The Federation of Irish Beekeepers Associations FIBKA

About Us

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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.

1897 American Foulbrood outbreak

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.

1901 Cork Beekeeping Association founded

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.

The Cork Exhibition 1902

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.

1904 The Irish Bee Guide Published

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.

1907 Special Course in Beekeeping at Albert Agricultural College

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.

1908 The Bee Pest (Ireland) Bill

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.

1912 Discovery of Isle of Wight disease (Acarine) in County Dublin

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.

April 20th 1939 Committee Meeting

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.

The Federation is born

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:

  • 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 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.

(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

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:

  • A most comprehensive insurance package to cover your beekeeping activities at your own apiary or anywhere else in the Republic of Ireland.
  • Monthly magazine An Beachaire delivered to your door, with back issues available on the website. Articles relevant to Irish beekeepers operating in Irish conditions. Contributions from members always welcome. The Journal is now in its 71st year serving the beekeepers of Ireland for generations. Sponsored prizes for annual photographic competition.
  • Website and Facebook page
  • Panel of Certified Federation Lecturers (CFLs), including many who hold a diploma in Apiculture {NatDipSc (Apic)} from Cork Institute of Technology. FIBKA covers mileage costs of CFLs travelling to lecture to local Associations in order to reduce the cost to the Associations. This is especially beneficial to new, small or remote Associations with no CFLs amongst their own members.
  • Annual Congress with each affiliated Association entitled to send delegates as per FIBKA Constitution. Associations can submit motions for consideration at Congress and can nominate candidates for election to Executive Council at Congress.
  • Organising Bee Health Workshops for the benefit of our members throughout the country.
  • Annual National Honey Shows at Gormanston and at Fota. FIBKA covers mileage costs of Honey Judges to attend these Shows and other Honey Shows recognised by FIBKA.
  • Promotion and lobbying on behalf of beekeepers with the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Marine (DAFM) to promote the good health of bees and the interests of beekeepers.
  • Negotiation with Coillte regarding standard terms and conditions for apiary sites for beekeepers
  • Working with DAFM in securing EU funding for beekeeping. To date we have secured €1.4m under the Apicultural programme for Irish Beekeeping.
  • Working with the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) in preventing fraud and misinformation on honey in the market place.
  • Working closely with Bord Bia in the promotion of Irish honey, Bord Bia are generous sponsors of our National Honey Show since 1999.
  • Working closely with the Office of Public Works (OPW) in promoting beekeeping in the Phoenix Park, the Botanic Gardens and other OPW properties. The OPW Phoenix Park Honey Show now in its third year is one of the leading shows in the county with easy access to one third of the population of the Republic. In 2018 it is planned to expand the event to include a Honey Festival.
  • Working with Teagasc to inform the farming community the importance bees.
  • Working with other environmental bodies to fight Hedgerows Bill and promote environmentally sustainable practice for the benefit of honeybees and other wildlife.
  • FIBKA is a signatory, contributor to and supporter of the All Ireland Pollinator Plan
  • FIBKA is a member of the European Professional Beekeepers Association to be kept informed what is happening at EU level.
  • FIBKA is a member of the Council of National Beekeeping Associations in the United Kingdom and Ireland (CONBA). Through this body we have a voice in Brussels with a representative attending meetings there where many decisions affecting beekeeping are made.
  • FIBKA is a member of Apimonida the worldwide body of beekeepers. This entitles our members who wish to attend the Apimondia Conference held every 2 years to a reduced registration fee. We are proud that the
  • Corporate members of the National Honey Show U.K. Supporting Irish exhibitors who wish to send exhibits to this World Class International Event, a great shop window for Irish Honey.
  • Sponsorship of three young beekeepers to attend the International Meeting of Young Beekeepers (IMYB) each year, by paying the registration fee and contributing towards travel and accommodation costs.
  • Comprehensive Library of Beekeeping Books and Videos. Books and videos on loan free, borrower pays return postage. Our Library contains some rare out of print books that can be made available to students of research or other interested parties.
  • Our archives contain some valuable documents illustrating the history of our organisation since its foundation in April 1881. Included are bound volumes of the Irish Bee Journal (IBJ) published by the father of Irish Beekeeping Rev J.G. Digges from 1901 to 1933 and its successor An Beachaire published from 1947 to date. All this material is available to students of history and researchers.
  • FIBKA is a book publisher. Some years ago we, jointly with Teagasc, published the recent update of “The Blueprint for Profitable Honey Production”. We reprinted “Practical Bee guide” by J.G. Digges in 2000. We also published “Bees, Hives and Honey”, edited by Eddie O’Sullivan and John McMullan’s book “Having Healthy Bees”. Most recently “Gormanston: The Summer Course in Beekeeping” by James Ryan.
  • Arbour Week – week following first Sunday in March. FIBKA are founding members of the Tree Council of Ireland, actively promoting the planting of pollen and nectar bearing tree which are made available yearly to our members free of charge.
  • A FIBKA stand promoting beekeeping and Irish Honey at most of the large public events such as The National Ploughing Championships, Bord Bia Bloom in the Park, The RDS Horse Show, Tullamore Agricultural Show amongst others.

