President’s message (October 2019)

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I watched as Greta Thunberg sat at the table of the United Nations Climate Summit and chastised my generation. She had been the catalyst behind the march of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of young people demanding climate action. And then I watched as my generation opined in the editorial pages about the lack of action she and her peers had undertaken to solve our problems. I was reminded of a similar march I had joined as a high school student in 1971. Called out by a small group of people banded together under the banner of Greenpeace, we protested the testing of nuclear bombs on Amchitka Island off the coast of Alaska.

If you look at the turmoil of the 60’s and 70’s it was not the young baby boomers who made the legislative changes that their protesters wanted. It was the veterans, the previous generation that emerged from World War II. People like Dorothy Stowe (b. 1920) and Irving Stowe (b. 1915), founders of the Don’t Make a Wave Committee that became, in short order: Greenpeace, were the ones who called us out to protest peacefully.

So what are we going to do for Greta and her peers, the generation that will inherit this planet from us? As beekeepers, we have enjoyed the spotlight and favour, of the public because we are doing “something good”. As we head into winter and our beekeeping activities diminish with our hibernating wards, let’s consider what action we are taking to improve the world; what small steps we can take as individuals and as a club to improve the world for honey bees, wild bees and pollinators in general. We do not have to join the debate on climate versus weather and instead we can focus on actions that continue to build on the good things we do as beekeepers.

It’s October, and our bees are settling down even if the wasps are still active. It’s a long way to spring and we will have to live with what we have done right and what we may not have done so well. It’s time to reflect on the season passed and what lessons we can carry into the next year. Our New Beekeeper corner will be a Q & A session to address those questions and ideas that may still need to be developed, so come prepared to participate. Our main agenda will focus on bee nutrition and the things we need to keep in mind as the next season unfolds. I look forward to seeing you on the second Thursday of the month.

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