Alanna put out the word. The Swan Lake bees are gone! And the hunt was on for the swarm. A little story in the newspaper generated a large amount of interest from the public, getting many to gaze skyward in search of the errant swarm and to pick up the phone and call with potential sightings of the fugitives. While other swarms were found across greater Victoria, the Swan Lake Swarm had gone off the grid and settled into a new home with new names and a new address.
It is rewarding to have such public support for our bees, and when they decide to lift off and seek a new home, the club tries to contact the nearest beekeeper to allow them to retrieve their swarm and set up new quarters for them. Busy jobs, busy weekends and hives not identified on our club maps mean that some keepers will lose half their hive with each swarm and others will gain a new hive when they successfully retrieve it. Make sure your hives are registered with the Ministry of Agriculture and with the club so we can help you keep your bees.
Why is the focus on honeybees so important? I have said to others that they represent a bellwether indicator of the health of our own community. Trying to comprehend global climate change, loss of habitat and loss of species begets the response: “What can I do? I am only one person”. Planting seeds, picking up someone else’s trash, convincing homeowners to leave the bumblebees where they are small but important steps. You are part of an important movement!
New members may not know of our life members. Bill Spriggs is one of those who has been involved with the CRBA since the 1970’s and has shared his knowledge with club members for decades. He cannot get out to the club meetings these days so I ask you to hold him in your heart as he deals with declining health.
No official date yet for the set-up of the outyards because they are somewhat bloom dependent but you should be thinking about whether you will take your hive to the forestry roads near China Beach and how you will get it there. People may buy up to 5 tags (one per hive) at a cost of $7.50). We will have four locations fenced and ready for this year that will accommodate up to 90 hives in total.