President’s message (May 2018)

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April gave us a couple of days to think that winter was over and the nectar season just might be under way. The last few days of the month suggested otherwise but it didn’t stop us from packing up the board games in favour of outside activities. If you have played Settlers of Catan in any of its iterations you will know the concept of the cooperative genre. It is the antithesis of Monopoly, requiring players to share their resources in order to successfully establish and build communities. With a little imagination I am sure one could modify the board and create Bees of Catan and all the roles in a hive would be relatable. Given the past year when so many keepers seem to have lost their hives to mites or mite vectored diseases, a game of Pandemic may be more apropos. You cannot win these board games unless you cooperate and share resources and you cannot win with bees unless, again, you cooperate with other apiarists to share knowledge and resources.

Whether it is a frame of brood to help kick start an overwintered queen and her remaining retinue or extra equipment to retrieve an early swarm, we are dependent on each other to be successful. Paying it forward or simply paying it back is the difference between a successful apiary and an expensive hobby. Get to know your fellow club members so that you can share your learning, opinions and resources.

I am delighted to announce that Don Lambert, a member of the club for the past four years, has agreed to fill the role of First Vice President. Don will take over the New Beekeeper’s Corner while Barry Denluck will focus on the upcoming BCHPA Conference. We will confirm Don’s new role at our May meeting.

Carolyn Hissen will help you find other club members near you. She has been working on defining our local groups for mutual support as beekeepers a collaborative model for becoming better beekeepers.

Low Impact /No Impact: a gentle reminder that you should bring your own mug so you can enjoy some tea or coffee during the social part of our meeting. We won’t have any more Styrofoam cups!

Day of the Honeybee

Tuesday, May 29th will be declared Day of the Honeybee by the BC Provincial Legislature. Honourable Lana Popham, the current Minister of Agriculture, will be announcing funding for Community Bee projects and the BCHPA would like us to make our presence known. Hives and equipment will be on display and beekeepers will be able to sell their products on-site between 11am and 2pm. If you wish to sell your own products, please be prepared with your own table and signage. Please let Carolyn Hissen know of your plans.

AFB Survey

The National Bee Diagnostic Center is collecting suspected foulbrood samples (EFB and AFB) to contribute to a Canada-wide study. But first, we need your help.

The goals of this research are to:

  1. develop better foulbrood diagnostic techniques (especially for EFB),
  2. better understand the factors contributing to active vs. benign infections, and
  3. compare the virulence of different bacterial strains as well as their susceptibility (or resistance) to antibiotics.

We hope that this will lead to faster, more reliable diagnoses and more targeted treatment strategies.

To do this, we need a broad sample of the different bacterial strains found in Canada. If you identify a colony with a suspected foulbrood infection, please consider sampling affected larvae and submitting the samples to us (instructions below). The success of the project depends on collecting an adequate number and diversity of samples to get a good representation of the population.

If you suspect you have EFB or AFB in your colonies, please sample the affected brood using these instructions. Your contributions will make this study more powerful and will help make us all better-equipped for dealing with these diseases in our apiaries.

Sincere thanks,

Patricia Wolf Veiga
Acting Manager/Diagnostic Technician
National Bee Diagnostic Centre Beaverlodge, Alberta


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