Apiguard Diary
Beekeepers - Past and Present
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Beekeeping Articles Written By Ruary Rudd

Ruary enjoying himself  

In order to introduce you to GBBG member Ruary Rudd... I will reproduce an excellent profile of him that appeared in the Galtee Bee Breeding Group's newsletter the Four Seasons, the article was written by Norman Walsh and is reproduced in the white panel below.

There are a number of photographs that involve Ruary on the various pages of this website that refer to the annual conferences that are held in Gormanston each year.

The one shown at left has captured him in jovial mood on the occasion of the group photograph at Gormanston in 2006.


I was warned, when first I joined the Irish Bee List, not to believe all that is posted, I don't think that I needed that warning, as some of the postings are complete nonsense. The main problem is that many of the contributors have no scientific training and describe a conclusion they have reached on insufficient evidence. The list is not moderated, that means that no one selects or edits what appears.

There is an unofficial system of moderation, which is carried out by a few watchdogs; Ruary Rudd is one of them. When it comes to matters of fact or logic he makes his point firmly, sometimes very firmly, he doesn't suffer fools gladly. This thorough, 'scientific approach to all that he does makes him a most valuable man in FIBKA and in the Galtee Bee Breeding Group. I am sure that his contributions to An Beachaire in the Cribbage column will bear his hallmark of being interesting, credible and unbiased. We shall see no pseudoscience regurgitated!

Ruary has no formal qualifications in beekeeping, although his knowledge in many aspects is extensive; he is an avid reader. This has been recognised within FIBKA when he was recently appointed to the Examinations Board; he examines in Microscopy. He is the authority amongst Irish beekeepers on microscopy and pollen. There is little expertise in pollen in Ireland despite the fact that pollen analysis is one of the methods used to date archaeological digs. It is also used forensically and of course it is used to trace the floral source of honey. Ruary is probably the Irish authority on pollen, having built up an extensive collection of slides. He has the necessary microscopes and centrifuge to separate pollen from honey, examine it and prepare permanent slides. He has made a video on pollen identification. I haven't seen it, but the editor assures me that it is good!

Ruary shares his skills and knowledge at the Galtee Study Group where beekeepers study the science and practice of, beekeeping at all levels from Preliminary to Diploma. He has prepared model written answers to examination questions. This group must, by now, be the longest running and most successful centre of excellence in Beekeeping in Ireland.

He also, in conjunction with Dennis Ryan and Redmond Williams, conducts microscopy workshops each year at Gormanston Summer School. He has excellent computer and photography skills and uses these generously to help Claire Chavasse in the production of this magazine, when she was editor.

Ruary is a keen fisherman and is the co-author of two scientific fishing magazines. Indeed his introduction to microscopy was through fish and their diseases. As he transferred these skills to beekeeping he became an obvious choice as Varroa officer for County Kerry. This County remained free of Varroa until 2004, but now it is almost endemic. His interest in diseases of bees and fish may not appear glamorous, but his expertise is of great value.

Ruary is a Civil Engineer by profession and lived and worked in Waterford City. He was born in Africa, attended primary school in Aden, Preparatory school in England and Secondary school in Nairobi. It is a remarkable coincidence that he and Ben Harden were at school together in Nairobi.

He is not an extensive beekeeper having expanded slowly from two to ten colonies over the past fourteen years. He started producing cut comb honey, but is moving to run honey, which he sells in four shops and a hotel. He has had two queens from the group, which pleased him. He doesn't conduct the hive evaluations, which are requested in the group, so that if he has a queen worthy of being returned as a breeder queen, it may not be recognised.

Had Ruary been a biochemist rather than an engineer he would probably have been examining the DNA of all the Galtee bees. On second thoughts, his engineering background has not inhibited his adventures into many other specialist fields of learning; what will it be next?

Norman Walsh

Page created 15/03/2007

Page updated 27/12/2020

Printed from Dave Cushman's website Live CD version

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