Available to affiliated members at reduced / low cost:

  • Annual Summer Course at Gormanston College internationally renowned throughout the beekeeping world. A full week of lectures, fun, trade stands and bee-talk. Options to stay on site for the week or part week, or come as a day-visitor. All examinations available from the Preliminary to Honey Judges and Certified Federation Lectureship. This event has been held continuously since 1947 which is unique in the beekeeping world. Because of its international dimension we are able to acquire and share beekeeping knowledge from many other regions of the world.
  • Full Education programme, from Preliminary exams, through Intermediate, BeeMaster, Senior, CFL and Honey Judge qualifications.
  • Subject to availability, books published by FIBKA books are available at reduced cost to affiliated Associations.
  • Arrangement with suppliers of Sugar to affiliated Associations, for bee feeding, at cost price.
  • Tamper-proof bar-coded labels (as required by many retail outlets) at cost price. Your own unique bar code for each of your products
  • A honey jar lid incorporating the Federation Logo printed in colour and also the words “Irish Honey Direct from the Beekeeper” is available from Alpack Ltd to our members to fit the eight and twelve ounce jars. This lid has come to be accepted by many as proof that the jar contains good quality Irish honey.

Coming soon / in development:

  • FIBKA honey jars with distinctive design, full traceability and guarantee to customer of genuine 100% Irish beekeeper’s honey, will command a premium price for all your hard work.


The Chairman is responsible for the smooth working of the Association and should promote the aims of the Federation.

  • He/she should have a pleasing personality and a sympathetic understanding of other people’s viewpoints
  • have the skill to decide when to speak and when to keep silent
  • though in command of the proceedings he/she has got to resist the temptation to dictate
  • should encourage discussion to ensure that the minority viewpoint gets as much attention as the majority viewpoint
  • should ensure the meetings are conducted in an orderly fashion and kept within a time limit.
  • shall take the chair at all Association meetings; if unable to do so, he/she will delegate that duty to the Vice-Chairman.

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:

  • Attendance at all Association Meetings.
  • Recording the Minutes of Committee Meetings and the Annual General Meeting.

Before each meeting he/she should:

  • Draw up agenda in consultation with Chairman.
  • Check meeting venue.
  • Notify members in good time. (Usually a minimum of 7 days).
  • On meeting night, arrive in good time at venue.
  • Read to the meeting, minutes of previous meeting.
  • Read relevant sections of correspondence.
  • Record accurately and briefly the minutes of each meeting.
  • After each meeting, write minutes in minute book.
  • Answer correspondence immediately.
  • Notify Treasurer of any expenses.
  • Get feedback from members and inform Chairman.
  • Check on forthcoming events.
  • After AGM notify any change of Officers to Secretary, FIBKA & check your associations contact details on the website are correct.


Is responsible for all funds received and disbursed on behalf of the Association together with the keeping of records and accounts in respect thereof.

He/she should:

  • Provide the Federation Treasurer with a listing of all paid-up members submitted on an excel sheet, name & correct postal address ( a typical excel spread sheet is available from the FIBKA treasurer) & accompanied by cheque for affiliation fees.
  • Receipts should be issued for all funds received; this is particularly important in the case of the membership subscription, as a member is considered to be insured from the time that the subscription has been paid and a receipt has been issued for it.

It is recommended that the membership subscription should be set at a level sufficient to cover the cost of:

  • Association administration expenses.
  • Affiliation fee.

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.