One sweater, now with pulls; one umbrella, a little leaky; one door frame; a coffee table book slightly mauled and one pierced ear; the cost of a Springer Spaniel puppy; a tail that goes a mile a minute and brown eyes waiting to greet me: priceless. Could this update have been written sooner? Perhaps. And could e-mails receive earlier responses? Possibly. But the routines of life have been irrevocably rearranged with the arrival and adoption into my family of this rapidly growing black and white creature, named Roger. He gets me outside. He slows me down. I can take in the air, the trees and the small changes occurring in the neighbourhood. I am now reaping the benefits living in the present twice over because the bees are starting to fly and multiply and again. I am taking in the air, the trees and the small changes occurring in the hive and in the neighbourhood.
April through its on-again off-again rains still afforded opportunities to get into the hive and confirm the beginnings of a new season and yes, new swarms. A small group gathering in my backyard brought together eight like-minded beekeepers from Gordon Head and Oak Bay to compare notes, questions and answers on the issues we were all facing. Along with a similar Victoria group hosted by Mark Reuten and others that have meet informally on the peninsula, the club is developing a series of local connections for club members and effectively mentoring us all. We will meet as time allows and I hope we will see more small groups established to build the social connections and the knowledge of beekeeping.
At the local level, Shirley Richardson will give us a summary of her findings after calling all members about their overwintering successes and, at the national level, I am looking forward to an update from Stan Reist, who sits on the BC Honey Producers Association and the Canadian Honey Council. You can see how our grassroots connections ultimately connect into a national picture of honey, pollination and ultimately, agriculture.
I am also looking forward to our presentations of Inventions and Contraptions; the things that people have built or modified to help them with their bees. The creativity, ingenuity and frugality (i.e. what can you do for free) always amaze me.
Lastly, I want to place the spotlight on three people who have been working away in the background on a very important project: our website. You may have already seen the outcome of work that has been done by Peter Willis, Chris Berghuis and Werner Grundlingh. Peter has kept our website moving forward, updating material, managing our host platform and email connections. Chris tinkered and brought to the table the potential of what we could do. And Werner brought those ideas to life. Each will point to the other as key to the success of our website and all need to realize they were instrumental in the change. At our meeting, and the Internet gods on our side, Werner will walk us through some of the new website functions and where we can go from here.
The days of May are already racing by. I trust that the reestablishment of your hives will help you to slow down and appreciate the moment as well.