Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Sessions for new beekeepers at club meeting

We've had a bunch of people come out to the club after visiting our booth at Seedy Saturday. So we are going to be doing a special session for new beekeepers. Several of the experienced beekeepers will be bringing in equipment for you to work with. That way you can get hands on with the stuff you've only read about so far.

No bees in the sessions, though!

If you need directions to the meeting, click here.

The next meeting is Thursday, April 9, at 7:30.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Silent Auction Thank Yous

Special thanks to Heather for helping get everything organized.

Thank you to the businesses that supported us, as well:

Thanks to all who donated items and to all those who bought, of course!

Hey, who wants to take this on for next year?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Randy Oliver at BCHPA

Good news from the executive meeting tonight: our keynote speaker for the BCHPA annual meeting will be Randy Oliver from scientificbeekeeping.com

His site is great, so I am really excited to hear him and meet him in person.

The BCHPA, by the way, is the BC Honey Producers Association.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Vancouver Island Quarantine

If you want to start beekeeping on Vancouver Island or the Gulf Islands please remember that there is a quarantine on importing bees and used beekeeping equipment onto the Islands.

This is really, really important.

The Mainland has a number of diseases and pests that do not exist here. Even more importantly, they have some of the same things (varroa mite, for example) but in resistant forms. That is, the mites, the diseases are developing resistance to the treatments that are available. Those things are not resistant on the Island.

The key problems we have keeping bees are the direct result of someone breaking the quarantine. Take varroa as the example again. It arrived in the late 90s and has absolutely wreaked havoc. At a minimum, it has forced most beekeepers to medicate hives with products that cost money and that we have to manage carefully to keep out of the human food supply.

There are 10,000 bee colonies on the Island. Pretty much every one of them needs Apistan treatment and fumigillan, spring and summer. The Apistan alone must total over $120,000 annually. Because someone ignored the quarantine.

Stan Reist, the president of BCHPA, was at our club meeting on Wednesday last. He announced that three packages of bees from New Zealand had been burned in Vancouver that afternoon by the Ministry of Agriculture.

In addition, there is a beeyard on the Island which has stock imported last year from the Interior. Apparently, it was brought here by someone who got bees and used equipment, unaware that it was not safe and not legal. The beeyard is being monitored for European Foulbrood and will likely be destroyed as soon as it is established whether the bees are infected or not. Folks, this is really serious. We REALLY DON'T NEED ANY MORE DISEASES brought to the Island. And it is up to you.

There are good breeders on the Island. There are people who can safely and legally import queens. Buy from them.

The stock we have on the Island is well adapted to life here and they are a well of genetic diversity that we should be striving to maintain.

If you are looking for bees, only obtain them from here!

Thursday, March 12, 2009


$683 raised! We have the $ for a projector.

Thanks, everyone.

Man, I'm tired.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Silent Auction -- March 12 meeting

At $25 a year, CRBA membership is the deal of the century. Beekeeping is something you don't want to learn from reading a book! A club or a mentor are highly recommended for beginners. Highly!

But that low, low membership fee doesn't leave us tons of money to do all we'd like.

So, it's time for a silent auction. Proceeds will go to buying a projector for the club. The great speakers we get will soon be able to give great PowerPoint presentations, as well!

Time: 7:30, Thursday, March 12
Place: St. Aidan's Church, 3703 St Aidan's Street (map)

And the items up for grabs...

From supportive local businesses:
  • $25 gift certificate from Pizzeria Prima Strada, authentic Neapolitan pizza in Victoria (best in town, in my humble opinion)
  • Stuff from Bees 'n Glass... details below (Bees 'n Glass are Larry and Marilyn for those new to the club)
  • And valued at $150... a limited edition print by James Bay artist Kirsten Brand! This print is #11 of 50, entitled "Sounds of Victoria". It is 11x14 on rag paper and is gorgeous. Bring your cheque book on Thursday!
  • 10 Pierco (guaranteed for 10 years!) Dadant-sized foundations from Flying Dutchman (thanks, Stan and Cheryl!)

  • Hot pads -- brand new, handmade, matching fabric holders for pot handles or to set hot dishes on. (Thanks, Katie D. and Katie's mom.)
  • Bottled water stand and carafe -- and maybe a painting (Thanks, Adaline and Alan!)
  • A small framed print of Montmartre (Thanks, John!)
  • A bee-themed jar holder/display thingy (Thanks again, John!)
  • Stained glass print (thanks, Shirley!)
  • Atlas of World War II (Thanks, Bill S)
  • Audio book "Marley and Me"... great for road trips! (Thanks, Adaline and Alan!)

  • Danish bee jacket/veil... yes, from Denmark! (courtesy of Bees 'n Glass)
  • 5 honey buckets... empty, but they hold 30 lbs when full (thanks again, Bill)
  • roll of labels for large honey jar lids (thanks, Bill! Seeing a trend here?)
  • a set of 4 tie-down straps (thanks, Joan!)
More beekeeping
  • My bet for the most hotly contested item: free extracting of 30 frames (Thanks, Brian!)
  • A deep super, with 10 frames (thanks again, Brian)
  • A venerable old smoker, veteran of a thousand encounters with stinging insects!
  • 6 swarm protection cages (thanks, Heinz!)
  • 2 lbs of pollen for feeding bees... selling for $18/lb at Babes (thanks, Frank)
And more beekeeping
  • 10 complete Dadant (medium) frames (thanks, Larry and Marilyn)
  • inner top cover for a hive (keep yer hands off, it's mine!)
  • a "Beekeeper Only" parking sign (thanks again to Larry and Marilyn)
  • beekeeping gloves, exchangeable for the right size (thanks Grant!)
Bees, but not honey bees
  • bumblebee houses by Bruce Lockhart... these things flew off the table at Seedy Saturday at $25 a piece... Garden stores charge up to $75 for similar ones... just sayin', is all.
  • Nesting block for blue orchard mason bees... with 25 cocoons to get your pollination fleet going... and you can call Bill Spriggs for advice! (thanks, Bill, and for the inner cover, too)

  • coloured deep wax foundation, great for making rolled candles (thanks, Bill)
  • bottle of blackberry wine (thanks, Wil!)
  • CD of French baritone Marc Boucher, singing the songs of Theodore Dubois (thanks, John)

Capital Region Beekeepers Association

The Capital Region Beekeepers Association is a club in Victoria, BC, Canada.

We have about 100 members, who get together monthly for talks and demonstrations on beekeeping. We are a friendly, relaxed bunch who are happy to help out beginners. Our members have a combined zillion years of beekeeping experience.

Most of us are hobbyists with under 10 hives, but we also have a couple of commercial beekeepers who attend, as well as several former bee inspectors for BC and Alberta.