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The inaugural meeting was held at the Royal Dublin Society’s rooms, Ballsbridge at 12 noon on April 21 1881. There were thirty persons present.
In 1887 Mr. H Chenevix J.P. became Honorary Secretary and Treasurer of the I.B.K.A. and continued in that position for a period of thirteen years. He was mainly responsible for its continued progress. He introduced a monthly circular of notes and hints, which was supplied free to all members. The I.B.K.A. was now well on it’s way to maturity.
The 1881 Land Act gave much assistance to the majority of Irish tenant farmers but it did not improve the plight of small farmers in the west of Ireland.
Eventually the British Government established the Congested Districts Board in 1891. It decided to provide this board with adequate sources of revenue. The idea was to give the families in the poor law electoral divisions of counties Donegal, Leitrim, Sligo, Roscommon, Mayo, Galway, Clare, Kerry, and West Cork, a better reward for their labour.
The board continued its activities for a period of thirteen years from 1891 to 1904 when it was taken over by the Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction.
In its first annual report for the year 1892, laid before the House of Commons on February 24 1893, it was recommended that beekeeping be included in the board’s work in future, as it deserved encouragement.
The secretary of the board immediately appointed Mr Turlough O’Bryen to be instructor in beekeeping covering the respective area. He proved to be an outstanding success in this assignment and remained in the post until 1924.
In 1894 a special committee under the technical advisor, Mr C.N. Abbott, designed a hive, at the office of the Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction, to suit the requirements of the congested districts board.
It was a tremendous success and became known as the Congested Districts Board hive (C.D.B.). The Abbott Brothers, 23 Merchants Quay, Dublin, supplied approximately one thousand of these hives to the board. It was the first standardised beehive to be put on the market in these islands. It was an outstanding hive for the production of section honey.
This disease is as old as time. Aristotle described it as an inertness, which seized the bees and caused a bad smell in the hive. Von Schirach in 1769 was the first authority to give the disease the name of Foulbrood.
It was the introduction of the movable frame hive that showed up its existence in Ireland. It did not readily appear in skep beekeeping as the bees in the skep were destroyed on a regular basis and the honeycombs were all removed.
The initial meeting was held at the Assembly Rooms, South Mall on July 5 1901. Mr William Deely, Whites Cross was elected Hon. Secretary, and the Chairman was Mr. R.M. Martin, V.P.
This was an agricultural exhibition and the members of the newly formed Cork Beekeepers’ Association played their part in urging the Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction to erect a large straw skep focusing public attention on the beekeeping craft.
The skep was twenty feet high. It was constructed with straw ropes wrapped around a frame of timber covered with canvas and felt. The D.A.T.I. flagpole was placed on top.
Inside it had three circular shelves on which exhibits of honey and beeswax were accommodated. In addition a wide shelf was placed around the perimeter to provide for the display of hives and other beekeeping appliances. This was the largest exhibition of the beekeeping craft ever seen in Ireland. There were exhibits on display from all thirty-two counties. The exhibition lasted from May to November 1902.
The author of this Bee Guide was Rev. J.G. Digges MA and he also wrote the revised edition ‘The Practical Bee Guide’. It ran into sixteen editions, totalling seventy-six thousand books published.
In an obituary on his death in 1933, the great English commercial beekeeper and author of three books on the craft, R.O.B. Manley, stated, “It was a beautifully written book judged merely as a book of literature. In addition to this, it is undoubtedly by far the best of the general guides to beekeeping published in the British Isles.” Its sales are sufficient evidence of the truth of this statement. Rev. Digges also published The Irish Bee Journal that continued until his death.
This special course in beekeeping for horticultural instructors was arranged between the department of agriculture and the county committees of agriculture with whom the instructors were employed.
There was a full attendance of the required instructors at the course, at the end of which a stiff examination was held. Following this course every county committee of agriculture in Ireland had qualified instructors in horticulture capable of giving instruction in the beekeeping craft.
This Bill was introduced in the House of Commons by Mr. T.N. Russell vice-president D.A.T.I. on June 18 1908. Second reading July 10, third reading July 13 passed through the House of Lords, received Royal assent and became law in Ireland.
Mr. T O’Bryen, Beekeeping inspector, on the instruction of the Department of Agriculture visited the apiary of Mr. Wm. Scaly Gossett, Woodlands, Rochestown Avenue, Blackrock, Co.Dublin and took samples. Within a couple of days a bacteriological examination had been made and it was confirmed to be Isle of Wight disease. It was believed that the disease was introduced into Ireland by means of second-hand appliances from a diseased district in England.
A sub-committee was appointed by the I.B.K.A. to co-operate with the Department of Agriculture in handling the situation. It was too late to contain the outbreak because within the week a second outbreak was discovered at Mr. McDonalds apiary at 1 Burdett Avenue, Off Sandycove Rd., Dunlaoghaire.
The introduction of the I.O.W. (Acarine) was catastrophic, both for the Irish beekeepers and their organisation. D.A.T.I. had no statutory powers to deal with any bee disease except Foulbrood.
The Acarine increased rapidly. Thirty-nine cases were reported in 1912/13. By the years 1924/25 it was so prevalent in some counties that it resulted in a complete loss of all bee stocks.
As a result of this degeneration some county committees, especially County Wexford, decided to import Dutch bees which, according to the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, were free from the disease. In some cases they proved not to be immune. It was discovered that where Dutch Bees were crossed with the native black bee larger numbers of stocks survived.
The infestation continued to increase, being very prevalent from 1924 to 1927, and then a virulent form of the infestation appeared. It completely destroyed all stocks in some counties. Restocking with Dutch Bees began in earnest in 1927 when fifteen county committees of Agriculture adopted a scheme for restocking.
