The Trip to Ballyhaunis

queen cell

A very big thank you to Paul O Brien, who has given a great account of the trip to ballyhaunis – below.  A lot of photos were taken on the day but none seem to be in circulation! if anyone has any photos of the day, it would be much appreciated if you could email them to us.

Má tá cónaí liom a bheith ina céad ní bheidh mé a fheiceáil in aghaidh an lae mar a bhí againn ar Dé Sathairn. Ghrian te agus cuideachta maith agus beacha iontach.

May I take this opportunity to say thanks to Eoghan and John for inviting us to set up this new Bee Club.  I have learnt so much with the trip to John’s home and the talk in Flannery’s hotel.

But I have to say the trip to Ballyhaunis was the best day out so far.  We met up in a local bar in Ballyhaunis at 1pm to grab a sandwich and soup and chatted about life.  After that we headed down to the home of the Pattersons and saw first-hand, 4 active hives in the setting of a family home.  It was a great surprise to me that one could have so many hives so close to one’s home.

We all gathered to listen to Gerry and Mary Ryan from Dundrum, Co. Tipperary who have 50 hives and rear all their own queens.  They gave a fantastic talk on how to rear your own queen bees and to make many hives.  This couple were so full of energy and so wanted to tell the world about the pleasure of beekeeping that it was infectious and all of us were like young kids hearing about Santa.

After the talk it was time to don the bee suit and face the bees. I have to say as a new BEE I was afraid to face the hive, but with the group all supporting each other it was great.  The first hive was opened and we all stood back more then 6 ft away and as Mary spoke we came in closer bit by bit until we were holding comb in our hand looking for brood and watching the Queen being caught then off she went to be clipped. The best part was when Gerry showed us the new bees just before they hatched and he opened the cell and we saw new bees being born to the planet, very moving.  This process was carried out over the next 5 hive and we also saw the splitting of a hive into two new hives and how to do it.

After a glorious day in the warm sun the host offered us tea and sandwiches, cakes and scones.  We filled our tummies with such find foods. I did observe that while we ate loads of sugar laden food not more than 20 ft for a very active hive, not one bee came near us or bothered us.  Even the pet dog ran close to the hive with no sense of worry.  It would have been nice if more of the new club members were there as it was fantastic to be in the care of such experts.  Thanks Eoghan and John for all the effort they are putting into this new club so that we can all benefit from it.  Can I ask all our members to make a big effort to support the outings that they have set up for our benefit.