President’s message (January 2024)

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A Happy New Year to everyone, and best wishes for an excellent beekeeping season this coming year! I have resolved that I won’t make the same mistakes this year; instead, I’ve decided that I’ll make new, different ones instead…

The end of 2023 was confounding. The good weather continued, and bees have been out foraging and somehow still able to bring back some pollen until just recently. But that’s a good news/bad news scenario. The good news? There was brood much later into the fall than usual, so the numbers are up and there are younger winter bees going into the coming winter weather. The bad news? They’ve been more active, so they’ve been using up more of their food stores and more likely to need supplemental feeding. So, check your hives before the coming snow hits and make sure there’s enough food in there. Add supplemental sugar cake, fondant or a candy board if in any doubt. Other bad news – with the brood lasting farther into the fall, those *@)*% mites have continued to have a place to hide from any oxalic acid and it’s too cold for formic. So, treat your hives with oxalic acid – and make sure you go back in 3 days or so to check the mite drop on your bottom boards after doing so. And the best of luck to all of us – surely we can hope for a better hive survival rate this winter?!

Because of the snow warning for Thursday, THIS MONTH’S MEETING WILL BE VIA ZOOM AND NOT IN PERSON. We are excited to have Ms. Amy Floyd of Dalan Animal Health presenting on their new bee vaccine for AFB.

And last but not least, it is time to renew your membership if you wish to continue receiving club discount cards. While your current club membership remains valid until our AGM in March, the discount cards are on a calendar year basis. They provide a 5% discount at Borden’s and Cowichan Bees, and a 10% discount at Buckerfields (only the Langford and Keating XRoad sites). So, if you’re planning on purchasing new equipment for the coming season renew your club membership early! It’s a good deal – membership is only $32 for the year! Here’s how to do it:

  • Go to:
  • In the banner at the top of the page click on ‘Club’
  • In the dropdown menu that appears, click on ‘Annual membership‘ and follow the prompts. Or,
  • You’re always welcome to pay at the meetings by cheque or cash!

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