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Events Summary for 2016

Michael Bush Conference:  The Lazy Beekeeper

In mid April, COBA sponsored a weekend conference in co-operation with Fleming College and Farms at Work.  Over 200 hundred beekeepers and interested community members joined the presentations at the lovely Frost Campus of Fleming College in Lindsay.

Michael is a long time beekeeper from Southeast Nebraska.  A professed “lazy” beekeeper, he had many experiences and ideas to share which quickly dispelled any notion of “sloth”.  Rather, it seems that Michael prefers to reflect and observe and then use as many natural methods for practicality and efficiency when working in his beeyards.

His observations have lead Michael to try many different methods for his beekeeping and he had something for everyone, from novice to advanced queen rearing for the experienced.  While we may have wondered about some of the methodology, everyone left with something to think about.

Rather than try to summarize the three day event (which would hardly do it justice), you can review Michael’s website and presentation notes at the following link:

Consider looking at his comments on:

Spring Meeting:  Tim Greer – Beekeeping for Pollination

Tim Greer is a beekeeper in the Niagara Area who has married into a fourth generation of beekeeper family.  While their main home is in the Niagara Peninsula, Tim and his family continue with a summer of tradition of moving their bees to New Liskard for pollination and better summer foraging.

But, their season does not begin there.  A successful beekeeper, supporting agriculture through pollination, Greer, moves his bees into the various fruit farms in the Niagara Peninsula in May and early June.  From there, he packs up several thousand hives and moves them to Nova Scotia for the blueberry pollination.  Once finished in the Maritimes, the bees are trucked back to Ontario but to the Greer’s New Liskard apiaries where they will spend the summer “vacationing”! Tim mentioned that it takes a team of 2 men an entire week to check and repair the electric fences around each of his beeyards to keep the bears at bay!  

Tim’s best bear story:  Tim had a yard which was obviously being ravaged by a bear but since is was enclosed with an electric fence, the question was how the bear was getting in.  Watching one evening, Tim saw two cubs come rambling over to the fence.  One cub crawled under the fence and then proceeded to push over a hive onto the electric fence allowing the mother bear to enter the yard untouched by the fence! Tim figures if the bears are organizing like this, we’re in trouble! (LOL)

When asked about the numerous travels his hives undertook, Tim commented that his family had traditionally taken the hives to New Liskard first to help with crop pollination and later to provide better foraging for the bees which the Niagara Peninsula does not offer during the summer.  Blueberry pollination offered another source of income to allow the family company more financial security.

We enjoyed Tim’s presentation and were all fascinated with his multifaceted beekeeping endeavours!

Small Hive Beetle:  It’s Coming, Just a Matter of When…

Also at the Spring Meeting, Dan, from the OBA Tech Team came to speak to us about the small hive beetle.  Good news and bad news:  Bad news, it’s coming but the good news is, maybe it won’t be as bad as we fear.  

The Small Hive Beetle is currently in the Niagara area and even with quarantines and careful monitoring, it can fly short distances, so it is inevitable that it will reach this area at some point.  

OBA’s tech team has done some of the best research on small hive beetle and is currently sharing that information both provincially and internationally.

Things we learned:

For more information on the small hive beetle, follow the Ontario Beekeepers Association website.  



See past news on our Archive Page.