The centennial of the BC Honey Producers Association was not the grand celebration expected, but some 90 participants nevertheless gathered via videoconference on October 30 for the associations’ annual general meeting. This compared to about 160 attendees at last fall’s event in Prince George.
“We had a program lined up for our 100th in Abbotsford that would have knocked it out of the park,” says BCHPA second vice president Jeff Lee. “Hopefully we will get a chance to celebrate next year.”
Among the issues of concern discussed at the business meeting was the Asian giant hornet.
Despite sightings in Metro Vancouver , provincial apiarist Paul van Westendorp reported that local efforts have not resulted in sightings on southern Vancouver Island this summer after a nest was destroyed in the Nanaimo area last fall. However, a few days after the meeting the first sighting in the Fraser Valley was identified.
The association acclaimed respected bee researcher Heather Higo as president, succeeding Dawson Creek beekeeper Kerry Clark who has served in that role for six years.
Higo is project field manager on the UBC BeeCSI project, a $10 million national honey bee genome project launched last year that aims to develop a new bee health assessment and diagnosis platform.
Irene Tiempo was re-elected treasurer and also received the President’s Award. The Victoria-area beekeeper and honey judge was recognized for her long service on the BCHPA executive.
Canadian Honey Council representative Stan Reist of Flying Dutchman Bees in Nanaimo, was returned by acclamation. In his report, Reist recalled the challenges beekeepers faced importing queens and bee packages this spring to replace colonies lost through the winter.
Providing local stock to the industry is the focus of four webinars BCHPA is hosting in November. The online presentations replace the popular education days that usually accompany the annual and semi-annual business meetings.
The webinars will discuss a morning in the bee yard, the potential for large-scale nucleus production, sustainable beekeeping with a focus on queens and nucleus production and innovative products and marketing.