President’s message (February 2020)

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A new grandchild has arrived in the family named Emmaline Odette (after a suffragette and a spy) happily distracting me from winter rains. Excitement has swept over the extended family with her arrival and now my wife, (Nanna to the grandchildren) takes on added responsibilities. Some new furniture to acquire, clothes to sort through from her older brother, new bottles and nursing supplies to make sure this new member of the family has everything needed to grow. My role as Papa is a lot smaller and generally I am obliged to keep quiet and out of the way.

In February it is hard to conceive the notion of emerging hives given the torrential rains delivered by “atmospheric rivers” – an apt term in light of the January wash and rinse our coastal landscape has received. And yet we, as beekeepers have work to do too. Getting equipment ready for the trip to the Iotron; scraping and painting boxes, bottom boards and lids; and checking on the eating habits of our bees already emerging for cleansing flights; and making sure mite loads are not also escalating with the arrival of new bees. Welcome to another bee season.

Iotron Trip – Monday March 16, 2020

Alanna has confirmed the date, and Don and Bill are ready to drive, so people will be packing the truck Sunday, March 15th and then they will be able to pick up their treated gear on Monday evening. For those wishing to sign up, send an email to or check the club website for details.

Bee Courses

Don Lambert will be offering his first Introduction to beekeeping at UVic. First 2 weeks of March and will entail about 6-8 hours of classroom study, hands-on opportunities with field-trips to active bee yards, and follow-up support.

Bob Liptrot will be offering:

  • Intermediate Beekeepers Course, Tuesdays and Saturdays, March 24 to April 4
  • Intro to Beekeeping Course, Tuesdays and Saturdays, April 14 to 25

Barry Denluck will be offering:

  • Intro to Beekeeping running six evenings beginning on Monday, March 2nd and a second Intro course starting on Monday, April 20th. Check his website for more course dates and times.

Annual General Meeting on March 12th

Our annual general meeting will be part of our regular meeting on March 12th, so that means that the call for nominations for the club executive will happen at our February Meeting. Here are the rough drafts for volunteer opportunities you may be interested in:

  • SECRETARY (two year term)
    1. Voting member of Executive
    2. Act in the absence of the President
    3. In collaboration with the executive team, plan and coordinate monthly Association meetings
    4. Record and publish the minutes of the monthly Association meetings, executive meetings and Annual General Meeting
    5. Liaison with provincial government to maintain the Association’s not-for-profit status
    6. Maintain and communicate the Association’s constitution and by-laws
    7. Represent the club externally
  • MEMBERSHIP SECRETARY (two year term)
    1. Voting member of Executive
    2. Record and track the status of members of the Association
    3. Act in the absence of the President
    4. In conjunction with the Treasurer, collect annual membership fees and out yard fees
    5. Update and maintain the membership registration form and name tags for members
    6. In collaboration with the executive team, plan and coordinate monthly Association meetings
    7. Welcome all new members with Association information and related materials
    8. Greet members at monthly general meetings
  • The CRBA performs a service to members and the general public by catching and re-hiving swarms. When members have identified to the Association where their hives reside, swarm catchers will make the effort to see that the swarm is returned to the owner. If the owner cannot be contacted then the catcher can keep the found swarm. The benefit to the general public is that swarms are caught and any fears allayed and they can receive assistance when bumblebees or other pollinators need to be relocated.
    • Swarm Committee Chair
      1. Maintain the list of phone responders and list of available swarm catchers
      2. Rotate daily list of phone responders to ensure the swarm line is answered consistently and action taken to respond to callers’ needs
      3. Educate club members and swarm catchers regarding the policy on catching, returning or keeping swarms
      4. Liaison with municipal fire departments to keep them informed of the committees services and telephone line
    • Swarm Catchers
      1. Attend to honeybee swarms and catch and re-hive them
      2. Educate the general public about the low risk and benign nature of bees in a swarm
      3. Identifying wasp nests and advising homeowners
      4. Identifying Bumble Bee nests and relocate if possible

Seedy Saturday – Victoria Conference Centre – Feb 15

It’s on again – all things seedy and sustainable with presentations and workshops Saturday February 15th from 10am to 4pm. Tickets are $8 at the door.

Newcombe Hall – The Royal BC Museum – Feb 22

The museum is hosting a free one-day session on Saturday February 22nd about bees and other pollinators beginning at 9:00am. Participants are welcome to come for all or parts of the day. Please check with the museum for more information.

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