Planet Bee Varroa and winter losses Value added on

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                                   May 2005
                                   Vol 18 # 2


                  Canadian Honey Council

                        Planet Bee
                        Planet Bee
          Varroa and winter losses
           Varroa and winter losses
       Value added on the prairies
       Value added on the prairies
                Fred Rathje award
                Fred Rathje award
                    Plants for Bees
                    Plants for Bees
                       and more…
                       and more…
 Bad Beekeeping
                       by Ron Miksha

           (a book about really, really,
               really BAD beekeeping)

           From the prairie badlands
           of southern Saskatchewan
             to the palmetto swamps
                 of Florida, this is the
                 story of a beekeeper
                   and his family who
                survived drought, low
                  prices and Canadian
           politics, to make a million
                     pounds of honey.

Available from Ron Miksha
    $30 CAN or $25 US
Membership Application
                                                                                            February 2005 Vol 18 #2
                                                                                                                               The Chinook Honey
                                                                                                                            Company displays its
  Address                                                                                                                  wares in its store near
                                                                                                                              Okotoks, Alberta.

                                                                                            Table of Contents
  Province                                                                   Postal Code
                                                                                            3 Canadian Honey Council Activities
  Phone                                                                                         Heather Clay

                                                                                            4 Letters to the Editor
                                                                                            5 President’s Report
                                                                                                Alain Moyen

  Visa #                                                                                    5 Provincial Reports
  Expiration date
                                                                                            6 Planet Bee - Celebrating the World of
                                                                                              the Honeybee
Membership Fees                                                                                 Heather Clay
 • Hobbyist                                          Please make cheque pay-
   (1 to 49 Colonies) ...$50                        able to the Canadian Honey
                                                                                            8 Canadian Honey Council Board of Directors
 • Small commercial                                     Council and mail to:                14 Going value-added on the prairies
   (50 to 299) .............$100                    CANADIAN HONEY COUNCIL
                                                                                                John Knowles
 • Large commercial                                     Suite 236, 234-5149
   (300 +) ....................$200
                                                       Country Hills Blvd NW                15 What happens when Yuppies grow old?
                                                        Calgary, AB T3A 5K8
 • Industry ................$250                                                                Glenn Cheater
                                                         Fax 403-547-4317
                                                                                            16 Varroa and Winter Losses
Join the CHC and support beekeeping in Canada                                                   Jean-Pierre Chapleau
  CHC is the national organization of the beekeeping industry. It
  is the vital link between beekeeper associations, governments                             17 The Agri-tourist Would you know her
  and provincial apiculturists. Beekeepers in business can claim                               if you saw her?
  CHC membership and travel to the annual meeting as eligible                                   Sharon Stollery
  business expenses for tax purposes.
  Editor ................................................................... Heather Clay
                                                                                            16 Cultivating Agritourism: Tools and Techniques
  Design and Production ................................. Rudy Gelderblom
                                                                                               for Building Success
                                                                                                Canadian Farm Business Management Council
  Hivelights is published quarterly (Feb./May/Aug./Nov.) by the
  Canadian Honey Council. Hivelights goes free of charge to                                 18 Plants for bees - Pea-tree or Peashrub
  members of the CHC. Non-member subscriptions are welcomed:                                    Douglas Clay
  $30/year (U.S.) outside Canada. Deadline for submissions: six
  weeks prior to publication (i.e. Dec. 15th for Feb. issue). A free                        20 Canadian Bee Research Fund
  sample copy will be sent on request. The opinions expressed in                                Rhéal Lafrenière
  the articles printed in Hivelights are those of the authors, and
                                                                                            23 Fred Rathje Trophy
  do not imply the endorsement of the Canadian Honey Council
  for the promotion of any product, goods or services mentioned                             24 New Professor of Apiculture
  in this publication unless specifically stated.                                                Ernesto Guzman

                                                                                            26 Classifieds

                     Publication Mail Agreement number                                                                                   Illustrations
                                                                                            Cover photography .................................. Rudy Gelderblom
                                  40031644                                                  Directors ................................................... Billy Burgos
                               ISSN 1489-730X                                               Planet Bee ................................................. Ed Nowek
                    Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to                              Cherie Andrews ....................................... Rudy Gelderblom
                        CANADIAN HONEY COUNCIL                                              Cherie & Art Andrews .............................. Chinook Honey Company
                 Suite 236, 234 -5149 Country Hills Blvd. NW                                Caragana blossom, honey bee ................ Luke Marshall
                             Calgary, AB T3A 5K8                                            Caragana shelterbelt ................................. USDA-NRCS PLANTS database
                                                           Wink Howland.......................................... Paul van Westendorp
                                                               Ernesto Guzman ....................................... Martin Schwalbe
                               (403) 208 7141                                               Agri-tourist cartoon .................................. Rudy Gelderblom
                                                                                                              HiveLights                  May 2005                             1
A reliable partner
Beekeepers have had to broaden their management
skills even further with increasing challenges by
diseases and pests.
We can help by supplying you with the information
you need to make informed decisions about disease prevention
and the role of pharmaceuticals in your management practices.

                                                               Suppliers of
                                                          Oxytet-25 Soluble
                                                                Formic Acid
                                                                  Bee Repel
                                                             FoulBrood Mix

                        403 652-4441
Canadian Honey Council Activities                                                            One popular recommendation is that
                                                                                             the provincial associations include
                                                    Heather Clay, National Coordinator CHC   CHC membership with the cost of
                                                                                             provincial membership. The offer
                                                                                             from CHC is that if every beekeeper
                                                                                             becomes a member, the CHC member-
                                                                                             ship fee will be reduced from current
Honey Promotion                                                                              level and spread the cost of running
                                                  a long term plan. Ideally we               an association to be shared by all
Most beekeepers are aware                         should have a check-off in                 beekeepers. The new arrangement
of the need for promo-                            place to fund marketing and                would guarantee that every beekeeper
tion of the quality image                         promotion, however packers                 receives a copy of Hivelights magazine
of Canadian honey. There                          and producers have tradi-                  and everyone has a voice at the annual
has been lengthy discus-                          tionally been resistant to a               meeting. This idea will be debated at a
sion among the Canadian                           mandatory levy.                            facilitated meeting in October.
Honey Council (CHC)
                                                  Annual Meeting
directors about the best way                                                                 Nova Scotia has agreed to move to this
to proceed on a promotion                           The Saskatchewan                         new membership structure and will be
program. We would like to raise the      Beekeepers Association hosted our                   the first in a pilot project to offer this
consumption of honey, particularly       annual meeting and they did a fantas-               new concept to their members. This
Canadian honey. At the same time we      tic job. The teamwork and hospitality               issue of Hivelights is being mailed to
would like to educate the consumer       made this a great meeting. Our outgo-               every member of NSBA. We hope that
about the quality of 100% Canadian       ing CHC president, Wink Howland                     other associations will decide to follow
honey. Large volumes of imported         received the Fred Rathje trophy. One                this example.
honey are coming into the US and         person was overheard to say that it is
                                                                                             CheckMite Registration
Canada at a time when honey con-         too bad we wait till someone is leaving
sumption is in decline, causing the      to tell them what a great job they did.             The Pest Management Regulatory
price of honey to decrease on the        Wink worked very hard on behalf of                  Agency (PMRA)has granted the
world market. It is time to market the   beekeepers and kept the CHC going                   Canadian Honey Council, repre-
healthy aspects of domestic honey and    through some tough times. The direc-                senting all the provinces in Canada,
position Canadian honey at the higher    tors and I would like to thank him.                 Emergency Use Registration of
end of the honey market.                 The directors also made a special pre-              CheckMite +TM (coumaphos). In
                                         sentation to me for “going beyond the               previous years each province has
One of the suggestions is to use a       call of duty.” That was a very nice ges-            applied individually for Emergency
Canadian logo for honey that is 100%     ture and genuinely made my day.                     Use Registration of CheckMite +
Canadian. Under the current structure                                                        TM. With the spread of Apistan
of CHC it would not be possible for                                                          (fluvalinate) resistant varroa mites to
CHC to be involved in both issuing       The CHC has a long history of repre-                most provinces in Canada, the task of
and auditing the use of a logo. We       senting industry in working with the                preparing separate applications has
would need to seek a third party audi-   federal government and liaising with                become an expensive exercise. The
tor. This can be done through the new    provincial associations on matters of               PMRA agreed to allow one applica-
Canadian Bee Industry Safety Quality     importance to beekeepers. We look                   tion from a national body (the CHC)
and Traceability (CBISQT) program        after a large number of national issues             which will be applicable to all prov-
which is currently under development     on behalf of the beekeeping industry                inces in Canada.
by the CHC assisted by funding from      but there is an ongoing problem of
Agriculture and AgriFood Canada.         under funding. We have no office and                 The application was prepared by the
                                         only one fulltime staff member. There               CHC and included documentation
In the meantime a marketing company,     is no money for travel, and no means                from provincial apiarists along with
Karo Design, has been chosen to assist   of providing services for marketing,                supporting letters from each Minister
with the development of a Canadian       research or promotion. Since member-                of Environment and the manufacturer
honey promotion campaign. They are       ship is voluntary there is no stable                of the chemical, Bayer CropScience.
developing a marketing strategy for      source of income to assure the services             This is the first time that co-operative
our industry and we will be seeking      that beekeepers demand. The only way                approach has been taken. It is a big
funding from federal government,         that CHC can function effectively is                step towards helping our industry.
packers and producers to help imple-     through a levy system or alternatively              The Emergency Use of Checkmite
ment the program. This will help on      if every member of the provincial asso-             was approved by PMRA for use from
the short term but does not provide us   ciations became a member of CHC.                    March 16 to December 31, 2005
                                                                                    HiveLights            May 2005                    3
Letters to the Editor                                                               Steve Verheul, AAFC’s Chief Agriculture Negotiator,
                                                                               whom I spoke with at the Winnipeg WTO informa-
                                                                               tion meeting that Keystone Ag Producers sponsored in
                                                                               Winnipeg in February says that we can prevent this honey
Crisis In Our Honey Industry
                                                                               from entering Canada .If beekeepers were to have a man-
                                                                               datory registration and inspection system in place with a
                       Henry Hiemstra, Clovermead Apiaries, Aylmer Ontario     national standard that imported honey would have to meet
                                                                               those same standards.

