Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Andrew Doyle T.D welcomed the participants from Ireland and abroad to the Federation of Irish Beekeepers’ Associations 73st Annual Beekeeper’s Summer School, which is currently taking place in Gormanston Co. Meath.
Opening the Summer School Minister Doyle praised FIBKA’s contribution to the development of beekeeper’s skills and acknowledged the important role played by bees as both pollinators for agricultural and horticultural crops and the important role of bees in the maintenance of ecosystems. Highlighting the National Pollinator plan the Minister stated that ‘Farming guidelines under the All Ireland Pollinator 2015-2020 have been produced with the aim of benefitting and protecting all pollinators including honeybees’.
The Minister continued by highlighting the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine’s recent call for Research Proposals under the new National Apiculture (2019-2022). The aim of the programme is to:
- To provide technical assistance to beekeepers
- Combat beehive invaders and diseases, particularly varroasis
- To co-operate with specialist bodies for the implementation of applied research programmes in the field of beekeeping and apiculture products
Speaking to the beekeepers Minister Doyle stated “The new National Apiculture Programme represents a great opportunity for Irish beekeeping to continue to produce a science led approach on how to protect our honeybee colonies and provides an invaluable mechanism for targeted research for the apiculture sector in Ireland.”
The Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine continues to provide a number of other supports for the beekeeping sector including co-funding research under the National Apiculture Programme, provision of grant aid to facilitate capital investments in specialised beekeeping related equipment, support for activities conducted by national beekeeping organisations and provision of a free bee disease diagnostic service.
Catering for all levels from the beginner right up to the experienced beekeeper, the Summer School continues at Gormanston College until Friday.