Mr. M.H.Read was in the chair, also present was Miss Morgan, and Mr. M.J. Bruton. The sole business of the meeting was to consider the advisability of winding up the I.B.K.A. It was therefore decided that this matter be placed before the annual general meeting on May 4 1939 and that the ordinary business of the AGM be made contingent on a decision to continue the I.B.K.A.
This was the last meeting recorded in the minute book. So ended the first phase of the I.B.K.A.
In 1942 Robert N. Tweedy decided to give a series of talks on beekeeping in the Country Shop, St.Stephen’s Green, Dublin as he felt there was a need for a beekeeper’s organisation in Dublin.
These talks were very well attended and as a result twelve of the leading enthusiasts met on 14 January 1943 in the offices of Arthur Ganley, 20 Lincoln Place, Dublin and established an association. R. N. Tweedy was elected Chairman and A. Ganley, Honorary Secretary both pro tem. A week later on 21st January 1943 at the same venue the County Dublin Beekeepers’ Association was formally launched.
As time went by the membership gradually increased to over two hundred and as a result two other branch associations, Mount Merrion and Balbriggan, were formed.
A short time after this R. N. Tweedy suggested that an effort be made to contact any other beekeepers’ associations, which may be still functioning throughout the country including the six counties of Northern Ireland, with a view to forming an all Ireland body.
These associations were located with the assistance of the County Committees of Agriculture and were invited to assist in forming a Federation.
In June 1943 the honorary secretary of the newly formed Ulster B.K.A. informed the County Dublin B.K.A. that there were 23 local associations in the Six Counties and intimated that they would welcome the setting up of an All Ireland Federation. However, when this body was formed they did not associate themselves with it.
On the 9th of August 1943 the officers of the County Dublin B.K.A. with Miss E. Thompson, Dr. W. Sexton and Mr. E. Lemass were constituted a Federation Sub-Committee with power to inaugurate an All Ireland body.
After a lot of effort the Federation of Irish Beekeepers’ Associations was duly established on St.Patrick’s Day, 1944 at 20 Lincoln Place, Dublin. Such was the birth of the present Federation of Irish beekeepers’ Associations and it has stood the test of time right down to the present day with a membership of approximately 3000.
The Federation of Irish Beekeepers’ Associations is an association of the Beekeepers Associations in Ireland. Any Association of Beekeepers in Ireland may be affiliated to the Federation on acceptance of the Constitution of the Federation.
The Federation’s main objectives are to unite the Beekeepers of Ireland for their mutual benefit and 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 and to provide helpful educational facilities through:
In general, to undertake all measures to promote the welfare of beekeeping and Beekeepers in Ireland.
To promote the conservation of the native dark bee, apis mellifera mellifera.
The Annual General Meeting takes place each year on the Wednesday of the Gormanston week and the Officers and Delegates are elected for the coming year from a list of nominees submitted by the local associations beforehand.
The Executive Council meets four times each year e.g. at Gormanston on the Thursday evening of the Summer Course week; in October/November; in February; and in May/June.
The Executive Council Committee (consisting of the President, Secretary, Treasurer and four elected members) is set up at the first Executive Council Meeting.
It meets on three occasions during the year a few weeks before the date of each Council meeting with the exception of the one held at Gormanston. Its function is to discuss all current matters and make recommendations to the next Council meeting for approval or otherwise.
The Annual Summer Course at Gormanston College, Co.Meath is the highlight of the year’s programme. Details can be found elsewhere on the website.
Two Honey Shows are held each year, one at Fota on the first weekend in October and the other at the summer course in Gormanston. Entry of exhibits for each show is open to all who wish to do so and excellent prizes are awarded for the winning entries.
The Federation also sets up a tent at the National Ploughing Championships venue each year at which it promotes Beekeeping, Honey and other Hive Products. This is held in September and attracts a huge attendance from all over Ireland and abroad during its three days.
Members from the Irish Beekeeping fraternity attend the Ulster Beekeepers’ Associations annual conference at Greenmount Agriculture College, Antrim each year in the Spring and the British Beekeepers’ Associations annual conference at Stoneleigh, Warwickshire in April.
These two neighbouring events provide the opportunities to advertise our Summer Course and our national magazine, An Beachaire.
A stand is also manned at the Dublin Horse Show in August each year.
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:
4. The Federation shall be constituted as follows:
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:
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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
25. A Candidate to be eligible for office shall have fulfilled the following conditions
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.
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.
33. The duties of the Secretary shall include:
34. The duties of the Treasurer shall include:
35. The duties of the Manager shall include:
36. The duties of the Editor shall be:
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:
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:
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.
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:
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
FIBKA is not-for-profit federation of beekeeping Associations in Ireland. Currently, there are 48 affiliated Associations, which between them have over 2,800 members. FIBKA acts as an umbrella organisation, providing unity and strength in numbers in its promotion of the interests of bees, beekeepers and beekeeping in Ireland.
Included in the annual affiliation fee, no extra cost to members:
Available to affiliated members at reduced / low cost:
Coming soon / in development:
The Chairman is responsible for the smooth working of the Association and should promote the aims of the Federation.
The Chairperson will have a casting vote in addition to his/her ordinary vote should voting be equal in any division.
The Secretary’s duties include:
Before each meeting he/she should:
Is responsible for all funds received and disbursed on behalf of the Association together with the keeping of records and accounts in respect thereof.
It is recommended that the membership subscription should be set at a level sufficient to cover the cost of:
Members should be encouraged to pay.
The Treasurer should forward the insurance and affiliation fees to the Federation Treasurer as soon as practicable after collection.
Please note that the FIBKA affiliation runs from:
1 Jan to 31 December.
Any body or association not paid up on the 1st Jan is not covered until the FIBKA Treasurer receives the payment. Your subscription still runs out on the
31st of December.