2016 AGM



The 2016 AGM will take place on Friday October 14th and is open to current BCHPA members. The Saturday Educational Day has expanded to include more speakers than ever this year.  Industry experts will present on pest management practices for honey bees, the protection of pollinator habitat, queen-rearing and fertility along with new breakthroughs in pest management. A series of side-by-side talks geared for both the newcomer/beginner and commercial/serious sideliner have been organized.  Our Sunday event will focus on informational workshops in informal group settings.

The event will include Best of BC Honey Competition and Mead, Wax & Hive Contests

Speakers include:
Danielle Downey, Michele Colopy, Larry Connor, Stephen Sheppard, Paul Stamets, Rudi Peters, Leonard Foster, Marta Guarna, Lori Weidenhamer, and Virginia Abbott.

Convention Schedule:

  • Wine & Cheese:  Thursday October 13, 6-8pm
  • Trade Show (Free):  Friday October 14, 8am-5pm & Saturday October 15, 8am-6pm
  • AGM:  Friday October 14 – 8:30am-5pm
  • Banquet:  Friday October 14, 7pm
  • Conference:  Saturday October 15, 8:30am-5:30pm
  • Workshop:  Sunday October 16, 8:30am-4pm


Take advantage of our early bird pricing – a 15% savings – which ends September 17th, 2016.  Discounted tickets range from $63.75 for the Sunday workshop to $235.00 for full conference event access.


Hotel Special Room Rate:

*Image Credit- kstudija / 123RF Stock Photo

Here’s a sampling of some of our speakers confirmed to date:


Danielle Downey – Project Apis m.

The new executive director of Project Apis m., has a strong beekeeping connection with B.C.; she received her MSc from Simon Fraser University as a graduate student of Mark Winston, in whose research lab she carried out several studies on mites and honey bee health. Her background includes training and research from bee labs in Minnesota, Canada and France; beekeeper education, work with commercial beekeepers and queen breeders, regulatory work as a State Apiarist in Utah and Hawaii, and wrangling bees for TV and film. She works closely with Apiary Inspectors of America, Bee Informed Project and a VSH breeding project with collaborators in Hawaii, Louisiana and Europe selecting and refining Varroa resistant bees. Project Apis m., formed a decade ago to provide growers with healthier bees resulting in better pollination and increased crop yields, has infused over $6 million into bee research. It works with commercial beekeepers and with the top bee scientists in the U.S. and Canada.Danielle will outline some of the projects her organization has worked on, and what Project Apis m. is doing in Canada.


Michele Colopy – Pollinator Stewardship Council.

Michele has been the program director of the Pollinator Stewardship Council since 2013, a year after it was formed by the American Honey Producers Association with the intent of raising awareness about the adverse impact of pesticides on pollinators. The council provides advocacy, guidance and tools to document the detrimental effect of pesticides on the pollinator community. It has stated it is not opposed to the use of pesticides by the agriculture community, but wants to help educate growers about the adverse impacts on bees. Michele’s father was a beekeeper in Ohio, where he used bees to pollinate his apple orchard. She keeps honey bees in the city, and has replaced her crabgrass front yard with pesticide-free pollinator flowers for her honey bees and native pollinators. She holds a Master’s degree in Nonprofit Management/Arts Administration, and a Master’s in Higher Education Administration from The University of Akron.  She is also a Board member of the Medina County Beekeepers Association.  She will discuss best management practices for avoiding pesticide exposure to honey bees.


Larry Connor

If you have a decent library of books on beekeeping, it is a sure bet that you have at least one or two books written or produced by Connor. A respected author, speaker and instructor, he is the owner of Wicwas Press, which produces a vast variety of helpful books on beekeeping. Connor received his PhD in entomology from Michigan State University and worked as an extension apicultural entomologist at Ohio State University. He led the Dadant Midnite and Starline hybrid queen line programs in Florida and is a frequent contributor to American Bee Journal and Bee Culture magazines. He resides in Kalamazoo, Michigan.  An entertaining speaker, this isn’t his first rodeo in B.C.; he also presented at the BCHPA AGM in Kelowna several; years ago. He’s preparing a pair of talks tailored for British Columbia beekeepers and will bring a good supply of his books for sale.


