I think 2019 will be a big year for beekeeping and bee research in BC and Canada. In BC we are fortunate to have the continued support of the Minister of Agriculture Lana Popham, and general public agreement that honey bees are valuable and worthy of investment to improve their health and welfare. The broader beekeeping community of BC has been enabled by the establishment of the Bee BC program, seed money to fund a diversity of community-scale projects to address local concerns about the viability of honey bees. We look forward to seeing the results of these projects, and more to come: Minister Popham announced in October that the program will have another $25,000 to enable such projects through 2019, administered by IAF, the BC Investment Agriculture Foundation.
Our semi-annual meeting organizing team, led by Second Vice President Dan Mawson, is working diligently to bring another fine slate of educational presentations to the meeting in Kamloops on March 22 and 23; check the website for details. Among the speakers will be Les Eccles and Paul Kelly of Ontario, where a Technology Transfer Team has been working to improve honey bee management for many years. Just recently, it has been announced that the Honey Bee Research Centre at Guelph University will be rebuilt at an estimated cost of $10 million.
And of course, 2019 is the year for Apimondia in Montréal, September 8 through 12, a world-class event. The BCHPA plans to participate, and we encourage you to consider attending. The event is a big commitment for both organizers and attendees (of which it is expected there will be over 10,000). If you are considering participating, the early bird registration fee ends on March 30, and a further 10% discount is available if you register through a special link. Contact me if you want to get the double benefit (10% discount from the early rate).
Back to BC, the BCHPA will be presenting a course to certify beekeeping instructors on the day before our March business meeting, and we expect to be making further project announcements. Enabled by the much-appreciated contribution of funding announced by the Minister of Agriculture, our Research Committee (chaired by Heather
Higo) and board have gathered research ideas from BCHPA members and prioritized a list (see elsewhere in this issue) to be considered for support as our resources permit. This will allow the BCHPA to guide and assist professional bee researchers (universities, research centres, etc.) in BC and Canada. We will have a report from one of the projects undertaken last year and we expect to assist several more projects this year and in the future.
To round out 2019, our main AGM and educational days will be held October 4, 5 and 6 in Prince George. We can hope for a beautiful time of year there; expect golden aspen leaves and blue skies on the drive through the Cariboo. We will find out more at the Kamloops meeting.
Bees be with you. ❀