Stephen Fry put out another book this year entitled Mythos, the Greek Myths Retold. It’s where I learned that our little honeybee has a place in Greek mythology as a nymph. Her name is Melissa and she worked diligently to produce a small amphora of honey in honour of the wedding of Zeus and Hera. Like any hard worker, she was inclined to get frustrated by those who came to steal the fruits of her labours so she wished for the power to kill those who threatened her. Zeus refused and instead made her queen of her colony and gave her many workers to share the load. In a wry twist as is so often the case with Greek gods, he gave her the ability to inflict pain through her barbed stinger but at the price of death for herself.
Her Latin name is Apis Mellifera (honey bearer) or Apis Mellifica (honey maker) says Wikipedia and even there you can see her Greek origins. If you are inclined to name your queens, it would be quite appropriate to use the name, Melissa.
Thank you to Barry Denluck and all the volunteers who made the 2018 annual conference of the BC Honey Producers Association, a wonderful success. Participants gained insights to everything from contending with mites to contending with bears. As Zak Lamas explained in his session on re-queening, what you or I do once or twice in a season he will do several hundred times over and naturally, with practice comes skill – so don’t sweat it when something seems hard. Our skills around the hive will improve and, when we work with others we increase the frequency of tasks and will naturally get better. Over the three days there were many behind the scenes tasks to make it all happen but to our guests we made it look easy.
Thank you, too, to the club members who contributed items and services to the silent auction and helped us raise over $3,000 for research and club educational outreach.
In November, the Victoria East group will hold its second informal meeting to check in and compare notes as we settle hives into winter mode. I hope to see more small groups up and going in the new year giving people more opportunities to connect and benefit from our club.