Summer holidays beckon and I am getting ready to fly the coop and head out across the province in a few weeks’ time. My travels will not involve domestic or international airports so any delays of departure or disappearance of luggage will be purely my own fault. Lurking in the background is the spectre of escalating cases of Co-vid (version one-too-many) but I have as many vaccinations as I am allowed; and each iteration of the virus appears a little less virulent, so I am willing to take that risk and venture out into the world. My bees, however, will stay put.
Will your bees get away for the summer? Will they pack their bags and head for the hills looking for fireweed? Have they been treated with thymol, Apivar, formic or oxalic acid prior to departing from your neighbourhood? Once those honey boxes go on, mite treatments will certainly be set aside with hopes of drawing in that golden elixir during the next few weeks.
This will be the year my bees stay put and skip the summer holiday at the club outyards. It’s a hard decision to make because last year my honey sales paid for my nucs going into the new season. Now my “success” for the season will be determined by how well the bees fend off the wasps in the fall and how well I treat them for mites before overwintering.
Regardless of your decision, to move your bees or not, you will find our July meeting helpful. Our New Beekeeper Corner will focus on prepping for the outyards and also what to do if your bees are staying in town.
In our regular meeting beginning at 7:00pm, you will be introduced to Rosemary Ishkanian (AKA the Willow Lady) whose farm is very close to our meeting space. Rosemary will talk about the variety of Willow plants you can grow and the pollen they offer to our bees at the very beginning of the season. We will also be talking about catching swarms and things you should be considering when you retrieve one of your own swarms.
If you are able to make it in person, we will be at 1229 Clarke Road, Brentwood Bay in the Central Saanich Seniors Center. If you can’t be there, then join us on-line (meeting invite will be sent to all members via email).