BEEKEEPER Susan Hughes gets to work. Photo: Ray Ryan

The Keepers of the Bees

Suck Valley group is hive of activity

EVERY single day is a school day and bees don’t read a book.

Those are probably two of the most common phrases you will hear from a beekeeper, and that is the case when you first engage in conversation with Rhonda Oates about a subject she is fascinated by.

Rhonda is the secretary of the Suck Valley Beekeepers Association, a group that recently celebrated its 50th anniversary in Fallon’s Bar in Ballygar.

“It has a massive catchment area,” said Rhonda, who keeps a bee apiary with five hives at her home in Castleblakeney. “We have people from both sides of the River Suck, from the Castlerea area, South Roscommon, and East and North Galway.

“We have an extremely active WhatsApp group, and we use it as a library. A couple of the members are celebrating 50 years with Suck Valley Beekeepers.

“The experience range is massive. We have people who are just interested in beekeeping who have no bees, to those people with 50 years of experience.

“I started with Suck Valley five years ago. I didn’t keep any bees for the first year. I had an excellent mentor down the road from me who helped me out.”

The book on beekeeping has many chapters…

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