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Gormanston Summer School

Run by the Federation of Irish Beekeepers' Associations (FIBKA)

The 2019 FIBKA Summer School was the last one at Gormanston. COVID prevented the 2020/21 from taking place. The decision was taken to reduce the length of the 2022 Summer School and have it at Maynooth University as a weekend event. I am unsure if Gormanston will be resurrected or not, but I will leave all the pages as a record. Roger Patterson.

One of the most magnificent beekeeping events in the whole world, it is staged annually in July by the Federation of Irish Beekeepers' Associations in the small village of Gormanston in Ireland, at the Franciscan College that is situated there.

The main central staircase at Gormanston college, photo... Dave Cushman This page and the many others on this web site that deal with various Gormanston related topics, have a wealth of information and additional photographs, the one at right shows the main staircase, which is central to all Gormanston activities. these photographs and documents may help intending visitors to make up their minds positively to attend. The pages with Gormanston information have been marshalled into a dedicated index so that you may see the benefits for yourselves. 

Maybe you have heard of the Gormanston Conference before. Many have, but few realise the full extent and richness of the facilities on offer. This has become more important since the accommodation has been upgraded... Originally a boarding school with dormitory sleeping accommodation, the college could hold four hundred or more attendees, but since upgrading of this accommodation has been progressively carried out, the number of rooms and hence beds has reduced. As this has happened the quality of the accommodation has increased, but there are now only enough beds for about three hundred and twenty to stay on site. There are bed and breakfast establishments locally that can be used as well.

With this reduction in bed numbers it becomes more important to get your booking done earlier, to ensure your place. Many book at the current year's event for the following one.

So what can be learned at Gormanston? My answer is simple... More or less anything to do with beekeeping at any level, by those knowing nothing about bees up to being considered an expert. The lectures and workshops that are offered are of a very high standard and are organised into several parallel streams, but even if the subject you wish to learn about is not listed on the program, you can ask about the subject and it is likely that there is an expert among the many academics, lecturers and visitors that can answer your question. Some of the previous years' programs are already in the list on the index page and there are others that will be added retrospectively when time allows. These previous programs will give you a flavour of what has been done before. Many of the visitors are capable lecturers themselves so there is a massive amount expertise that can be drawn upon. You can pick and choose among all of the lecture streams, in 2006, seventy one lectures/workshops were delivered by a total of forty six lecturers.

The college site is a pleasant place and ideally suited to the diverse lecture programme. The College staff are welcoming and extremely helpful, many of the same staff are there year by year and if you have been a few times before, they remember you.

If the information in this page is insufficient, have a look through all of the recent files in the index, they contain a good deal of information and the pictures will give a flavour of what goes on. Use the FIBKA website to contact the organisers directly, but you may have to be a bit patient as the information is not always displayed as early as you might expect.

If you know of any online articles about Gormanston Summer school, that I have not listed, please inform me by Email and I will add them to the index.

Aerial view of Gormanston College from postcard