DROMORE Beekeepers’ Association supporter and Hillsborough man Cecil McMullan was named Beekeeper of the Year at the recent Institute of Northern Ireland Beekeepers Conference.
Cecil has been keeping bees for more than 50 years, having first been introduced to the pursuit by Richard Roy, getting his first bees from Ervine McKnight and being mentored by him and Ernest Brooks.
A spokesperson said, “He has been a great supporter of other beekeeping associations, in particular Dromore, Randalstown and Roe Valley and has attended many beekeeping events over the years.
“He has been a founder member and mainstay of the INIB and committee since its formation, willing to help in any way needed with practical help, always the first to arrive and not afraid to get his hands dirty.
“Cecil has been a great showman and exhibitor in many honey shows throughout Ireland collecting much silverware on his way, in all types of produce whether it be honey, wax, mead or candles.
“The high standard and quality of his exhibits enabled him to qualify as a honey judge, which he regards as the highlight of his beekeeping career. Since qualifying he has been asked to judge in many honey shows in Northern Ireland and further afield, including the Great Yorkshire Show – a great honour for a honey judge . . .
“ . . . Cecil has been heard to say on many occasions that he is very grateful to Michael Young MBE and the INIB for giving him this opportunity.
“He is modest, kind and gentle and has never been heard to boast or gloat on his success; he just gets on with life as an ordinary man. But to us his is not an ordinary man, he is a pillar of beekeeping in Northern Ireland and a thoroughly worthy winner of this year’s Beekeeper of the Year award.
Meanwhile, it has been announced that the Ulster Beekeeepers’ Association will hold its 69th annual Conference at Greenmount Antrim on March 8&9 next year.
A spokesperson said, “This year is not to be missed. The conference covers every level of beekeeper, from the complete beginner - with a practical workshop on how to build a bee hive step by step - to the most up-to date successful methods of Queen rearing and What every one should know about Pyrethroid-resistant Varroa.
“Please visit the UBKA web site for the booking form.”