Ashford & District Beekeepers Association has a membership drawn from the beekeepers of Wicklow, now numbering 120. We are a community organization with a diverse membership; people of all ages, from all walks of life drawn together by their love of bees and appreciation of nature and the environment. Our volunteers provide education, training and mentoring to anyone who asks, and we have members throughout County Wicklow, as far north as Bray and as far south as Gorey. ABKA is a member of the Federation of Irish Beekeeper's Associations, FIBKA, which represents all of the associations and groups nationwide, providing a wealth of information and support to its members. It is generally well-known that Ireland's bee population is in serious decline and we are trying to do our bit to help by raising awareness of the importance of these creatures. We also recognize that we provide a sense of purpose, belonging and an important social outlet for many of our community.
We offer a host of member benefits including:
• An annual practical beekeeping course for Beginners
• We supply bees to beginner beekeepers in our area and support them with ongoing mentoring
• An annual Improvers’ Course
• We encourage ongoing education by supporting members in their studies for national beekeeping exams
• Free monthly lectures with a guest speaker
• Organized annual outing to the national beekeeping convention in Co. Meath
Members also receive a free monthly copy of An Beachaire, The Irish Beekeeper published by FIBKA.
Ashford & District Beekeepers’ Association Ethos
The Ashford & District Beekeepers Association was formed at a meeting held in the Green Lizard Hotel in Ashford on the 12th September 1974. The meeting had been advertised in the Wicklow People inviting those interested in beekeeping to attend, the object being to form a new Association.
24 people attended this inaugural meeting, out of which 17 attendees joined the newly-formed association. Mr. Dan Deasy, President of the Federation of Irish Beekeeping Association attended this meeting and advised on procedure. Also in attendance was Mr J Dawson, County Committee of Agriculture.
Officers Elected were:
Chairman - Mr D Chapman
Vice Chairman - Mr J Good
Secretary - Mrs M Moeran
Treasurer - Mr McGeorge
During the meeting it was unanimously agreed to call the Association "Ashford & District Beekeepers Association". We are fortunate to still count one of the original founding members, Joe Good, as a member today.
The objectives of the Association are to promote and further the craft of beekeeping and to conserve and promote our dark native bee Apis mellifera mellifera.
We are very active in the local community and organize activities throughout the year to educate the public about the importance of bees in the environment and to promote and further the craft of beekeeping.
Our members are young and old, experienced and novice, commercial and hobbyist who are all brought together by their love of bees.
Our Association has a strong ethos. We are committed to helping each other develop our knowledge and skills through co-operation and sharing in a non-competitive, collaborative environment. No one individual matters more than the group. We value respect, kindness, friendship and generosity of spirit.
We all benefit from the efforts of others to create and maintain a vibrant, progressive Association and we expect all our members to make a positive contribution to our community in their own way.
Mr. Joe Good, ABKA Founding Member with Paul O'Sullivan, Bee Supplies, at the 2019 Honey Festival