Bzzz you interested in beekeeping?
Oct 27, 2013 / 11:36 am
Kelowna is abuzz this weekend as our local bee club is hosting the annual BCHPA or BC Honey Producer’s Association Conference.
Held at the Best Western Kelowna it is a chance for all those bee enthusiasts to meet, share, discuss and promote everything bee and honey related.
“These people come from all over the province, people who want to know more about the trade, the craft,” shares Chris Boulanger, Conference Director and President of the local bee club.
Boulanger explains that the art and craft of bee keeping has evolved over the years and now encompasses a wide range of experts and knowledge bee keepers can invest in.
“Bee keeping today has evolved a lot from what it used to be and mostly because of the pests and the diseases that the bees are fighting. So when you decide to become a bee keeper today you decide to become almost like a chemist in a way,” says Boulanger.
And chemistry issues have knocked bee numbers down worldwide.
“Worldwide bee numbers are dwindling. In the states the number of hives that they have now is about half the amount that they had ten years ago. A lot of the big beekeepers are going out of business because they are losing their hives to diseases and pests,” shares Boulanger.
He says the investment and discovery into what is causing our bees to die is still in progress and it seems there may be multiple sources to our bee decline.
“It is a real mystery to find the exact cause of the bee decline. It seems to be a synergistic reaction between different situations out there. For example some say its because of the mites, others say no it’s the chemicals we use on the crops, so I think the consensus is going towards it’s a mix of everything including global warming,” explains Boulanger.
He assures the bee numbers in the Okanagan have not dwindled nearly as much as in the United States, mentioning how vital bees our to the Okanagan’s many orchards success.
The Bee Conference also gives them an opportunity to spread awareness about dwindling bee numbers and fundraise for research into the cause.
Boulanger says the public's awareness on this issue has increased dramatically which has significantly helped fundraising on this issue.
If you are a bee enthusiast or perhaps want to know more about the world of bees or honey producers, today (Sunday) is the day to attend the conference.
Starting at 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. there are lectures open to the public geared and those new to the bee world entitled, ‘So you want to become a bee keeper?’
Boulanger says you come, sit down, watch, listen and you may even win a hive at the end the lecture.
“If you think you may be interested, but you are not sure, come see us at 1 or 2 pm and we will have a presentation where we show you all about bee keeping,” says Boulanger.
“Also the trade show is open Sunday, so if anyone is thinking of buying beekeeping equipment it is a great opportunity because there are all sorts of vendors in there and some discounts to be had as well,” adds Boulanger.
The BCHPA Conference is being held at the Best Western Hotel in Kelowna.
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