T   here is a crisis in our industry in that the world whole-
    sale price for honey has dropped below the cost of pro-
duction for us in Canada. Even though Canada produces
                                                                                    All we would need to stop this honey is to have honey
                                                                               house inspection by CFIA and the business registered to
                                                                               the same agency .Currently, all commercial beekeepers that
a surplus annually we are now importing cheaper foreign                        sell direct to the USA have a producer / grader license and
honey. In order for the public to distinguish between                          are inspected annually by the CFIA .
imports and domestic honey, we should print a distinct                              We have done this for over twenty years in our own
Canadian label that would double as a seal of quality. This                    operation and it is a relatively painless hour spent with a
seal of quality would mean that the :                                          knowledgeable inspector who is there to help us produce
 • grade is as stated                                                          the best quality honey that we are capable of exporting.
 • flavour has not been altered due to overheating                                   American beekeepers are also looking at beekeeper
 • creamed honey is made according to the Dyce method                          registration as well. Presently, there are individual State
 • contents are 100% pure Canadian honey                                       authorities that are doing honey house inspection, but it is
     To guarantee that the contents of the honey containers                    not being done in every State . In which case, we are ahead
are as labeled, random checks would have to be made by an                      of them for the time being because the USDA does not do
independent lab. The funds for this would come from the                        honey house inspections. This is an important point because
sale of the labels.                                                            if they were already compliant and we were not then guess
     Since this is a national crisis it should be the respon-                  who’s honey could be stopped at the border ( think : soft-
sibility of the Canadian Honey Council. The way it would                       wood, wheat, beef, etc ).
work is this. The C.H.C. would have the labels printed                              As many farmers are aware, the WTO negotiations
and sold to the honey packers. This would raise the pro-                       in agriculture proceed with glacial swiftness. The “Doha
file of the C.H.C. and could provide some extra funding.                        Round” brought people to the table but not much was
Another way the C.H.C. could promote its image would be                        accomplished. But as Verheul mentioned, agriculture was
to include Hivelights as part of the provincial newsletters.                   late coming to the WTO negotiations when compared to
In that way most beekeepers will become aware of its exis-                     commodities like steel, electronics, etc. These other prod-
tence.                                                                         ucts do move in a regulated environment and the WTO has
  If we believe that our Canadian honey is superior in                         been successful in its mandate, so we do have hope.
flavour and quality over the ultra filtered imports, we will                          Most importantly, Verhuel said that as trade barriers
have to market our product as such. Only in this way can                       and subsidies are lowered due to trade negotiations under
we expect to receive a fair price for an excellent product.                    the WTO then we will see a rise in the incidence of non-
                                                                               tariff trade barriers. In beekeeper terms, this means that the
                                                                               EU could open its borders to our honey without a $1.00 / lb
Mandatory Registration                                                         tariff ( estimated $ amount ) but they could also force us to
                                                                               have full inspection and traceability in our system in order
                    Paul Gregory, Interlake Agri Ltd, Fisher Branch Manitoba
                                                                               to export honey to EU countries. This lowering of tariffs

M      any skilled, innovative and hard working beekeepers
       left our industry in the 1980’s due to low honey prices,
border closure to packaged bees and queens from the conti-
                                                                               would likely lead to greater emphasis on issues like phytos-
                                                                               anitary certification (i.e. disease free production), drug and
                                                                               pesticide residues in honey and bee products.
nental USA and in some cases poor honey production. This                            It is my wish to bring this file forward to CHC and
left regions of Canada without commercial beekeepers that                      the entire honey industry, followed by a move to bring it
to date are still left vacant. How do we prevent this from                     through to AAFC. We may see some opposition from honey
happening to our industry again?                                               importers, but if we act cohesively and with politically
     The primary reason for the current drop in honey price                    savvy then I do not see a problem.
is cheap off-shore honey coming into Canada and the USA.                            At this point we are not discussing bee yard registra-
This honey, sometimes ultra-filtered, sometimes contaminat-                     tion or HAACP or any further traceability. There are still
ed with banned antibiotics or adulterated with sweeteners                      beekeepers out there that are suspicious of government
(e.g. corn syrup) is impacting our livelihood.                                 inspection but we must move forward as an industry.
     Working within the trading laws established by the                             A few short years ago, the average cattle producer did
WTO, we can send a clear message from Ottawa that this                         not like their “expensive ear tags” being thrust upon them.
imported honey can be stopped from entering into Canada.                       Today, they are singing a different tune with Hong Kong
4                May 2005                    HiveLights
and Taiwan being opened up to them and not to American
beef. The consuming public is demanding full traceability in
                                                                   Provincial Reports
its food stuffs and we as an industry had better take heed if
we are to have a viable industry in the future .
If a beekeeper wants to be learn more about trade, then you                 Maritimes
could visit and search for items like honey                                              to return from pollination
import stats.                                                      The 2004 honey crop               in PEI under permit. The
                                                                   appears for the most part         beekeepers have asked that
                                                                   to be sold and beekeepers         this permit only be issued as
President’s Report                                                 are left wondering                         long as the disease
                                                     Alain Moyen   what the future                            profiles are proven
                                                                   holds for honey                            to be and continue

W      e recently finished our 64th annual Canadian Honey
       Council meeting in Saskatoon and in my opinion, it
was extremely successful. The Saskatchewan Beekeepers
                                                                   prices. Many
                                                                   beekeepers in the
                                                                   Maritimes pack
                                                                                                              to remain the same
                                                                                                              in both provinces.
                                                                                                              It is hoped that the
Association covered all the bases and I want to thank them         and sell their                             permit process will
for the co-operation that made this an excellent meeting.          own crop and are                           be in place for this
Being originally from Saskatchewan I was proud of partici-         therefore continu-                         pollination season.
pating in a team effort.                                           ing to enjoy the
                                                                   high prices on the      Paul Kittilsen     Hoping you have
At the Saskatoon meeting we brought together representa-           retail shelf.                              all had a successful
tives of all the stakeholders of our industry to form teams of                                       winter and I wish you all
unprecedented collaboration. We discussed issues at hand           Bees in Nova Scotia for the       the best for the upcoming
and formed plans for the future. Our meeting in Kelowna            most part had a fantastic         spring season.
2003 showed us that we can come together at the table and          fall. The weather was warm
negotiate in a positive way. No one always gets all they           and sunny. A little snow
want and we have to strike a balance. Working in commit-           storm in late November
tees is the first step, but we have to maintain the momen-          that knocked out power                      Québec
tum.                                                               and closed roads for days
                                                                   reminded us it was time to        So far winter has been
I was born into a beekeeping family and have listened to           pack our bees for winter.         gentle on the bees. I was out
beekeepers all my life. How many times do we hear bee-                                               checking hives the other day
keepers say, “government should do this, or government             There was a lot of snow           and in general the colonies
should not do that, CAPA should do did this, CAPA should           in January. Just when we          were looking nice. After los-
not do that, CHC should do this and CHC should not do              thought our hives were            ing over half of our bees 2
that” and how many comments do we hear about our pack-             well covered the warmest          years ago from fluvalinate
ers? It is no surprise that we have not moved forward with         February in recent memory         resist mites it looks like
so much dissention. It is time to start working together as        melted January’s record           coumaphos is still work-
stakeholders to bring beekeeping into the 21st century.            snowfall.                         ing. Some beekeepers used
                                                                                                               oxalic and formic
In Saskatoon, the CFIA presented us with a proposal of             New Brunswick                               acid but it is early
new regulations that were well received by beekeepers.             beekeepers are                              to tell the winter
The new regulations were put together after consultation           wintering almost                            survival..
with our industry. We need to keep the ball rolling and let        as many bees this
the CFIA know that we are happy with the results of our            winter as last win-                         Quebec beekeepers
negotiations. The Pest Management Regulatory Agency has            ter despite very                            met over the win-
invited CHC to participate in a pesticide reduction process.       high spring losses                          ter to discuss the
They sponsored a meeting so that all the stakeholders could        last year. We are                           possibilities of get-
discuss their concerns, all surrounding one issue, BEES.           all optimistic for a      Alain Moyen       ting a commission
We know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.            real spring in the                          set up. This would
The only way we can get there is through hard work and             east this year.                   allow us to raise money for
national collaboration.                                                                              research and maybe even a
                                                                   The demand for bee in             system that would fund our
I am extremely encouraged by the enthusiasm and collabo-           PEI’s blueberry fields has         provincial Federation in the
ration of my fellow colleagues on the council. I feel that I’m     prompted Nova Scotia bee-         hopes of hiring a full time
on a team of real hitters with the support of a national coor-     keepers to ask the provincial coordinator. This would let
dinator who has proven time after time that she goes well          government to allow bees                            continued on pg 8
above and beyond the call of duty. With a team like that I
                                                                                   HiveLights            May 2005                     5
can’t see why we couldn’t succeed.
    Planet Bee
    Celebrating the World of the Honeybee
                                                                                                  Heather Clay, National Coordinator, CHC

Planet Bee Honey Farm                          tors. The observatories, tasting tables    observatory offers visitors an opportu-
                                               and gift shop have a flow through           nity to see the wonders of the beehive
Tours and Gift Shop is                         design to allow visitors to experience     in a safe environment . Kids love to see
                                               the sights and smells of honey and         bees up close while Ed enjoys sharing
located in Vernon, British                     products of the hive, while learning       his knowledge about the marvelous
                                               about the honeybee. There is a live        world of honeybees.
Columbia at the top of the picturesque         display of honeybees in two indoor
Okanagan Valley. Ed Nowek owner/               observation hives that capture a lot of    Honey tasting is always available.
operator originally set up the operation       visitors attention. In season, there are   Planet Bee offers over 12 different
in nearby Armstrong but the business           demonstrations of honey extraction         floral selections of honey. Ed has
was so successful that they quickly            and bottling combined with hive and        tempted many non honey eaters to try
outgrew the facility. Two years ago            product presentations. Some can even       the gourmet flavours of various floral
Planet Bee moved to more spacious              try bottling their own jar of honey to     source honeys. Once they sample the
premises where the expanded opera-             take home. A fully screened outdoor        delicious flavours most are converted,
tion encompasses all aspects of the
“World of the Honeybee.” The new
location provides a giftshop with a full
range of honeybee products, taste test-
ing, observation hives, a unique fully
screened outdoor observatory as well
as outdoor and indoor children’s play
areas, picnic tables, full washroom
facilities and lots of paved parking
space for tour buses.

