BC beekeepers have made a beeline for online meetings as COVID-19 has limited the size of public gatherings.
At the provincial level, the semi-annual meeting of the BC Honey Producers Association in March took place via videoconference while its semi-annual education day was cancelled. Its monthly business meetings have since taken place via videoconference.
The province’s local beekeeping clubs have also been forced to adapt. Many local clubs typically hold monthly meetings to discuss issues of concern, share information and network. That’s changed this year.
“There were no community Open Hive days scheduled or learning socials, or lecture nights at the library this summer due to COVID-19. However, we have opted for online meetings,” says Laura Delisle of the Chilliwack Beekeeping Community.
The group typically attracts 25 to 30 people for its in-person education days, and 10 to 15 to its monthly coffee meet ups.
“We have done two Zoom meet-ups,” says Delisle. “We did have a really content-driven education day over Zoom on varroa and I feel it went well, and people took in lots of information and benefited from it.”
Victoria beekeepers have also met via Zoom.
“Our club has hosted four Zoom meetings thus far,” says Werner Grundlingh of the Capital Region Beekeepers Association. “It’s been well-received as it allows us to still provide community and member-related services during the pandemic.”