Iotron trip 2017

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On March 8th the club completed another annual trip to the Iotron facility to sterilize member owned hive equipment. In total there were 30 members brought together 296 items to send — of this there were 231 supers, several top bar hives, an observation hive and miscellaneous equipment.

This year we tried to incorporate more stacking of palleted equipment to make the unloading phase at the facility go more smoothly. This was met with mixed success as the forklifts can’t reach very far into the truck bed. Don has some ideas about manually slinging the pallets close to the cargo doors, so we already have some new ideas for next year.


There was a variety in the equipment wrapping efforts this year and is easy to spot the annual participants are as they have had more opportunity to polish their modus operandi on this. Every year we update our How-To Iotron letter with lessons learned, do’s & don’ts, how to wrap, etc. I mention the wrapping efforts because each piece of equipment sent is handled at least 11 times before it reaches your home again. The easy to identify markings, well-sealed supers, protected sharp corners all make the handling for us really streamlined. It even helped one member find her equipment when it went home in the wrong vehicle.

So this year the Cookie award goes to Ann Matheson, Bob Dalgleish and Irene Tiampo for their excellent efforts on wrapping and labelling their equipment.

The alas No Cookie For U award goes to the two members that had some outstandingly heavy, Tylenol worthy honey laden supers.

A shout out to Don Lambert and Jim Henry for volunteering to drive the cargo truck to the Port Coquitlam Iotron and coordinate the unload/reload of our equipment. This event always turns out to be about a 15 hour return trip no matter how we slice it, so thanks to you both for donating a full day make this happen.

I’d also like to thank those beekeepers generous with their time that came out a bit early to help us unload, and those that stayed to pitch in even after their own items were collected. We had the entire truck unloaded, swept and items stacked by member’s name in about 19 minutes. Our bees would be impressed.

The next club trip is proposed for March 2019, unless there is an overwhelming pitch from the members to do a run in late autumn. Next year we will revisit our effort to notify the whole membership early (February) prior to the trip date, as attempted to do so this year. Our future planning may also be influenced by a new bee equipment processing schedule from Iotron. It sounds like more clubs are participating in this option to treat equipment and the facility anticipates a need for more coordination on this front. So there may only be certain timing windows that we can take equipment in the future. We will keep you posted.

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