Ed has combined his passion for bee-
keeping and his people skills to create
an “experiential” opportunity for visi-

      Ed Nowek and some fascinated visitors
       examine a frame of bees in a screened
                        outdoor observatory

6                 May 2005                HiveLights
buying a jar on the spot and often re-              Greater Vernon Tourist Association
ordering via the internet when they get             has helped promote this area as a
home. offers to arrange               destination and Planet Bee has joined
shipment anywhere. As well there are                marketing forces with the North
attractively arranged displays of bee               Okanagan Experiential Tourism
pollen, propolis, royal jelly, beeswax              Consortium (ETC.) There are some
candles and other great bee gift ideas.             other attractions in the area such as U-
Ed has found that buyers are ordering               Pick cherry farm, a farmers market, an
more honey and nutraceuticals because               orchard tour operation and the Allan
they appreciate the healthy aspects of              Brooks Nature Centre, providing tour-
honey, pollen , and bee products. Price             ists with a range of enjoyable things to
is not as important as is buying a high             do on an outing. Tour buses operate
quality product.                                    daily so Planet Bee is open every day
                                                    to meet the demand. Ed is working
Promotion is an important aspect                    towards having Sundays off but it is
of the business. Many people find                    one of his busiest days.. In the mean-
out about Planet Bee through the                    time he has increased the number of website and often place               staff to help him have time to share his
online orders. Others find out through               passion of the honeybee with others.
pamphlets at tourist information cen-
tres or through tour operators. The

                                                          Comb Honey
                 Use round comb
              section equipment by
                                                            Has Come
           Ross Rounds, Inc. and see
          how this low cost investment
                                                            Full Circle
            can increase your profits.                                      Contact your
                8 oz. sells for same as 12 oz.
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                                                                                 Ross Rounds, Inc.
                                                                 PO Box 582 Guilderland, NY 12084
                                                            V 518•370•4989 F 518•381•6370 www.
                                                                    Reports from pg 5                         Manitoba
                   CHC - CCM                                        the directors do what we are
                Delegates 2005                                      supposed to do and that is
                                                                                                     Reports of wintering suc-
                                                                                                     cess have been mixed so
      Canadian Honey Council                                        Another hot issue lately is
                                                                                                     far. Some beekeepers have
                                                                                                     done well and others have
        Board of Directors                                          the price of honey. After
                                                                    experiencing $2 / lb and
                                                                                                     lost a lot of colonies. It is
                                                                                                     still early to be sure of the
                                                                    higher, we now are having        final numbers. It looks like
PRESIDENT Alain Moyen,             DIRECTOR John Van Alten          a hard time accepting less.      our own wintering success
Fédération des                     Ontario Beekeepers               Prices in Quebec for the         is going to be reasonable
Apiculteurs du Québec              Association                      time being are at $1.10 to       this spring as there were
Les Joyaux de la ruche s.e.n.c.    Dutchmans Gold                   $1.50/lb. I am not sure what     very few dead outs. Most of
15651 Petite Cote des anges        Carlisle ON L0R 1H2              other beekeepers                           those which didn’t
Mirabel QC J7N 2G5                 tel: 905-689-6371                think yet but I find                        winter successfully,
tel : 450-475-1065                 fax; 905-689-7730                it difficult to budget                      unfortunately, were
fax: 450-475-1066                   on a volatile price!                       short of feed. We
                                                                                                               had two yards that
VICE PRESIDENT Ed Nowek            DIRECTOR Ron Rudiak,             Between the possi-                         didn’t get feeders on
British Columbia Honey             Manitoba Beekeepers              bilities of losing our                     early enough (too
Producers Association              Association                      hives and the fall-                        wet - a lake actu-
5011 Bella Vista Rd                Sunnybrook Bee Farm              ing price of honey,                        ally).
Vernon BC V1H 1A1                  Steinbach MB R5G 1N2             I think that we are
ph. 250-542-8088                   ph. 204-326-3763                 going to start out         Ron Rudiak       I took about one             spring with caution                        third of our bees
                                                                    and of course, some opti-         out of the wintering build-
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR                 DIRECTOR Barrie Termeer,         mism. Let’s hope that we          ing at the end of March.
Paul Kittilsen, Maritime           General Delivery                 get a good pollen and nectar Our spring yard is now
Beekeepers Association             Rollyview AB T0C 2K0             flow to keep everything            within the City Limits of
RR 1                               ph 780-986-3040                  going.                            Steinbach and we are a six
Debert NS B0M 1G0                  fax 780 986-3040                                                   acre island of farm activities
ph. 902-662-4072                             Ontario                in the middle of a residential                                                                          section. I spent part of the
                                   DIRECTOR Grant Hicks,            We had high snow banks            week end cleaning 2 to 3
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR                 Alberta Beekeepers Association   blocking access to our bee        feet of snow from more than
Corey Bacon                        Box 181                          yards late into March. An         an acre in the spring yard.
Saskatchewan Beekeepers            McLennan AB T0H 2L0              expected thaw should allow        When enough bare ground
Association                        ph 780-324-3688                  us to get busy with our           is showing most of the bees
B’s Bee Ranch                      fax 780-324-3712                 spring management and             can come back to their
Box 84                             pollination move-                         hives. They seem
Kinistino SK S0J 1H0                                                ments.                                    to be attracted by
ph. 306-864-2534                   NON VOTING MEMBER AT LARGE                                                 warmer air over dark               Wink Howland, Saskatchewan       Judging by com-                           areas. Mites have not
                                   Beekeepers Association           ments from bee-                           been a large problem
NATIONAL COORDINATOR               Howland’s Honey                  keepers around                            since we have been
Heather Clay                       Box 55 RR #3                     the province, there                       working toward
Suite 236, 235 - 5149              Yorkton SK S3N 2X5               seems to be a                             stock improvement
Country Hills Blvd NW              ph. 306-783-7046                 general optimism                          for several years now
Calgary AB T3A 5K8                 fax 306-786-6001                 around overwin-         John van Alten    although most of our
ph 403-208-7141                     tering. It is still too                   hives can have a few
fax 403-547-4317                                                    early to know for sure.           mites (during the summer).                                                                               We monitor throughout the
                                                                    More and more beekeepers          year to see what falls natu-
                                                                    are embracing the concept         rally through the screened
                                                                    of requeening on an annual        BB’s. Any that have a build
                                                                    or semi annual basis. This        up of mites are treated with
                                                                    practice has given us better      formic as necessary and
                                                                    overwintering survival.           usually re-queened. With
       8                May 2005              HiveLights
our application method, we      convention was a great suc-       lot in the mail, through         a commission. The next and
routinely use formic suc-       cess all around. It was nice      the Provincial Apiarist’s        final step toward formation
cessfully at ambient tem-       to see so many beekeepers         office. Once again                        of the commission
peratures of +25C down to -     from across Canada and            support was very                         will be to have a final
20C (indoors too). Breeders     the northern United States        positive. Though                         vote once the draft
are selected only from pro-     ascend on our province. As        very vocal, there                        incorporation docu-
ductive colonies with mini-     a young beekeeper myself,         has been very little                     ment is approved
mal mite populations.           it was also nice to see such      negative reaction                        by the government.
                                an increase in the number         to the formation of                      Once ratified by our
A resolution was passed at      of new beekeepers ventur-         the commission. As                       beekeepers we plan
a recent MBA board meet-        ing fourth in our industry.       of my last update of                     to have the commis-
ing supporting the proposal     The display room was the          those that returned                      sion in place and
by CHC to have members          largest that I have seen in       ballots, 88% of the       Corey Bacon    operating for 2006.
of Provincial Beekeeping        many years. Our sponsor-          beekeepers repre-                        I suspect once the
Associations also join          ship reached an all time          senting 91% of the colonies      final vote takes place support
Council at the same time.       high and we had a record          supported the formation of                      continued on pg 12
                                attendance. The support we

Manitoba Queen Breeders         received for our research
Association received a          fund was incredible; more
fourth year of funding for      than $23,000 plus another
Rob Currie to continue          $10,000 from the provincial
working towards finding          government in this year of                         Do you want a role in the fu-
varroa tolerant honeybees.      the provinces Centennial.                          ture shape of an industry? Our
                                Congratulations to Wink                            unique New Zealand company
                                on your receipt of the Fred                        is at the leading edge of world-
                                Rathje Award.
     Saskatchewan                                                                  wide developments in specialist
                                We have slowly but surely                          honey and bee products. We are
Saskatchewan has experi-        continued along the path                           looking for beekeepers with an
enced a relatively normal       to the formation of a com-                         intuitive understanding of hive
winter. Many areas have         mission of which the funds                         dynamics who can work unsu-
received good amounts of        will be used to support our
                                                                                   pervised. If you are a beekeeper
snowfall. Coupled with          industry through research
our very wet 2004 summer        and promotion of our great                         with relevant commercial ex-
and fall, moisture levels       Canadian product. We have                          perience we want to hear from
going into spring are very      a draft incorporation docu-                        you. A seasonal appointment
adequate. We should see         ment in the hands of the                           is available from September to
some of the sloughs that        provincial government’s
                                                                                   April for the right person.
dried up the past few years     legal department for
return back too normal.         approval of wording and
Unfortunately, many farm-       structure and we hope to
                                                                       Applications should be forwarded in writing to 376 Reid
ers cleared the brush and       have the final document                Road, RD7, Te Puke, New Zealand by fax to 00 647 542 0798
willows from their sloughs      ready for approval shortly.                     or by email
when they dried up the past     Now that we had a draft
few dry summers. The word       document in place with an
from those that winter their    overview for our beekeep-
bee indoors is that they have   ers, we once again sought to        Varrox® Vaporizer
wintered well and look to be    gauge support. At the con-          Oxalic acid (vaporization method ) for treating
in great shape heading into     vention all Saskatchewan            beehives against varroa mites is inexpensive,
                                                                    effective in broodless colonies and well toler-
spring.                         beekeepers were given a             ated by honeybees.
                                secret ballot to indicate their     The Varrox® Vaporizer is easy to use, just insert
February kicked off in          support for or against the          it through the entrance with a 12 V battery
                                                                    hookup. The cost is $145 plus 7% GST and
Saskatchewan with our           commission and the num-             shipping.
annual convention, com-         ber of colonies they oper-          For more information or to purchase the oxalic
bined with the CHC and          ated. Any Saskatchewan              acid Varrox® Vaporizer contact
                                                                    Daniel or Beatrice Ficza, 902-675-3690 or
CAPA conventions. The           beekeeper that was not in 
                                attendance was sent a bal-
                                                                                   HiveLights               May 2005              9
Alberta Honey Producers
70 Alberta Avenue, Box 3909,
Spruce Grove, Alberta T7X 3B1
Phone: (780) 962-5573
                                Carrying a full line of beekeeping equipment from several manufacturers:
Fax: (780) 962-1653

Manitoba Co-operative           •   Dadant & Sons Ltd. • Mann Lake Supplies
Honey Producers                 •   Maxant • Dakota Gunness • Walter T. Kelly
625 Roseberry Street,
                                •   Medivet • Perma-Dent Foundation
                                •   Pierco Canada • Cook & Beals • Plus Many More.
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3H 0T4
Phone: (780) 783-2240           Whatever your requirements we would be glad to help. Quality products for
Fax: (204) 783-8468             the beekeeping industry, including:
BeeMaid Honey Ltd.
1210 – 100 Street,
                                •   Woodenware • Queen Rearing Supplies
                                •   Package Bees & Queens • Bee Apparel
Tisdale, Saskatchewan S0E 1T0
                                •   Honey Containers • Extracting Equipment
Phone: (306) 873-2521           •   Beekeeper Tools • Novelties • Foundation
Fax: (306) 873-3455             •   Medication & Chemicals.

