President’s message (November 2020)

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I have started this update several times and each time found that I had to wait. I had to wait for another U.S. state report on the votes counted. It seemed important to know what direction the mail-in ballots were leaning and I had to know the outcome of the U.S. election – as if for some reason it had a direct impact on our club. I was clearly not alone and when the decision became undeniable, if not fully corroborated by counts in every state, I breathed just a little deeper and thought maybe next year will indeed be better. But as beekeepers, don’t we always say that?

The honey is in the cupboard and the bees are hopefully settled into their winter hives. Through this bee season we have managed to stay connected with our fellow beekeepers. We started the year meeting in the hall at Gordon Head United Church and then with the emergence of Covid-19 we tested the Zoom format of meetings. As the weather improved and our cases subsided we were able to gather in small groups and compare notes and trade ideas. Now the Covid curve is swinging upward and the weather has blustered and blown, leading us to gather on-line again. We can expect to continue in this mode for a few more months or even the entire bee season in 2021. Like our bees we will hunker down and hold until we can once again venture further afield. We won’t meet in large groups for a while and instead will continue to meet virtually.

In recognition of our current format of meeting we are reducing our membership fees for 2021 from the current rate of $32.00 to $22.00. That reduced rate will still include access to info on our website, member rental of vaporizers and extractors and access to the outyard. Monthly meetings on-line or in small groups will also be scheduled so that you will continue to get your questions answered and receive guidance from more seasoned beekeepers.

For your information, Gordon Head United Church property has been sold. Like other periodic renters using the building we have cleared out any club materials and surrendered keys as we await next steps. The owner expects to offer space again but for the moment we will be patient and see what terms are offered and consider other locations once we are able to return to pre-pandemic formats.

I laughed! I cried! It changed my life! That’s what people said when they became part of the bee club executive. If you have a couple of hours per month to commit to the club then consider joining us as a director at large. E-mail me or any of the executive members to ask questions or put your name on the executive mailing list.

While it may be time to put your feet up and sip on a cup of mead, I am sure you have given thought to what you will do next year. To help you get started we have scheduled our annual trip to the Iotron in Burnaby for Monday, February 22, 2021. That will give you plenty of time to ready boxes, boards and frames for sterilization and house your new packages and nucs that will arrive in March, April and May. Take a deep breath. Winter has only just begun.

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