President’s message (May 2022)

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It must have been a slow week for news. The phone rang. It was a reporter from CTV. He was doing a story on the devastating impact of mites on prairie apiaries and could he talk to me about honeybees here on the island? Well sure. I will be checking my hive anyway so come on over. And a short story aired on the regional evening news. Not so much about mites in Island hives as the lingering of winter weather and the lack of flowers and nectar.

The phone rang again. It was a reporter from the Times Colonist. He had seen my interview on CTV and read my monthly update on the website. Could he talk to me about the mites and the abnormally low ambient temperature. Sure. We can chat, I said. I have to check my bees up on the roof of Harbour Air so come on over. And a short story appeared a couple of days later with some marvelous photos of the inner harbour.

The phone rang again. It was CHEK TV. The reporter had seen the story in the Times Colonist and could she come over and ask a few questions about honey bees and the currently cold weather? And is 13 degrees Celsius really the magic temperature for bees? Sure. I am just about to take a peek at the back yard hive with Katie Dragert so come on over. And a short story appeared on the evening local news about mite management and magic temperature tipping point.

The phone rang. (well, actually it was an email from Black Press). Could the reporter ask some questions about the weather and honeybees. It was time for someone else to open up their hives so Bill Cavers fielded the request.

The outcome of each interview was a very short story and I am always afraid the facts will get lost in the buzz – so to speak. Is it really 13C or is it 15C that the bees come out to play? Did the story underplay the impact of mites here on the island? All in all our work with bees is a good story and the opportunity to promote the CRBA is a good thing. We can expect the TC reporter to join our ranks one day.

Beekeepers like their namesakes are an industrious lot. If you have seen the film, “More Than Honey” directed by Markus Imhoof, you will understand our theme for our May meeting. I am really looking forward to our three panelists, Kate Fraser, Werner Grundlingh and Pat Peach, each talking about their experience building a business around honeybees. Bring your questions and enjoy the insight.

Remember we are meeting in our new location: Central Saanich Seniors Centre 1229 Clarke Road, Brentwood Bay

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