President’s Message – December 2017

From the President:

What an extraordinary convention: BeeBetter Kelowna 2017!  I think the host Kelowna Beekeepers, led by Dan Mawson and his team of organizers did a marvellous job. The venue was great, the weather cooperated: mostly bare and dry roads at the end of October is no guarantee. The event was made even grander (over 320 registered, the venue sold out) by the Canadian Honey Council CHC and Canadian Association of Professional Apiculturists CAPA meeting adjacent to (and sometimes overlapping) the BCHPA. With many of Canada’s top apiculturists attending, the research symposium, poster session and Sunday workshops were amazing, though I heard the phrase “like drinking from a firehose” several times.  Keynote speakers Randy Oliver (ScientificBeekeeping.com), Jerry Hayes (Monsanto) and Ian Steppler (Manitoba keeper of 1500 hives with single brood chambers, requeening in mid summer) were greatly appreciated.  At the banquet, Life Member awards were presented to Liz and Terry Huxter, for their exemplary contributions to the association and to beekeeping over many years, and an announcement was made of the President’s Award to Ted Hancock, who unfortunately had to be home for critical timing of construction (maybe we’ll hear more at the Semi-annual meeting March 9 +10). BC’s business meeting reviewed the initiatives undertaken by the board over the past year (one to be remembered for the wildfires that affected such a large area of the province through the summer). BCHPA’s priorities and hopes were summarized in a meeting (reported on our website) the board had with Minister of Agriculture Lana Popham. We thought the dialogue was reasonable and mutually respectful, and we hope for good things to come from the relationship. The AGM business meeting prior to the education days had larger participation than I recall from previous years. The association finds itself in a good financial position. We have a greater capability and are doing more; with the same membership fee as several years ago, we continue to rebate to branches a portion of their members’ fees as well as providing them with valuable insurance coverage for Directors and Officers. We have created a research committee to guide our involvement and funding of research topics considered important in the long term, urgent in the short term and achievable using partnerships and leveraging our resources. The first project is already arranged: a partnership with National Bee Diagnostic Centre, to use new technologies for a modern perspective on foulbrood diseases.  Minutes of the meeting are printed in this BeesCene and in due course, education days’ presentations will be posted to our website. Do you support these initiatives? Send any ideas to the executive, or pass them on through your regional representative. We can now address challenges more directly related to beekeeping.  The Certified Instructor Program of our association has trained over 50 instructors throughout the province, enabling authentic instruction in introductory beekeeping. You board has addressed honey labelling, appropriate regulation for honey safety, farm classification and several other issues of particular concern to larger commercial beekeepers, but we would like to do more. We are looking for more engagement with that sector of our community. If you identify with that part of our association, please bring your ideas to the table. Thank You to those attendees who completed the online survey after the event! Your comments and suggestions will be considered in planning for future meetings.

Bees be with you, and thanks to those who introduced yourself and gave me your views in Kelowna.

Kerry Clark, President

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