A summary of responses to the AGM and Education days in Courtenay indicates that the October 16 to 18, 2015 event was very much appreciated: it is wonderful to get a comment like “best in 25 years!” An online survey has been distributed by email to all attendees, so if you haven’t taken the opportunity to express your views for future meetings, please do so. There are many who worked to make the events a success, but we are especially grateful to Jennifer Dilfer and her team of organizers of the venue, and to Jeff Lee who organized the speakers program.
The event was well supported by registrations, by trade show participants, by contributions and by attendees. Early indications are that the event was a financial success that will support both the Boone, Hodgeson, Wilkinson Trust Fund as well as other operations of the BCHPA.
The Central Executive has been busy since the AGM. Most of the motions passed have been implemented. We now have a commercial beekeepers committee focused on that segment of our membership. We have addressed issues of particular interest to commercial beekeeping operations, and plan more outreach and consultation to come.
Discovery of small hive beetle (SHB) in a few apiaries near Abbotsford has triggered much discussion and follow-up to help in the development of regulations that meet the right balance of prevention of spread of the new pest (the severity of which is still unclear) and minimization of impact to bee operations that depend on being able to move to meet the pollination needs of some major berry growing industries. BCHPA’s challenge as I see it, is to try to find shared interests and a recommendation for a measured and logical response.
The BCHPA website has continued evolving, under a new Webmaster Dan Mawson. Your access to the members-only section should happen automatically when you renew or register: ON-LINE (through the web site) and ON-TIME, by the end of December. This will provide easier access for members to print a membership card, check the status of insurance, read back-issues of the BeesCene and check for yourself whether you renewed your membership. In continuation of last year’s test program, $10 will be rebated to each BCHPA Branch, for each member who renews by the end of January.
We are also working on arranging Director’s and Officer’s Liability Insurance for BCHPA Branches.
Don’t forget that BCHPA memberships and insurance (if purchased) run from Jan 1 to Dec 31. You can sign up online with PayPal or download the membership form, fill it out and mail it with a cheque. Anyone who signs up or renews from Oct 1 until Dec 31 will be sure that their full following year’s membership will be in force with no interruptions. Although there is a “grace period” for memberships, that is not the case for insurance policies, which expire on December 31, so don’t delay renewal.
Soon to also be on the website will be an area for graduates of the BCHPA Certified Instructors’ Course. Congratulations to Lance Cuthill, Axel Krause and Ian Farber for their work in preparing and running this course. This will provide a source of qualified teachers to educate new beekeepers across B.C., using an approved curriculum. A course for training of instructors for Intermediate Beekeeping is being explored.
I realize we have challenges, addressing the needs of bee operations of a wide range of sizes, but I feel we have a broad range of shared interests and expertise. I’m looking forward to collaboration and goodwill, and I expect BCHPA will become stronger this year.