                                Buyers of Light & Dark Beeswax at Competitive Prices. We can arrange
                                your sugar requirements - dry or liquid sugar in small lots or trailer load lots

                                                  Eliminate AFB
                                                 and Chalkbrood
                                                               Iotron's treatment program offers beekeepers
                                                           a cost effective, environmentally friendly solution
                                                                    for managing bacterial and fungal disease.
                                                 Iotron’s proven technology has been recognized as a useful
                                                          defense against antibiotic-resistant strains of AFB.
                                                     Iotron has successfully treated more than 50,000 supers
                                                                        and thousands of kilograms of pollen.

                                                                     For more information please contact:
                                                                                       Robert Krag-Hansen
                                                                                 Iotron Technologies Corp.
                                                                                          1425 Kebet Way
                                                                               Port Coquitlam, BC V3C 6L3
                                                                      Tel: 604 945-8838 Fax: 604 945-8827
         Buy            Sell                     Distributors for some or all
                                                 of the supplies
         Honey          Beekeeping Supplies
         Wax            Extracting Equipment     Alberta Honey Producers Coop ......780-960-8010

         Propolis       Used Equipment           Manitoba
                                                 Manitoba Honey Coop ...................204-783-2240

        Bentley extractors   Supers assembled    Claude Hachey .................................506-546-6687
        Cowan extractors      and unassembled
        Swinger Forklift     Lumber for supers   François Petit ...................................519-443-5583
                             Helmets             Munro Honey .................................519-847-5333
        High Fructose Corn
         Syrup               Hive tools          Quebec
                                                 Réjean Lambert ...............................819-828-2549
        Sucrose Syrup        Hive lifters
        Inland Plastic       Smokers             Saskatchewan
         Winter Wraps                            Tony Lalonde Sales ..........................306-931-0155
                             Honey containers
        TLS Bee Apparel      Feeder pails
        Mahurangi            Barrels
        Bee Pro Pollen
         Supplement          Barrel Grabber
        Mountain Bee         Barrel Carts
         Products - bee      Pallet puller
         suits, veils
        Supers painted
         and unpainted

Tony Lalonde Sales Inc.
Box 42, Clavet Sk,
Box 42, Clavet Sk,
Canada S0K 0Y0
Canada S0K 0Y0
Ph: 306-931-0155
Ph: 306-931-0155
fax: 931-1646
fax: 931-1646
                                                    HiveLights                  May 2005                          11
Reports from pg 9                                                                                         British Columbia
will increase even more.          with rumours of the loop-          ing rather than govern-
How could one rationally          hole in the antidumping tar-       ment agencies. The initia-       British Columbia beekeep-
object to supporting their        iff on Chinese honey enter-        tive to move the Alberta         ers operate 43,000 colonies
own industry through a            ing the United States being        Beekeepers Association to        with just over 2,000 reg-
commission (with a refund-        rectified, prices could climb       a Commission status has          istered beekeepers. B.C.
able checkoff), consider-         once again to above average        received the support of the      honey crops for 2004 were
ing the amount of foreign         profitability.                      producers of the province        extensively variable. Farm
honey and imitations being                                           by a 2:1 margin. Following       gate prices for honey are
marketed in our country                      Alberta                 the referendum, those large      generally being maintained
and the continued need for                                           producers known to have          at previous levels however
research?                            The decline in honey prices     reservations about this move considerable pressure is
                                     has been the dominant fea-      were consulted. While they       being exerted on wholesale
Our Saskatraz project con-           ture of Alberta beekeeping      did not support the change,      prices. Beekeeping revenues
tinues with plans to increase this winter. The news that             they did not express an          were reported at $13.5
the number and diversity of          the passage of the Bill to      intransigence that would         Million in 2004, up by 65%
hives located at the site this       put cash tariffs in place for   be expressed by failure to       over 2003.
spring and there is the pos-         honey from countries dump-      work through the system.
sibility of setting up a sec-        ing into the U.S. is immi-      The change is that funding       At our AGM in Duncan
ond site. The colo-                           nent, is mitigated     would be through a levy          this year it was announced
nies were all treated                         by the fact that       payable with the registration that the BCIAF (Investment
for varroa mites to                           so much Chinese        of colonies, which is man-       Agriculture-Fund) will sup-
equalize the var-                             honey has come in      dated under the Bee Act. All port the BC Beekeeping
roa numbers going                             under the loopholes    producers with more than         Industry Strategic plan and
into winter. It’s my                          that prices will       100 hives will pay on a per      has approved funding of
understanding the                             not immediately        hive basis, with all payments $200,000 over a 3 year peri-
varroa will be left to                        rebound to reason-     refundable upon demand.          od for industry development
spread and build up                           able levels in the     This format will result in       projects. A work plan was
naturally as occurs                            near future, and by   greater funding for industry presented to cover an 18
naturally. They will          Grant Hicks      then the use of new   initiatives, and from a more     month period ending Dec.
longer be treated                              loopholes will have   equitable basis than through 31, 2005.
for mites. Amazingly, all the been perfected!                        a voluntary format.
hives that were brought to                                           Expenditures will                         Identified projects
the project tested negative          Winter losses are in the        continue to be made                       for initial priority
for tracheal mites in the            normal range for this time      based upon resolu-                        include a series of
early fall. Because of this,         of year, and for good rea-      tions passed at the                       6 provincial work-
they were each introduced            son perhaps. The tempera-       AGM. The abil-                            shops focusing on
to an equal level of tracheal        tures for most the province     ity of producers to                       disease prevention,
infestation. DNA testing             reached highs above the         claim refunds will                        establishing an
continued on many of the             freezing level every day        be the ultimate con-                      industry research
colonies and will continue           from February 21 till March     trol that disciplines                     committee, work-
this spring. Anticipation will 14. As anticipated, March             industry spending.         Ed Nowek       ing with BCMAFF
continue to mount as time            went out like a lion! The                                                 to assess the situa-
passes without treatment in          poplar and willow buds          The ABA has met                           tion regarding bee
the search for the resistant         opened very early for the       with HRDC and will be            inspection services and its
bee. Is there such a thing?          Peace River region. Pollen      working to establish stan-       future as well as initial work
Only time will tell.                 feeding has been wide-          dards for our industry to        to improve the industry
                                     spread and the first round is    bring in foreign labour.         website.
Demand for Canadian                  completed.                      Manitoba has expressed
honey continues to be slow                                           concerns in this area, and       A significant compromise
to non existent and prices           It has been widely accepted     we will be in consultation       was received from the
being reportedly offered             that funding for the indus-     with them and Ontario,           Agriculture Farm Future
remained in the $0.85 -              try has to be increased.        which has already gone           Funding interpretation of
$0.90 range. However, with           The issues that must            through this process.            allowing industry contribu-
the likelihood of high winter be addressed in coming                                                  tions to the cost sharing for-
loses in the United States,          years will be more sat-                                          mula to come from “in kind”
the increased need for bees          isfactorily completed if                                         donations of trainings, facili-
for almond pollination and           producers control fund-                                          tation and projects by indi-
12                  May 2005             HiveLights
vidual clubs and the asso-      mously. It was voiced that          Beaverlodge Research            Peters, Manitoba Honey
ciation. This is in addition    many of the members (con-           Station, Beaverlodge,           director and Gordon Marks,
to the use of our $60,000+      sisting of some 90% small           Alberta                         CEO. A Member’s informa-
HURT fund has enabled           operation beekeepers) in the                                        tion meeting was also held
our Strategic Planning          province would not renew            “Options for the control        in conjunction with the
Committee to adopt the plan     their memberships in the            of the bacterial brood          CHC meetings and was well
for an operating budget of      provincial organization if          diseases of honey bees,         attended by Saskatchewan
$50,000 coming 50% from         membership rates were to            American foulbrood and          members of both the
AFFF, 25% from “in kind”        double to include compulso-         European foulbrood” .           Manitoba and Alberta
contributions and 25% from      ry membership in the CHC.                                           honey co-ops.
industry resources.             The new proposal also plac-       This year Bee Maid
                                es British Columbia in the        Honey is celebrat-                            Bee Maid is work-
Project approvals will          position of largest contribu-     ing their Fiftieth                            ing both with the
be decided to gener-            tor to the national body but      anniversary and                               CHC and within
ally reflect the following       still in fact only representing   to celebrate this                             the Canadian
guidelines identified in the     a very miniscule proportion       milestone the com-                            Honey Packers and
strategic plan. Research        of the Canadian honey pro-        pany announced                                Dealers’ Association
15 – 20%, Marketing &           ducing industry.                  the establishment                             (CHPDA) to direct
Quality 20 – 25%, Industry                                        of the Bee Maid                               CFIA on issues
Communication 20 – 25%                                            Fiftieth Anniversary                          regarding “truth
                                                                                              Barrie Termeer
and Training & Education                                          Scholarship at                                in labelling”, as
20 – 30%. Administration                 Bee Maid                 this year’s annual                            it relates to those
and management costs                                              member meetings. There               food products that are being
are expected to require         Bee Maid Honey is pleased         were a number of excellent           misrepresented by the use
15% over the three year         to report that we will again      applications received and            of the word “honey” and
life of the fund. A call for    be supporting the Canadian        selecting two winners was            associated images on their
proposals has been made         beekeeping and honey              an extremely difficult task.          labels.
and all interested groups       research community this           After careful consideration,
are encouraged to contact       year. Bee Maid has placed a       the Scholarship Committee            We are also supportive
the Beekeeping Industry         priority for research in the      is pleased to announce               at Bee Maid with the
Development Committee.          area of honey quality and         that this year’s recipients          CHC plan of developing
Contact information is avail-   good practices of produc-         of the Bee Maid Fiftieth             a Canadian honey logo
able on the BCHPA website       ing pure quality Canadian         Anniversary Scholarship              and a honey promotion
at         honey in the Canadian bee-        are:                                 program. Canadian honey
                                keeping industry. This year                                            has excellent standards of
The B.C. Bee Breeders led       Bee Maid Honey is proud           • Josine Van den Berg,               quality, colour and moisture
by Liz Huxter are mov-          to announce that we will             Spirit River, Alberta             produced from a wonder-
ing ahead with a stock          be contributing financial          • Pamela Rempel,                     ful variety of floral sources
evaluation and improve-         assistance to the following          Winnipeg, Manitoba                ranking it amongst the very
ment program beginning          projects:                                                              best in the world. It con-
with the introduction of                                          A number of Bee Maid                 tinues to be important to
Russian control stock dur-      • Dr. Ernesto Guzman,             representatives were in              get this message out to the
ing 2004 and will be holding      Department of                   attendance at the 2005               consumer as well as to retail
a workshop at Washington          Environmental Biology,          CHC annual meetings in               and wholesale markets.
State University on June          University of Guelph,           Saskatoon including Bill             These new efforts will help
18 of 2005. Other persons         Guelph, Ontario                 Bygarski, Chairman of Bee            build markets and will ben-
interested in joining the                                         Maid, Barrie Termeer, Bee            efit Canadian beekeepers
workshop are encouraged to        “Varroa mite resistance         Maid CHC representative,             and the honey industry in
contact Liz.                      to current chemical treat-      Elmer Zumwalt, Alberta               the long run.
                                  ments, alternative control      Honey director, Lorne
The latest proposal for a         products applied with dif-
new membership structure          ferent delivery methods,
for the CHC was presented         and chemical residues in                   VESPER TRANSPORT
to the BCHPA membership           honey.”                           Fully reconditioned and #1 Quality Export Drums - Offering
at the Kamloops AGM in          • Dr. Stephen Pernal,               custom trucking across western Canada and western states.
early March and was not           Agriculture and                         Office/Cory 250-499-5773 - Lee 250-499-5753 -
supported almost unani-           Agri-Food Canada,                                      Fax 250-499-5752

