Greetings BC beekeepers!
I expect members of the BCHPA will have seen and are going through the latest issue of BeesCene. I thought we had a very good annual meeting and education days in Richmond “Exploring Diversity in Beekeeping”. Thanks especially, to those who replied to our online survey. It’s clear that you agree that the meeting was great, and thanks even more for the suggestions of items to consider for future meetings. In addition to solid research results from conventional institutions and national news from the Canadian Honey Council, we were stretched into the world of extracts from fungi, seemingly “good for whatever ails you” (and even bees!). We covered business approaches to bee operation from basic to thousands of colonies. Mead and premium cut comb as a business model was presented. Many were impressed at the income potential of nuc production. Appropriate to the season, we delved into colony wintering strategies and ways to feed when preparations weren’t as good as they could have been. Protection from bears, pesticide damage avoidance, hive health from various perspectives, and even poetry… and most in the audience even created a poem: the few read out were pretty impressive to me. Diversity indeed! At the banquet, Life Member awards were presented to Dr. John Boone for his exemplary contributions especially to the BHW Trust fund, to Jaquie Bunse for her extended career supporting research, extension throughout the Fraser Valley and to the association. The President’s award was presented to Jeff Lee who has raised the standard for Education Days at our recent meetings. Minutes of the meeting will be printed in the next BeesCene, prior to our Semi-annual meeting in Kamloops, March 11 and 12 and in due course, education days’ presentations will be posted to our website.
The AGM business meeting prior to the education days worked out quite smoothly (even when the hotel lost power for a few hours, from a wind storm). The members present adopted a new constitution and bylaws, with slight amendment from the proposal distributed earlier. The association finds itself in a good financial position. We have a greater capability and are doing more; with the same membership fee as several years ago, we have rebated to branches a good portion of their fees as well as providing them with the valuable insurance coverage for branch Directors and Officers. Are we working in all the right directions? Send any ideas to the executive or pass them on through your regional representative. With the bylaws renewed, we can now address challenges more directly related to beekeeping. Of course, bee health must be an on-going concern of all beekeepers. Bee pests and diseases are contagious and colonies allowed to weaken and die (and even the equipment) are a threat to all other apiaries. The Certified Instructor of our association program (a course will be available adjacent to the semi-annual) addresses the problem by enabling authentic instruction in introductory beekeeping. We have addressed this and several other issues of particular concern to larger commercial beekeepers but we would like to do more. We are looking for more engagement with that sector of our community. If you identify with that part of our association, please bring your ideas to the table. It’s too early to know how our bee colonies will survive the winter: Here in the Peace region, a cold snowy October changed to 2 weeks above freezing in November, but early December has been colder than we’ve had in years, even the Gulf Islands are getting snow, so I think we can already say it won’t be as mild as last winter.
As with all agriculture, we’ll hope for the best, try to plan for something worse, and deal with what we get. Best Wishes for a safe and Happy Christmas time and Good Luck in the New Year.
Bees be with you.
Kerry Clark, President
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Dawson Creek, BC