Stephen Sheppard,  University of Washington

As the chair of the university’s entomology department and Thurber Memorial Chair, Sheppard has been at the cutting edge of much of the North American research into honey bee genetics. Sheppard is overseeing a new $16 million bee research facility at the university, including a germplasm repository and molecular lab. He has published or co-authored nearly three dozen research papers on honey bee health, population genetics and effects of pesticides on bees. He has a long-term honey bee breeding project and stock centre at WSU and has been involved in the importation of honey bee germ plasm and the maintenance of selected lines through the use of an isolated mating station at Smoot Hill, and instrumental insemination. Prior to his appointment to the UWA he worked for a dozen years in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Bee Research Laboratory. Some of his most recent research is in the beneficial effects of mycelia – mushrooms – for honey bees.


Paul Stamets, Mycologist and founder of Fungi Perfecti.

Can mushrooms save honey bees, and by consequence, our food security? Stamets thinks so. Stamets is a pioneering mycologist from Washington State who has long believed fungi and mushrooms can save lives, restore ecosystems and transform other worlds. He sees the ancient Old Growth forests of the Pacific Northwest as a resource of incalculable value, especially in terms of its fungal genome. His most recent work involves breakthrough research in a mycelia – mushroom – extract that shows promise in treating honey bees for varroa mites. He has been working with renowned entomologist and bee researcher Stephen Sheppard at the University of Washington.  The author of six books on mushroom cultivation, Stamets was a guest speaker at the 2008 TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) conference with a speech on “Six Ways Mushrooms Can Save The World.”  He’ll outline his newest research on mycological mite treatment.


Rudi Peters, owner of Skeena Valley Apiaries.

For beekeepers in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, B.C.’s most populated areas, raising bees can at times be challenging. But it has nothing on the challenges Peters faces in operating one of northwestern B.C.’s largest commercial apiaries. Located in Terrace, where winters in the Coast Mountains can be cold and moist. Sheena Valley Apiaries operates successfully, producing mountain fireweed honey and acting as a northern station for beekeeping education and services. Peters, a former denturist who has moved into commercial beekeeping full-time, follows in the footsteps of Martin deHoog, who first pioneered large-scale beekeeping in Terrace in the late 1970s. Peters has also been working with Yukon beekeepers, some of whom have recently joined the BCHPA.  Peters, who is the second vice-president of the BCHPA, will talk about the unique challenges of operating a northern commercial apiary, including the unique art of how to perfect bear fencing even a bear is afraid of.

Other Speakers:


Leonard Foster, UBC – Update on this summer’s Bee-omics project, looking at hygienic behaviour in bees through the use of proteomics.


Marta Guarna – Research Scientist, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada – an update on a 60-colony queen research project at Beaverlodge Research Farm, looking at the effect of queen temperature stress and reduced sperm viability on queens and colony performance.

Lori Weidenhamer – author of Victory Gardens for Bees.  Weidenhamer, a Vancouver resident, recently published a comprehensive look at the relationship between bees and gardens, complete with suggestions for what makes a great pollinator-friendly garden.

Virginia Abbott, Regional Pesticide Inspector, Pest Management Regulatory Agency.  Abbott – or one of her colleagues – will present a talk on “What’s That Spray” – a look at pesticides and insecticides that beekeepers may encounter. The PMRA talk will be aimed at educating beekeepers about the proper – and improper – use of chemicals, and when to recognize you have a problem and what to do about it.  

Canadian Food Inspection Agency on changes to the use of antibiotics. New federal regulations will soon come in to effect requiring veterinary prescription for most medications used in farming. At this point, beekeepers aren’t expected to be exempt and may find common medications they’ve used now restricted. The talk will explore how the regulations affect beekeepers. Speaker to be named later.

We’re also putting together a number of short workshops on a variety of beekeeping topics, from honey house tips to making mead, comb and creamed honey to preparing colonies for winter to best management practices for treating with formic and oxalic acid.

A full agenda will be published shortly.

Jeff Lee Honey Bee Zen
Apiaries Unit 41504, London Place
New Westminster, B.C. V3M 4K7

www.honeybeezen.com jeff@honeybeezen.com
Ph: 604-777-5430 Cell:

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