President’s message (February 2018)

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Sitting at the end of the drive way is a 4′ x 4′ trailer frame dripping in the February rains. Last summer the wooden box that shaped its most recent incarnation disintegrated on a logging road; its sides clinging onto its metal spine only because of the ratchet straps wrapped firmly around its contents. Rebuilding the trailer is on my list of to-dos for the coming bee season. A couple of changes and this handy little rig that used to haul mountain bikes and gear should be able to haul four hives to wherever the nectar flows. That’s the idea anyway. Now, if the rain would simply abate and give me a weekend to work outside my theory could indeed become practice.

Today, one of my hives appeared healthy while the other took a significant hit when heavy winds lifted the top clean off exposing the top box of wood shavings to the overnight rains. A quick peak and a little voice saying, “we’re not dead yet” suggested there is hope that they will make it to the first hints of spring. February is going to seem like a long month!

Yes, it is time to check and renew your beekeeping gear and it is also time to check and renew the club. People who have served a long time and kept things in order are stepping aside as their own obligations move front and center.

Alanya Smith has been Membership Secretary longer than I have been a member and will step down at our March meeting. The Membership Secretary plays a key role in tracking new and existing members and their annual fees since those are what keep us financially healthy. If you are able to help with membership lists and nametags, either as Membership Secretary or as a ready second to the secretary then let me know.

Barry Denluck will continue to develop and execute our plans for the 2018 BCHPA conference and the monthly New Beekeepers’ Corner but he will set aside his role on Executive as First Vice President to focus on his growing business ventures. The First VP will focus on making sure we have a strong agenda for our members each month and I am looking forward with whomever has a couple of hours each month to play. (Remember – Executive is really a beekeepers’ self-help group that happens to plan things for the rest of the members. ☺)

Today, I took our on-line membership page for a test drive. Smooth, simple acceleration into the future! No need to line up with cheques or cash in hand at the Beekeepers meeting when you can do it from the comfort of your home. A few more checks and it will be ready for you.

This year’s theme of Healthy hives continues in February as we take a look at the life cycle of our nemesis the Varroa mite with speaker, Paul Peterson, President of the Cowichan Beekeepers Association. It may feel like the winter rains will never end but the bees are already getting ready for spring.

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