority on show of hands or by poll at the discretion of the Chairman except Rule 11 and 21 (e). The election of officers, and members of the Executive Council will be by secret ballot only. The result of each vote shall be given with the number of
votes for and against.

6. A member may express a desire for a secret ballot vote on any issue. The question so challenged shall thereupon be decided by a secret ballot vote of those present and voting.

7. The decision of the presiding Chairman on any question of procedure shall be final.

8. Twenty-five shall constitute a quorum at Congress.

9. The order of business at Congress shall be:

  • Formal opening of Congress by the President
  • Minutes of previous Congress and Correspondence.
  • Presidential Address
  • Secretary's Report
  • Statement of Accounts and the Accountant's Report
  • Editor of Journal's Report
  • Manager of Journal's Report
  • Education Officer's Report
  • Public Relations Officer's Report
  • Bee Health Officers Report
  • Election of Officers, Executive Council members and the appointment of a Firm of Practising Accountants.
  • Adoption of capitation Fee
  • Consider Motions
  • Motions of Notice. That urgent matters (not included on the agenda) may be considered, provided always that such matters may only be raised on the Suspension of Standing Orders. An urgent matter shall be deemed to be of vital importance which for one reason or another could not be placed on the agenda in the ordinary way.
  • The President will decide to place a motion for consideration before item (k) where the outcome of such motion may affect the conduct of business under items (k), (l), and (m).
  • The Secretary shall on the instruction of the Executive Council place on the Agenda for Congress such matters as the Executive Council may desire, in accordance with Article 8.

10. For the avoidance of doubt, any alteration or amendment to this constitution shall be made only in accordance with Article 11 of this Constitution.

Adopted by resolution of Special Congress

Sunday 26 th March 2017

Gerry Ryan President

Tom Shaw Secretary

March 2017



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Notice to all FIBKA Members

Insurance is in place for all FIBKA members as normal until 31 December 2017.

All FIBKA members have to renew their membership from 1st January 2018 as normal, in order to avail of FIBKA benefits including Insurance, An Beachaire, Gormanston, Education and all other membership benefits.

Membership benefits commence only when a members details are returned to the FIBKA Membership Secretary, by their Association Secretary/Treasurer.

We have been made aware that some Associations are not renewing their affiliation to FIBKA consequently all benefits for the members of those Associations end on the 31st December 2017, and Members in these Associations who wish to continue with FIBKA please contact the FIBKA Membership Secretary Joanna McGlaughlin at for details of Associations near to you that are affiliated to FIBKA."

Executive Council meeting 16th December

An Executive Council meeting was held in Tullamore on Saturday the 16th of December to discuss among other items the current situation in FIBKA.

Here is a short description of what happened at that meeting

What does FIBKA offer its members?

Here is a comprehensive list of what FIBKA offers its members

Letter from FIBKA Executive to all Member Associations

The letter can be read here in its entirety by clicking here. There will also be a downloadable PDF file that you can share with other members of your Association

Looking for honey labels and FIBKA lids?

For anyone looking to get the FIBKA jar lids or tamper proof labels for your honey, we have put together the following guidelines in how to apply for them. The document can be downloaded here

Hedge cutting

If you wish to report hedge cutting out of season
Contact the people below
National Parks & Wildlife Service
7 Ely Place
Dublin 2
For General Queries:
Tel: +353-1-888 3242
LoCall 1890 383 000 (within Republic of Ireland only - rates charged for the use of 1890 numbers may vary among different service providers)
Fax: +353-1-888 3272

Disease Sampling Form

Teagasc offers a Honeybee disease diagnostic service to beekeepers, more information available here