                                                                                 HiveLights           May 2005                   13
                    Going value-added
                        on the prairies
                                                                                                         John Knowles, Okotoks, Alberta

                                                                          They created a small on-farm store in a corner of their
                                                                          honey house. It was fitted with rustic shelving, hive
                                                                          boxes that doubled as countertops and a two-frame
                                                                          observation hive that has become a magnet for visiting
                                                                          children and adults alike. The apiary is located just
                                                                          south of Okotoks, Alberta — a fast growing bedroom
                                                                          community to Calgary, 20 minutes away. The store
                                                                          carries honey, of course, which they have packaged
                                                                          in a variety of sizes. Creamed honey, comb honey and
                                                                          flavoured honeys as well as solid beeswax candles are
                                                                          made on-site. Honey and beeswax cosmetics, honey
                                                                          cookbooks and bee giftware also fill out the shelves.
                                                                          They are firm believers in apitherapy, carry many
                                                                          products from ‘Planet Bee’ and enjoy extolling the vir-
                                                                          tues of the wonderful products bees provide.

                                                                          Cherie recommends that others interested in value
                                                                          added marketing should take advantage of other
                                                                          provincial government programs. The Alberta
                      Cherie Andrews at the Chinook Honey Company store   Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (AAFRD)
                                                                          has been a part of the Chinook Honey success by pro-
                                                                          viding helpful marketing workshops, ag-tourism semi-

         HINOOK HONEY COMPANY is the creation of Art                      nars, Ag-Entrepreneur publications and most recently
         and Cherie Andrews. Art started beekeeping as a hobby            a scholarship to attend the Alberta Beekeepers
         in 1995 hoping it would provide some relaxation away             Quebec Study Tour. ‘Dine Alberta’, is another
         from his stressful airline job. Cherie, also working for         AAFRD initiative, connecting chefs from around the
         the airlines, already had horses as her get-away, but            province directly with food producers. This promotion
         enjoyed helping out in the bee yard. The apiary quickly          has given the Chinook Honey Company further busi-
         expanded. Two hives became 12, then 24 and before                ness links with many area restaurants and bakeries.
         long over 100 and heading for 200. In the meantime, as
         the year 2000 approached, the airline business was hit-          Asked about the primary goals of their enterprise
         ting severe turbulence and the apiary was looking like           Cherie says, “Education is the foundation. Whether
         a possible parachute. In 2003 the suspense ended when            showing children how the bees work inside and out-
         Cherie was laid off from her airline dispatch job. The           side the hive, explaining to parents the benefits of
         couple already enjoyed promoting the benefits of bees,            buying from their local honey producers or showing
         honey and apitherapy, so Chinook Honey Company’s                 chefs how quality honey can compliment their culi-
         educational and retail entity quickly took flight.                nary creations, we’ve accidentally become teachers.”

                                                                          With just under 200 hives at the moment, do they
                                                                          plan to get bigger? “Well”, said Art (who remains in
                                                                          charge of the actual beekeeping) “we’ve been trying
                                                                          to. Unfortunately beekeeping is still farming and some
                                                                          years it seems you get one step ahead, then two steps
14             May 2005              HiveLights
                                                                                                 What happens when
back. At this point we’re aiming for
300 hives. With only the two of us,
                                                  we’ll be able to afford regular employ-
                                                  ees” she laughed. And hopefully their
                                                                                                 Yuppies grow old?
plus the store, that will be more than            bottom line will be strong enough that         They turn into Woofies.
enough work.” Especially since he is              Art can leave the roller-coaster airline
                                                                                                                                             Glenn Cheater
still hanging on to his airline job.              world within a few years.                                          Canadian Farm Manager, Feb/Mar 2005

Can 300                                                                  Asked about com-        Yuppies (short for ‘Young Urban Professionals’) is a
hives support                                                             petition from          term coined back in the ’80s to describe the most
the couple                                                                other area honey       prosperous and free-spending demographic group
eventually?                                                               producers she was      ever to come along. Before yuppies, who knew
“Definitely,                                                               forthright. “I don’t   about designer labels, $3 mocha lattes, and brushed
if we can add                                                             see other apiaries     aluminum kitchen appliances?
enough value                                                              as our competition.
to our honey,                                                             In fact, we have       Today the first wave of Yuppies are entering their
diversify into                                                            two fundamental        retirement years and, as always, they’ve got money
agri-tourism,                                                             things in common       to spend on things that make them feel special. So
and market                                                                with other opera-      say hello to Woofies – or Well-Off Older Folks.
well” says                                                                tions no matter how    Woofies are important to agriculture because, unlike
                    Art and Cherie Andrews at one of their beeyards near
Cherie. “With       Okotoks, Alberta                                      large. Firstly, we     many consumers, they’re not looking for cheap food
a good variety                                                            all want to become
                                                                                                 – they want premium products and are willing to pay
of specialty honeys, possibly mead in                better beekeepers. Secondly, our
                                                                                                 premium prices for them. In fact, they tend to associ-
the future and the multitude of bee                  competition is not each other but out-
related products our returns are not                 rageously cheap offshore honey. The         ate high prices with high quality.
anchored to wholesale honey prices.                  time has come for us to work together       But their story is important to anyone involved in
The agri-tourism angle is becoming                   to promote the quality of our honey         direct marketing or value chains because they’re also
more popular all the time. We have                   so that consumers won’t think twice         an excellent example of the old adage: It pays to
had many requests for tours and are                  about spending a little more for value.     know your customers.
in the midst of renovating to accom-                 Shouldn’t we be taking the example
modate this new venture. Included in                 of other commodities such as milk,          “One of the most important things we have in market-
that strategy is the plan to gather local            pork, beef and even the U.S. almond         ing is segmentation – the idea that we have different
area tourist attractions and other farm              growers and organize a joint market-        groups of consumers who behave differently,” notes
direct operations to take advantage of               ing plan? How often, if ever, have you      Lars Perner, a marketing professor at California’s
group advertising. Our own marketing                 seen a TV commercial or magazine ad         University of San Diego.
it is multi-faceted. Signage is obvi-                promoting Canadian honey?”
                                                                                                 Knowing who you’re selling to isn’t just a way to
ously important, as is a web site. We
                                                                                                 increase sales through target marketing. It can also
do occasional advertising in the local               Getting back to Chinook Honey
paper, but also get involved with the                Company, how would they evaluate            help you improve your product; package and present
community in charity events. Each                    their first year as honey farm gate mar-     it effectively; figure out how to price it; and help you
year we hold 2 open houses. In addi-                 keters? “It’s been a lot of hard work”,     build customer loyalty.
tion, when we are both available one                 they both agree, “and the rewards so        The first step is to come up with the best possible
of us will attend the local weekly farm-             far haven’t been financial. However,         definition of the target group.
ers market while the other operates the              working hand-in-hand with passionate
store.”                                              chefs who value quality honey, and          Woofies are more than just Yuppies. Some weren’t
                                                     being thanked by store customers just       highly paid professionals, but have become affluent
Running an on-farm retail store hasn’t               for being here has made it more than        because they were good savers. Others are only
been easy. Cherie’s aviation back-                   satisfying. It’s been fun!”                 enjoying their high incomes in their latter years
ground didn’t help much in the skills                                                            because their kids have finally left their just recently
she was forced to acquire. With only                 By the sounds of their plans, it sounds     mortgage-free home.
occasional help from friends she finds                like the sky is the limit for Chinook
                                                                                                 “These are people who will pay more for value, but
herself manning the store, keeping the               Honey Company. Check them out at
books, ordering containers, giftware,                             will be frugal if they don’t see a difference between
etc., packaging honey, planning adver-                                                           products,” says Perner.
tising, delivering to restaurants, mak-                                                          In other words, they might travel across town to save
ing their specialty products and yes,                                                            a nickel a roll for toilet paper and yet think nothing
still helping with the bee work. “What                                                                                              continued on pg 23
keeps me going is the hope that it will
all get easier with time, and someday
Varroa and Winter Losses                                                                                   Cultivating Agritourism:
                                                                                                           Tools and Techniques for
                                         Jean-Pierre Chapleau, Les Reines Chapleau, Saint Adrien, Quebec
                                                                                                           Building Success

