President’s message (October 2017)

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I am counting down the days to a cruise along the St. Lawrence River to see the fall colours. I don’t tell you this to engender jealousy (well, perhaps I do) but rather to point out that the trees will not be changing colour until the temperature falls dramatically from the current 25C to 30C that Quebec residents are experiencing. Today feels like a summer day and temperatures spilling into October create a great deal of angst amongst beekeepers because the activity of our bees does not match the volume of available forage for those same bees. There is not much more we can do than continue to feed heavy syrup and pollen into the hives and hope that the queen will continue to lay winter brood that will make it to February and March of next year.

We had a great response to the launch of our sub-groups at the September meeting and now actually need to split one of them into two smaller groups so that people can connect with each other. Bob Wadsworth and a couple of other people are working to get the email and address lists together and communicated out to those who signed up. If you missed that meeting you can still get your name on the list for your area when you see Bob at the next meeting.

Our October meeting is all about surviving the winter months – whatever they look like. Predictions are already suggesting that we will get snow again and we will have to pay attention to insulation, ventilation and how we shelter our hives during the months of October through February. Our distinguished panel emceed by Tara will give you all sorts of ideas as to how to weather the weather.

Thank you to Karen Grundlingh who started the local beekeeper Facebook page and has added articles and links to topics that are of interest to us all. If you are into social media (and who is not?) and would like to help with keeping the page fresh and topical, then please connect with Karen at our October meeting.

Thank you to Bob Wadsworth for leading the way on the creation of a club hive. We have gotten approval to place our hives in Central Saanich but now need to confirm that the forage will be sufficient to feed them through the season. Right now we are not sure what the gardeners are planning in terms of crops and we need to know that before we move ahead with investment in hives. Stay tuned.

The BCHPA annual conference is just around the corner and will happen on October 27th to 29th in Kelowna. It is a great opportunity to hear from national and international experts – and of course get a feel for what we will be hosting in 2018.

With winter weather catching up to our bees it’s time to top up the hives with sugar and candy boards, plan for the coming year and relax. Bring your favourite dessert and a jar or some of your freshly bottled honey to our annual potluck dessert party on Thursday, November 9th at 7pm. Our honey goes to the Young Parents Support Network and they use it to teach young mums (and dads) how to cook nutritious meals. Each jar you donate will give you an entry into our draw prize for the evening.

I will miss the October meeting knowing that you are in capable hands. Bon chance avec tes abeilles.

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