I am pleased to welcome to Victoria both members of the BC Honey Producers and guests, for this series of beekeeper meetings that I hope will meet your high expectations. Our host organizing group has worked hard and well to provide a great venue, and we have a great many talented and experienced speakers to contribute to a fine event. By the time you read this, I expect we will have another dozen trained Honey Judges from across BC. This is the first time that the BCHPA has put on a honey judging course. There was a lot of work in revising a manual; I hope the course turned out well.
Once again this year, we have some concurrent sessions on Sunday, so you will have to choose what parts of the meetings to miss when events overlap, but the arrangement increases your options. I hope you will take the opportunity to meet new beekeeping contacts and build lines of communication that will increase our sense of community.
We have a full BCHPA agenda of business items to address on Friday, reviewing the progress of various initiatives of the association over the past year and plans for the future. This has been a busy and productive year for our association and the beekeeping community throughout the province. We were enabled, by a grant from Ministry of Agriculture, to do some research to pursue solutions to ongoing bee colony health issues. We have partners from university and government research agencies, and some of the crop production stakeholders who have an interest in the maintenance of an effective pollination capacity in BC.
There is an ongoing interest in a continued, productive relationship with the Apiculture Program, with a challenge to provide services to distant areas of the province. We are encouraged that this capability has been maintained and expanded.
We will report on the financial aspects of our activities:
– hive health concerns in blueberry pollination, collaboration with the Blueberry Council, and the foulbrood research project by National Bee Diagnostic Centre. The results will be presented on Saturday.
– recognition of pollination income as a qualifying agricultural income.
– clarification of the value of pollination in farmland classification.
– a procedure to deal with the change in the availability of antibiotics for colony treatment.
I expect Saturday will be an exceptional day of presentations from speakers as listed later in this brochure. Sunday will address more applied aspects, with concurrent sessions for beekeepers at an earlier stage of the craft, to the most recent, more advanced topics. I hope you enjoy the meetings.
Bees Be With You,
Kerry Clark, President,
BC Honey Producers’ Association