S    ince varroa has spread in Canada              European experience, the infestation                                      Canadian Farm Business
                                                                                                                                Management Council
     it is common to see higher win-               must be reduced to a very low level.
ter losses and weaker colonies in the              The Swiss recommendations suggest                       Order: E-114
spring. Is this fatality or is there some-         a level of _ varroa per day (natural                    Price: $29
thing we can do? In my opinion, as                 mite fall ). This means that the total
                                                                                                           Cultivating Agritourism: Tools
commercial beekeepers, we can keep                 number of varroa mites in the colony
full control of the situation.                     will probably be one hundred or less.                   and Techniques for Building
                                                   I tend to agree with this recommenda-                   Success contains thirteen chap-
It is important to understand how var-             tion. Besides protecting the colony for                 ters and an extensive resources
roa affects our colonies at that impor-            the winter period, such a low level will                appendix containing a wide
tant period of the year.                           often exempt the colony from spring                     range of websites and printed
Winter Threshold                                                                                           materials suited to “ cultivat-
The most obvious damage caused                     September Threshold                                     ing agritourism”. Each of these
by varroa occurs when the winter-                  Sometimes higher than usual losses                      easy-to-read chapters contain
ing bees are too heavily infested. The             still occur despite efficient fall treat-                practical management informa-
parasites suck the bee’s haemolymph                ments. The reason is that another                       tion, as well as case studies and
(bee blood) all winter, reducing their             important threshold has probably been                   vignettes that are used to illus-
vitality and shortening their lifespan.            exceeded. This threshold is the maxi-
                                                                                                           trate best practices related to the
Under these circumstances secondary                mum infestation level that should be
viral infections will often develop and            tolerated just before the fall treatment                theme being presented. In com-
aggravate the problem. We can pre-                 is initiated. The September brood con-                  bination, these case studies high-
vent this situation by applying efficient           tains most of the future wintering bees.                light agritourism management
treatments in order to reduce the level            If this brood is too highly infested the                practices from each and every
of mite infestation before winter. But             wintering population will be weakened                   province in Canada, as well as
what is a safe threshold for colonies              before hatching. In such a situation,
                                                                                                           the Yukon. In addition, there
entering into the winter? According                no matter how good our fall treatment,
to my experience and according to                                                                          are included some exemplary
                                                                                  continued on pg 21
                                                                                                           cases from the United States.
                                                                                                           The information in this publica-
                                                                                                           tion can help farmers and ranch-
                    �                                                                                      ers evaluate, plan and manage
                    �                                                                                      successful agritourism business
                    �                                                                                      opportunities. It can also assist
                    �                                                                                      community and commercial
                    �                                                                                      organizations understand how
                    �                                                                                      to benefit from agritourism
                    �                                                                                      development in their region.
                    �       ��          ��           ��           ��            ��                         There are practical tools and
                                                                                                           techniques that can be put to use
                          ����        �����         �����        ������        ����
                                             ���������������                                               Order toll-free from anywhere
                                                                                                           in North America by calling 1-
                                                                                                           888-232-3262 or online at www.
     Figure 1. Strength of colonies in April 2004 and the level of infestation in September 2003.
     Vertical bars indicate standard deviation. Numbers inside columns indicate sample size. For
     the 100+ category the average strength has been calculated on the 38% surviving colonies.

16                  May 2005                  HiveLights
The Agri-tourist                                                                                           •
                                                                                                               Farm B & B.
                                                                                                               Touring a farm.
Would you know her if you saw her?                                                                         •   Fishing in a farm pond.
                                                                                                           •   Farm history.
                                            Sharon Stollery, Ag Tourism Initiative, Alberta Agriculture,
                                                     Food and Rural Development, , Stony Plain, AB         The above study revealed that the #1
                                  Reprinted from the Alberta Agri-Preneur Newsletter Summer 2004.          facility or service the customers want-
                                                                                                           ed was Restrooms!
                                                                                                           Meeting the Needs of the Agri-tourist
A     ccording to the Canadian
      Tourism Commission the Agri-
tourist = someone who has an inter-

                                                     Are more likely to pay higher than
                                                     average per trip.
                                                     Are more likely to be younger
                                                                                                           Attracting tourists means your place
                                                                                                           should look the part - much better
est in agri-tourism and has visited a                (18—24).                                              than the neighbors who don’t wel-
farm, fair, market or pick-your-own                                                                        come customers onto their farms and
or stayed at a working farm or guest           A survey done in New York states                            ranches!
ranch.                                         says that agri-tourism customers there                      • Your operation needs to offer a
                                               indicate the most important things for                          variety of things, but if you can’t
A British Columbia Study says that             them in an agri-tourism attraction are:                         do it all partner with others to
“Agri-tourists” in their province want                                                                         increase the impact of what you
places that:                                                                                                   do.
                                                                                                           • Use existing community ag events
•   Provide opportunities to rest and                                                                          as a potential “springboard” to get
    relax.                                                                                                     people to your place.
•   Take good care of the environ-                                                                         • Food is key. Use your own or
    ment.                                                                                                      local product when you can and
•   Are appropriate for families.                                                                              promote the fact that you do.
                                                                                                           • Think about the overall “experi-
A recent study of Agri-tourism visitors                                                                        ence” that you offer from the
in Alberta tells us that there are a cer-                                                                      perspective of the 5 senses - what
tain group of people who “enjoy coun-                                                                          does the customer see, hear, smell,
try shopping and entertainment”. They                                                                          touch and taste?
indicate positive attitudes towards:
• Gardening.
• Relaxing.                                                                                                Travel Activities and Motivation Survey:
• Slow paced vacations.                                                                                    Interest in Agro-Tourism, Canadian
• Wholesome, healthy, fresh food.                                                                          Tourism Commission, www.canadatourism.
• Are partial to country inns.                                                                             com

“Horse Enthusiasts” are another pro-           •     Friendliness of staff.                                Agritourism in New York: A Market
file of people pulled out of that same          •     Scenic appearance of the attrac-                      Analysis, New Yoork’s Sea Grant
Alberta survey, which indicates that                 tion.                                                 Extension Program, www.seagrant.sunysb.
they:                                          •     Presence of farm animals.                             edu/
                                               •     Presence of barns or other historic
•   Make up 1/4 of fair, rodeo, and                  buildings.                                            Base Market Potential for Ag Tourism:
    destination Farmers’ Market                                                                            Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural
    attendees.                                 The same survey as above indicated                
•   Look for country style weekend             the things their customers wanted to                        sify – look under Ag Tourism, Research
    getaway accommodation, which               try in the future were:
    would act as the base for other                                                                        British Columbia Visitor Study, 1995-96
    things nearby, including riding on         •     Sampling local foods, produce and
    a ranch.                                         wines.
•   Are prepared to travel more than           •     Picking produce.
    3 hours.                                   •     Horseback riding.
                                               •     Hayride.
                                               •     Petting zoo.

                                                                                                  HiveLights             May 2005                    17
                                                                                                     Blossoms of Caragana
                                                                                                     arborescens (Luke Marshall)

                                                                                                     drought tolerant and can
     Plants for bees                                                                                 survive both relatively
                                                                                                     high salinity and alkalin-
     Pea-tree or Peashrub                                                                            ity (CaCO3). In warmer
                                                                                                     climates they often can
     Doug Clay, Research Scientist,
     Calgary, AB
                                                                                                     become stunted.

                                                                                                     Many members of the genus
                                                                                                     Caragana have been cultivat-
                                                                                                     ed as garden or hedge plants
                                                                                                     for their numerous yellow
                                                                                                     coloured flowers. There are
                                                                                                     several cultivars developed
                                                                                                     for smaller garden plots
                                                                                                     including the weeping or
                                                                                                     “Pendula” variety. Several
                                                                                                     of these cultivars are not
                                                                                                     suited to honeybees due to
                                                                                                     the shape of their blossoms.
                                                                                                     Their ability to fix nitrogen
Common Name:                          Siberian pea-tree, peashrub,   Description:                    (as legumes) permits them
                                      Ross caragana                  The peashrub commonly           to do well in poor soils of
                                                                     grows from 3 to 4 m in          low fertility.
Scientific Name:                       Caragana arborescens Lam.      height and is typically
                                                                     multi-stemmed with erect to     The seeds have over 35%
Native Range:
                                                                     spreading branches. They        protein and 13% oil provid-
Caragana or pea-trees are robust perennial shrubs of the             have alternate leaves 7 to 15   ing a high quality feed for
pea (Fabaceae) family; they are originally from a wide               cm in length consisting of 6    birds. The leaves provide
area of central Siberia and Manchuria. Due to its hardy              to 12 pairs of leaflets along    some browse for cattle and
nature, Caragana arborescens Lam. has become widely dis-             a common axis. Each oval        wild ungulates while grass-
tributed throughout the world. There are some 80 species             leaflet is 10 to 25 mm long.     hoppers can do significant
of Caragana worldwide, six of which are found in North               The leaves are dark green in    damage to the trees in some
America.                                                             summer and turn yellow in       years.
                                                                     the autumn. There is a spine
Canadian Distribution:                                                                               Canadian Habitat:
                                                                     at the end of each leaf stem
C. arborescens is ranked for cold hardiness zone 2 and as            and a pair at the base where    In Canada, the pea-tree
such is widely distributed in most ecological regions of             it connects to the peashrub     grows to about 4 to 5 m in
Canada. The Siberian pea-tree is able to tolerate cool cli-          branch.                         80 years. It has low mois-
mates and poor soils; some limiting factors for distribution                                         ture requirements but can
can be coarse sandy soils, permanently wet and anaerobic             The bright yellow flowers        do well in zones with over
soils, and heavy shade.                                              are about 2 cm long and         125 cm annual rainfall.
                                                                     appear a single blossoms or
In eastern Canada it is often planted as an ornamental               in clusters of up to 4.         The clumped stems provide
hedge while in the prairies it is planted at a larger scale as                                       good hedge or shelterbelt
single- or multi-row windbreaks.                                     The bark is a pale, shiny,      material and also provide
                                                                     olive-green with pale hori-     cover and nesting sites to
Although a highly adaptable species it has only become an            zontal markings.                songbirds. Caragana is
invasive pest in a limited number of locations such as Prince                                        adaptable and tolerant of
Albert National Park in Saskatchewan.                                                                road salt so they are often
                                                                     Caragana is a deciduous         used in urban roadside
                                                                     shrub or small tree that is     plantings.
18                      May 2005                 HiveLights
Methods of Reproduction        Honey/Pollen Potential:
and Spread:                                                           HARD CHEMICAL RESISTANCE?
                               The Siberian pea-tree is a
In prime environments, the     high nectar-yielding plant,                          MITE-AWAY II™
plants can flower by their      generally resulting in a                              Proven Varroa Control
second year, however 3 to      light coloured honey with
5 years to maturity is more    a mild flavour. As it flow-
common. If subjected to        ers mid May to early June
heavy browsing, few flow-       it receives adequate spring
ers can be expected in the     moisture throughout most of
following year. They flower     Canada, thus the honey crop
from May to June with the      is relatively dependable.
3 to 6 cm pod maturing 4
to 6 weeks later. The pods     The potential for honey
crack and burst with an        is high (>500 kg/ha) and
audible pop that distributes   comes at an important
the 3 to 5 seeds away from     time of the year for the
the parent tree.               developing colony. At the
                               Agriculture and Agri-Food                      Hive treated spring and fall 2003 with only Mite-Away II ™
                                                                                           Single Application Formic Acid Pads
The most common form of        Canada research station                                         Picture taken March 10, 2004
propagation is by seeds.       in Morden, Manitoba,
Cuttings are not recom-        Caragana was found to pro-                     Mite-Away II ™ Spring and Fall – Proven Control
                                                                                      Of Varroa and Tracheal Mites
mended for this species. Few   duce a 2-week honey flow.
seeds survive in non-culti-                                          Affordable, Single Treatment, Ready to Use, Food Grade - No Residues!
vated situations as they are                                                      What’s Your Hive Worth to You?
a popular food source with     Ramsay, J. 1987. Plants for
                                                                                      NOD Apiary Products Ltd.
many species of wildlife.      beekeeping in Canada and the                            Toll free: 866-483-2929
                               northern USA. IBRA, Cardiff,                    
Ross caragana is one of        UK. 198pp.
the main shelterbelt spe-
cies provided free to land     USDA, NRCS. 2002. The
owners in the 4 western        PLANTS Database, Version
provinces by the Prairie       3.5 (
Farm Rehabilitation            National Plant Data Center,
Administration (PFRA) for      Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490
windbreak plantings. These     USA.
can provide good winter
protection for wrapped hon-
eybee colonies and a good
late spring source of pollen
and nectar.                    Caragana arborescens as a
                               shelterbelt on the prairies. (from:
                               The PLANTS Database, USDA)

