President’s message (April 2017)

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March Madness will have passed, it’s days of betting against the gods concluded by April Foolishness. Dream teams, data reams and court scenes will give way to longer days, on-base plays and summer craze for sports fans. For the rest of us, March madness has been the prolonged drift of winter snows delaying anything that grows!

Butchart Gardens has announced that their floral displays are a full month behind and guests can expect an explosion of colours when the cold weather finally gives way to warmer more bee friendly temperatures. Perhaps by the time we meet in April we will have seen dandelions sprouting and something more than heather for the bees to find.

Of the two hives in the back yard, only one has survived through the vagaries of March and the surviving queen has been laying brood since the middle of the month. Batting 50% is better than batting zero and perhaps your hives have done better. You can expect a call from club member, Shirley Richardson, gathering data on the success of over-wintered hives. Her results may give you pride or simple solace that you are not alone, if you are forced to rebuild.

If the maddening delay of spring is frustrating then perhaps you can enjoy a few more days of pollen free sinuses before allergy season is fully under way. You will appreciate the insight of Dr. Peter Lee who will speak about immunology and allergies at our April meeting. And perhaps he will address the links between bee venom and the symptoms of arthritis.

On another note, the cool wet weather here on the south coast is deceptive since Queen wasps are already looking for new homes while the honeybees are still making test flights. Best to get your traps out now before queens become colonies and our bees are under attack again.

Finally, we can stop worrying and wondering if our hives have survived and of course, now need to worry about swarming. We will learn about preventing swarms and luring them back when we have a our April meeting.

Our April meeting is on Thursday evening before the Easter Weekend. Perhaps the Easter Bunny will deliver some early treats to club members!