President’s message (November 2019)

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I didn’t have a lot of honey this year, like so many beekeepers on the southern tip of Vancouver Island. I would like to blame it on the long winter, short summer, shorter nectar flows and diminishing fireweed where the hives were located during the summer, but I think I should simply look at myself first and decide what I can do better next year to maintain colony health, reduce the impact of mites and ensure the queens are healthy and productive.

The good news is that friends and family are keen to stay connected with their local beekeeper and a little notice to the neighbourhood resulted in a quick sale of available jars and the prospect of not having enough for me to make it through to next season. The bees are settling down in their hives and the wasps are finally diminishing and there is just enough money in the honey jar to buy a nuc next spring if necessary.

As a club we have striven with each meeting to offer information that will be helpful to beginner and intermediate beekeepers and we have usually relied on our expert members to share their knowledge. Like many meetings the best information exchange occurs after the presentations when people have a cookie in hand and time to ask their own questions in small groups or one-on-one. Our November meeting is just that kind of evening. Come and join us for our annual potluck dessert party and crow about your successes, commiserate over the “learning opportunities” and share in some food. We will set up tables and chairs in the main hall at 6:30pm on November 14th with coffee, tea and some desserts: you bring a sweet or savory treat to add to the table and some honey to taste (if you have some). We will probably add some of Bob Liptrot’s special product to the array (wink! wink!) and you may bring your own. We will also ask you to share your ideas for the coming year with the club exec members. And door prizes – did I mention door prizes. Who doesn’t need some more bee equipment? So come on out and you might win a door!

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