                                                                                 HiveLights                      May 2005                    19
                                                                  Website: Contact

     Xen-APIARY™ is the new buzzword
     Rick and Moira Haddrell of Cambridge Bee Products                                                  automatically to the Xen-
     Ltd, New Zealand, can manage their staff without                                                   APIARY™ database. “At
     speaking to them. They can also manage their busi-                                                 the click of a button I can
     ness without doing paperwork. Rick and Moira                                                       locate my hives, view
     swapped their paper-based record keeping system for                                                instructions on how to get
     the technology of Xen-APIARY™. “With the power of                                                  to a site, view site and
     Xen-APIARY™ we can manage our day-to-day opera-                                                    owner information, scan
     tions more efficiently and effortlessly, and at any given                                           and move my hives to
     moment we can snapshot information on any part of                                                  another site, and check
     our business,” says Rick.                                                                          the tasks I’ve scheduled
                                                                                                        for the day. “It’s also
     Xen-APIARY™ is an easy-to-use web-based hive man-                                                  great for managing staff
     agement system developed by Xenacom Ltd specifi-                                                    as I can assign them
     cally for beekeepers to effectively manage their day-                                              tasks and then see the
     to-day operations, improve decision making, enhance                                                work they’ve done with-
     productivity and yield, and manage disease.                                                        out necessarily speaking
     According to Rick, the value of Xen-APIARY™ lies in                                                to them.”
     the handheld computer, which he says is a mobile                                              Rick and Moira agree
     office and virtual manager that gives him freedom and                                          that Xen-APIARY™ is a
     flexibility in his business. “Not only can I take informa-                                     “simple-to-use” system
     tion with me into the field, but I can record and scan          that their staff has quickly embraced. “It’s a lot easier
     information while I’m out there, which then updates            to use than we thought it would be, and while our staff

                                                                                               Robertson, A. J., Saskatchewan
Canadian Bee Research Fund                                                                     Beekeepers Association, $7,000
                                                                                               “Evaluation of Varroa and Tracheal
                                                         Rhéal Lafrenière, deputy Chair CBRF
                                                                                               Mite Tolerance in Selected Honeybee
                                                                                               Lines and Attempted Correlation of

T   he Canadian Bee Research Fund
    was established to help counter
the loss of government funding for
                                            sions are made on the basis of the
                                            research priorities identified by the
                                            beekeeping industry. The CBRF direc-
                                                                                               Tolerance with DNA Markers”

                                                                                               Reports of research projects that
apicultural research in Canada. The         tors are pleased to announce the suc-              received CBRF funding in previous
fund is jointly administered by the         cessful projects for 2005 are:                     years can be viewed on the Canadian
Canadian Association of Professional                                                           Honey Council website www.honey-
Apiculturists and the Canadian Honey        Currie R.W., University of Manitoba,     
Council. To date over $600,000 has          $6,000 “Integrating Chemical Control
been raised from donations, proceeds        and Host Resistance to Increase
from Apimondia 99 and a grant from          Treatment Thresholds for Varroa
the Weston Foundation. Since the            destructor.”
fund began disbursing funds in 1998,
a total of $189,500 has been granted to     Guzman, E. University of Guelph,                          Foundation made up from
support Canadian apicultural research.      $6,000 “Varroa mite resistance to cur-                         $1.50-$1.75 lb
This money has been matched by gov-         rent chemical treatments, alternative
                                                                                                       4-5 sheets to the pound
ernment and industry increasing the         control products applied with different
research dollars to more than half a        delivery methods, and chemical resi-
                                                                                                      Nucs and resistant queens
million.                                    dues in honey.”                                             FERGUSON APIARIES
                                                                                                           Hensall, Ontario
Each year the Board of Directors            Pernal, S., Agriculture and Agri-Food                          519-236-4979
meets to review the proposals from          Canada, $6,000 “Management of                        
researchers across Canada. Final deci-      Honeybee Diseases Using Lysozyme.”
20                 May 2005            HiveLights
���                                                          the fall treatment). For the       mites per day). We deduct that the
���                                                          requirements of a selection        level of infestation before the fall treat-
                                                             project these colonies had         ment seems to be an important limiting
 ��                                                          not received a spring treat-       factor for the strength of the colony
 ��                                                          ment and were voluntary left       the next spring.
                                                             exposed to sometimes quite
 ��                                                          high mites level at the end of     As there are important variations
 ��                                                          the summer. The incidence          between the infestation levels of indi-
         ��        ��        ��      ��     ��       ��      of these varied mites’ level       vidual colonies it would be useful for
                                                             could then be observed the         commercial beekeepers to have at
        ����      �����     �����   �����   �����    ��      next spring.                       their disposal a double threshold: a
                           ��������������                                                       threshold expressed both as an aver-
                                                              Figure 1 shows that colonies      age for all the colonies and also as a
Figure 2. Mite fall in September 2003 and strength of         with high September infesta-      maximum for individual colonies. Until
colonies in April 2004. Vertical bars indicate standard       tion levels are weaker the        further research states differently, we
deviation. Numbers inside columns indicate sample size.
                                                              following spring. Colonies        are tempted to adopt the following
                                                              exceeding 75 mites per day        September thresholds:
Winter losses from pg 16                            seem to be hit particularly hard. The
our colonies will suffer winter damage.             majority of the colonies with a daily       Average for all colonies        25
Treating the colonies adequately in the             natural mortality of 100 or more died       Maximum for individual colonies 75
fall is important but is not enough. All            (62%).
successful control strategy will also
be aimed at not exceeding this crucial              Of course other factors influence            Natural mortality is the most accurate
September threshold.                                wintering and colonies with low             sampling method. This is the only
                                                    September mite fall will not all win-       method that we can use when mite lev-
Several recommendations exist for                   ter well. If we change our view point       els are low. With an adapted screened
the September threshold. They vary                  and if we rank the colonies by their        bottom board, natural mite fall sam-
from 25 to 60 mites per day. Roughly                strength (Figure 2) we see that the         pling can extend over periods of 4-7
this threshold seems to be equiva-                  group of colonies with 9 frames of bees     days, providing high accuracy. It is
lent to what is sometimes referred                  or more had an average September            important to use full size sticky boards
to as the damage threshold. In April                mite fall of only 25 mite. No colony        for sampling. It is also important to
2004 I could make some interesting                  in this group exceeded 75 mites per         count both mature (dark) and imma-
observations from a large sample of                 day. If we consider only the colonies       ture (pale) varroa mites.
colonies exposed to various mite lev-               with 12 frames or more we realize that
els in September of 2003 (just before               these still had a lower average (18         Winter threshold should be measured
                                                                                                very late in the season (end of October
                                                                                                or November).

                                                                                       HiveLights            May 2005                   21
22   May 2005   HiveLights
                                                                                     Agritourism from pg 15
                                                                                     of forking out 80 bucks for their favourite single-malt scotch. So if
Fred Rathje Trophy                                                                   you’re trying to sell premium apple cider or salad dressings, stress
                                               Canadian Honey Council, Calgary, AB
                                                                                     the attributes of the product and not the price, says Perner.

Each year the Canadian Honey Council awards its highest hon-                         “It’s extremely important that you don’t compromise too much
our to the candidate who has made a significant, positive contri-                     and try to be all things to all people. That usually doesn’t work
                                        bution of innovative,                        very well. You need to be very clear about what you’re offering
                                        creative and effective                       people, and try to stand out.”
                                        effort to our industry.                      That theme should extend to packaging – the idea is to be classy,
                                        This year the Rathje                         but not ostentatious.
                                        award was presented
                                        to Wink Howland,                             “You want to make a distinction between the packaging being
                                        outgoing President of                        fancy for the sake of being fancy – as opposed to good, solid
                                        the Canadian Honey                           quality,” says Perner. “If the packaging appears wasteful, then
                                        Council                                      some of these people who seek out value would frown at that.”
                                                                                     Easy-to-read labels with larger fonts might also be a good idea if
                                          Wink is a tire-
                                                                                     many of your customers are in the bifocal stage of life.
                                          less worker for the
                                          Canadian beekeep-                          In-store demonstrations are a very effective way to introduce
                                          ing industry and fully                     consumers to new products, says Perner, but also very costly if
                                          deserves the award.                        you want to get floor space at a chain store. However, smaller
His support and enthusiasm for the many projects taken on by                         independent stores might welcome a local farmer or food pro-
Canadian Honey Council have contributed to success of the                            ducer, he says.
national organization. The Canadian Honey Council is pleased
to acknowledge Wink’s work on the Board of Directors and his                         If you operate your own store, you need to give thought to where
dedication to the betterment of the national industry .                              you locate products that might appeal to Woofies. Perner cites a
                                                                                     drug store chain that couldn’t figure out why its sales of greeting
                                                                                     cards – a product that seniors tend to buy a lot of – were so poor.
                                                                                     It found the problem was that the greeting-card displays were on
                                                                                     the aisle that led to the soft drink coolers – and hence the favou-
                                                                                     rite route through the store for thirsty teens.
                                                                                     “The older people weren’t comfortable with those loud teenagers
                                                                                     coming by and so they didn’t linger very long,” says Perner.
                                                                                     So what foods and food products interest Woofies? It’s a long list
                                                                                     that includes things everything from organic/natural foods and
                                                                                     artisan breads to extra aged beef and heritage vegetables.
                                                                                     They also like the unusual and the exotic – that used to mean
                                                                                     California and Thai food, but today it encompasses the unfamil-
                                                                                     iar world of local farms. That might be an on-farm meat shop,
                                                                                     organic cheesemaker, or local farmers’ market.
                                                                                     But the big thing about this new generation of seniors is their
                                                                                     growing fixation on health. So fresh picked not only means more
                                                                                     flavour, but less vitamin loss; fiber content starts to look more
                                                                                     appealing than rich sauces; and if someone comes out with a top
                                                                                     10 list for nutrients, then you can expect antioxidants – which are
                                                                                     supposed to slow the aging process – to be a chart buster.
                                                                                     Knowing your customers – whether they’re Woofies or some other
                                                                                     slice of the demographic pie – doesn’t give you all the answers,
                                                                                     but will get you heading in the right direction, concludes Perner.
Due to
some technical                                                                       “Successful marketing means experimentation,” he says. “You
problems our cover on the February                                                   think something makes sense and will work and then you find
issue did not do justice to the image or Luke                                        there are circumstances and things you didn’t think about. You
Marshall, Image Exploration Calgary. We thought
we would run it again to give our audience a better                                  might have to try several approaches to find out what works best.”
look at this remarkable photograph.

