President’s message (December 2023)

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If there is ever an ‘off season’ part of beekeeping, we’re now entering it. But I haven’t found that there IS an ‘off season’; it’s more like ‘more busy’ and ‘less busy’ seasons. This is the season to ensure your hives are properly winterized, make up food supplements to cover their needs, and fix up the equipment you’ll need next season. A time for pleasant putzing, but not necessarily fully relaxing…

And one more issue? Check your hives for mites!!! The warmer fall weather has kept many hives more active than usual, including having brood farther into the fall. So most of the mites were still able to hide in the capped brood cells, giving a false sense of security. I, like some other members, was feeling smug in mid-September with negligible mite counts, then shocked when my mite count exploded in October as the brood dropped off and the little @$@#$%s came outta hiding. If you haven’t checked for a while, it would be a good idea to do it pronto!

There is no meeting this month. Our meetings in 2024 will, as always, be on the second Thursday of each month, so our next meeting will be:

Zoom connections will not be offered going forward, BUT – we will be recording the meetings and posting the recordings online afterwards for members that cannot attend in person. More details on this will be coming as we iron them out.

At the January meeting we will be auctioning off a manual 6 deep/12 medium frame extractor donated by Pat Peach of Cowichan Bees. It is new, with only a bit of minimal damage. We are setting the minimum bid at $50. If you cannot attend the meeting feel free to submit a bid directly to me via and your bid will be included. Only members attending the meeting, however, will be able to participate in the ‘live’ bidding.

We have received a request for a beekeeper to provide year-round management for about 8 hives on a farm in West Saanich. I have attached the advertisement below for those that may be interested.

Unfortunately, I also have sad news. Many of us know Rinah Kline and her mother Cheryl. Both have been members for years, and Rinah served ably on our Executive as well. Cheryl has developed a malignancy and the family is seeking medical care outside of Canada. For those who are interested, they have started a Go Fund Me page to cover some of the costs of seeking this treatment. We wish Cheryl all the best.

And one final thing. While your club membership lasts until our AGM in March, your membership card expires on Dec 31st. So, if you are wanting to get your merchant discounts in the New Year, you may want to renew your membership for 2024 earlier
rather than later.

I wish you all the best during this holiday season, whichever celebrations you observe. My family has always said: “We don’t have any Christmas traditions. We just do the same thing every year…”

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