BY HELEN RIDDELL
A NEW initiative spearheaded by a group of West Cork beekeepers will alllow beekeepers throughout the country to avail of a huge selection of specialist books through the local library network.
Castletownbere-based beekeeper Jacqui Glisson, who is a member of the West Cork Beekeepers Association and current chair of the Irish Beekeeepers Association CLG, said the idea came about at a meeting of the West Cork Beekeeepers Association.
‘John Martin from the Dunmanway association came up with the idea for beekepeers to donate their books to the National Libary, who woud then make them available to all to borrow through the local library network,’ she said.
Jacqui has over 90 books on beekeeping in her own collection which she had been loaning out via the Irish Beekepers Assocation website: ‘I had all my books listed online for people to borrow, however, as some of these books are quite heavy, the postage costs were making it unfeasible to continue doing it this way. By working with the National Library, beekeepers can now go into their local libraries to see what books are available and then order them through the library service to be sent out to their local branch.’
Jacqui is one of the founding members of the Irish Beekeepers Association CLG, which was set up in 2017 to support beekeeping associations and individual beekeepers across Ireland and to promote and encourage the art of beekeeping. The organisation currently has 1200 members whcih inlcudes 26 associations, including the West Cork Beekeepers Association which has 61 members, with many located on the Beara Peninsula.
Jacqui works as a GP in Castletownbere, and has been keeping Buckfast Honey Bees since 2009, a breed, which were first developed by a monk at Buckfast Abbey in England in the early 1900s, and are known for their foraging abilities.
Books currently available to borrow through the scheme include publications on beekeeping techniques; swarm control, guides on bee friendly plants, the production of honey and other products from the hive including mead, and beeswax.
The Irish Beekeepers Association are also encouraging their members to donate books to the scheme, whichcan be done through their local library.
For further information see www.irishbeekeepersassociation.com