Dan made Honorary President of Beaufort Beekeepers Association

Beaufort Beekeepers’ Association finished their year on a high, Thursday night last. The club was formed in 2012 has a membership of in excess of 50. December meetings are always cut short and a Christmas party is enjoyed by all. However, this years party formed an even bigger celebration where the club honored one of its own.

Dan O’ Sullivan from Killgobnait just back the road was one of the founding members of the club and this year the club members paid tribute to him by making him their first Honorary President. This is the highest position that any local association can bestow on any member. To further recognise Dan’s contribution to the club, he became the first recipient of The John Foley Memorial Cup.

This perpetual cup is named in honor of former member, the late John Foley RIP. John sadly passed away after a short illness last January. He hailed from Waterville and was also among the first members of Beaufort Beekeepers’ Association. His name is recognised both nationally and internationally among beekeepers where he has won several titles including world titles in the quality of his honey. It is accepted by all club members that only Dan could be the first person to receive the cup after its unveiling. It was presented by Johns wife Breeda, after some kind words were said by members Mike O Sé from Dromid and John Tuddy Clifford from Beaufort.

Dan O’ Sullivan rarely misses a meeting (held in Beaufort Bar the first Thursday in every month). It is at these meetings members express their concerns or impart their knowledge on aspects relating to bees. Members often say what makes the meetings so enjoyable is the listening to members like Dan speak of his experience of handling bees for over 40 years. He has a vast knowledge of his craft, his willingness to share his experience in such a humble and honest way is refreshing to witness. Members are silenced and often in awe of Dan’s explanation of bee behavior.

Dan has on many an occasion helped beekeepers with their own bees giving freely of his time. At springtime the club runs a beekeeping beginners’ course. Just this year Dan reared a colony of bees and provided for it free to the club so it could be raffled among the beginner course members. This type of generosity is special and invaluable to any club. These course members got to see first-hand how to manipulate a hive bees in Tuddy’s local apiary.

Dan was one of the beekeepers that demonstrated how to handle bees in a hive. Anybody watching this demonstration certainly witnessed poetry in motion. Here Dan is at his most comfortable and using only his bare, unprotected hands he methodically goes through the hive with possibly up to a population of 60,000 bees. All this time Dan speaks and operates with complete reverence towards the bees.

So to finish up a great 2018 and to honor its best Beaufort celebrated and reflected into the night but also looked forward to what next year would have in store. Of course, it is widely known among beekeepers that they are eternal optimists as they firmly believe that next year’s honey crop will be the biggest crop ever.

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