                                                                                           HiveLights                  May 2005                            23
New Professor of Apiculture                                                                              ing on determining the
                                                                                                         degree of heritability for
                                                                                                         different mechanisms of
                                                      Ernesto Guzman, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON   resistance against the mites.
                                                                                                         This is a critical area that
                                                                                                         addresses the most serious

T   he new Professor of
    Apiculture position at
the University of Guelph
                                 trol. Tracheal mites were
                                 the major disease problem
                                 for beekeepers then. We
                                                                     the USA, I also worked as a
                                                                     teacher and research assis-
                                                                     tant. I returned to Mexico
                                                                                                         problem beekeepers face
                                                                                                         worldwide. Our studies
                                                                                                         have also contributed to
was created with the sup-        surveyed apiaries through-          in 1992 and began to work           the understanding of the
port of the Ontario Ministry     out Mexico and established          for INIFAP (Mexican                 genetics of defensive behav-
of Agriculture and Food          the spread pattern of the           Institute for Agriculture           ior, showing that the bee’s
(OMAF) and that of               mites as well as the econom-        and Animal Research), a             high-stinging tendency is
the Ontario Beekeepers           ic damage that they were            research institution equiva-        genetically dominant, that
Association (OBA). Since I       causing to the industry. We         lent to Agriculture Canada.         defensive bees efficiently
accepted this position,          tested several chemicals            I also worked as adjunct            recruit their gentle nest-
I was asked to write a little    to control these parasites,         professor for the National          mates to sting, and we docu-
bit about myself in order for    some of which are still in          University of Mexico.               mented what the impact of
the Canadian beekeepers                                              Between 2002 and 2003 I             Africanization has on honey
to know more about me. I                                             spent my sabbatical leave           production and the types
do not like to talk and write                                        at Purdue University in             of management changes
about myself too much,                                               Indiana, USA, learning              that are needed to deal with
because I do not want                                                about molecular techniques          these bees. In collaboration
anybody to get the wrong                                             such as PCR, AFLPs, gene            with Dr. Greg Hunt, we
impression that I brag about                                         mapping, and mitochon-              were the first researchers
accomplishments. However,                                            drial DNA assays, to study          in the world to map genes
I agree that it would be a                                           genetic effects on honey bee        associated to defensive
good idea to say something                                           behaviour.                          behaviour. We also devel-
about myself, and about                                                                                  oped a breeding methodolo-
my research, teaching, and                                           As for my teaching, research,       gy with which beekeepers in
extension activities in the                                          and extension background            the State of Mexico are pro-
first article that I write for                                        and philosophy, I can tell          ducing 25-45% more honey
“HiveLights.”                                                        you that I taught a class in        than beekeepers that do not
                                 Ernesto Guzman gets an early        Apiculture for 13 semesters         use this methodology. In
I grew up in Matias              start on bee research at the        at the National University          addition, selected colonies
Romero, a small town in          University of Guelph beeyard.       of Mexico. During that time         are 50% less defensive than
the state of Oaxaca, Mexico                                          I had the fortune to be             unselected colonies.
(Southern Mexico). I             use. However, tracheal              voted top teacher among
became very interested in        mites do not seem to be a           over a hundred teachers             In 1994 I was appointed
the study of animals as a        major problem anymore               evaluated by the students.          director of the National
child and I became particu-      in Mexico. The arrival of           At the graduate level I             Apicultural Research
larly interested in studying     Africanized bees and their          taught Introduction to the          Program for INIFAP. As
and keeping bees when I          interbreeding with the local        Scientific Method and Ge-            the program leader and as
was 16. I started to read        bee population caused the           netics for several semesters.       a beekeeper (before com-
more about them and I            bees to develop resistance                                              ing to Canada I had 200
remember that I was com-         against these mites, and            My apicultural research             colonies of my own) I
pletely fascinated about their   today it is very difficult to        has focused mainly on               have been exposed to the
organization and social life.    find them at high levels.            honey bee genetics, defen-          problems beekeepers face,
                                                                     sive behavior, diseases and         which influences the type
After obtaining my DVM           I obtained my M.S. and              parasitic mites. One of my          of research that I conduct.
degree, I started to work for    Ph.D. degrees from the              graduate students, Miguel           I think of research as based
the Apiculture Department        University of California at         Arechavaleta, was one of            on original ideas, good plan-
of the Mexican Ministry of       Davis, working under the            few people in the world that        ning and modern tools and
Agriculture. My work there       advisory of Drs. Norman E.          have studied mechanisms             techniques. Research should
was related to beekeeping        Gary and Robert E. Page,            that confer resistance of           generate basic knowledge
extension as well as to bee      specialists on bee behaviour        bees to Varroa mites, and           that explains biological
disease monitoring and con-      and on bee genetics, respec-        another student, Laura              issues, as well as solve
                                 tively. During my studies in        Espinoza, is currently work-        problems
24               May 2005               HiveLights
For basic research, I am         the University of Guelph I
interested in the evolution      have more access to infor-
and genetics underlying          mation databases, more
social behavior, which is a      interaction with colleagues
very important issue in biol-    from different disciplines,
ogy. For applied research,       and more access to research
I am interested in selective     technology. Moreover, my
breeding, which could solve      wife, Tatiana, is happier in
many production, manage-         a country with a climate
ment and health problems         similar to that of her origi-
for the beekeeping industry.     nal country (Russia), and if
I am also interested in short-   she is happy I can live and
term solutions to control bee    work more comfortably and
diseases and parasites using     be more productive. I have
organic, natural products, as    three daughters, Paola who
well as in making the queen      is still in Mexico studying
production a more efficient       high school, and the twins,
and profitable activity.          Victoria and Sarah, who
                                 are two-years old and who
Extension is very important      will have an opportunity
too. I believe that research     of a better education and a
without knowledge trans-         healthier development envi-
ference to the industry is       ronment here in Canada.
like a sterile seed. I think     Besides, we find Canadian
that a scientist must gener-     people very friendly, kind,
ate knowledge (from basic        and helpful. Canada is also
research) and practical          an attractive place to live
technology (from applied         because it is a country that
research). Technology            values diversity and respects
should be transferred to         human rights. We do not
the industry by individuals      feel like foreigners here and
with extension experience        we have not experienced
such as the tech-transfer        any animosity against non-
team members, with whom          Canadian people. I think
I want to develop strong         Canadians should feel very
working ties.                    proud of this.
                                                                               Honey Wanted
Many people have asked           It is exciting for me to
me why I decided to come         have the opportunity to                    Call for Current Market Conditions
to Canada to take this job       work along with different
at the University of Guelph.
To tell you the truth, it was
                                 people and to think of the
                                 possibility that together
                                                                             Toll Free
a very difficult decision; in
Mexico, I was a tenured-
researcher (equivalent to
                                 we can make significant
                                 contributions to the bee-
                                 keeping industry as well
full professor). My position     as to become a productive              Trusted By Beekeepers for Over 50 Years!
was very stable with an          and successful profes-
equipped lab, students, a        sor for the Department of                   ELI GROSSMAN - EXT 230
funded research program,         Environmental Biology at                                        OR
and with a salary similar        the University of Guelph.                  JACK GROSSMAN – EXT 229
to what I am earning here.       Finally, I want to thank all
However, I believe in chal-      the people that had to do                    e-mail:
lenges and opportunities.        with the creation of this
Canada provides both             position. I greatly appreciate        Billy Bee Honey Products Ltd. 68 Tycos Drive,
things from the professional     your support and trust.                          Toronto, ON M6B 1V9
and family standpoints. In                                        TEL: 800-789-4391
                                                                                            FAX: 416-789-9112

                                                                               HiveLights             May 2005         25
                                         Foundation                                Help Wanted

                               For all your foundation needs, any      Experienced Beekeepers Wanted for
                                size, wired or without, organic or     all aspects of beekeeping husbandry,
                                           conventional,                  honey packing and general farm
                             place orders by phone 780-835-2115 or   maintenance. Seasonal and permanent
                                    fax 780-835-2873 or email        positions available. Must have previous
                                       beekeeping experience and driver’s
                                                                      licence, and be physically fit. Starting
                                           For Sale                      wages: $10/h-$14/h depending on
                       RV Comb Honey Trays - leak proof,                      Contact : Peter Awram
                      clear plastic snap-on lid, cream colour                  Honeyview Farm Ltd,
                       plastic base. Stops the leaks and fin-
                         ger punctures of aluminum trays.                       10609 McGrath Rd,
                        Available in 100 or 500 per carton.                   Rosedale BC V0X 1X0
                      River Valley Apiaries, P.O. Box 142,                          604-794-3315
                           Stirling, Ontario, K0K 3E0.                   email
                      VISA or Mastercard accepted. Phone/
                                 fax: 613-395-4257

                                       Wanted to Buy
                             Borage honey in drums
                                and also beeswax.                      FORMIC ACID DISPENSER
                             Contact Henry Nauta,
                      phone 905-640-1564, fax 905-640-7479.

                                           For Sale
                          Active Beekeeping Business with
                        retail packaging market. Registered
                       packer, stainless steel extracting plant.
                         Equipment for 500 colonies, queen
                        rearing, package and nucleus colony
                               production, pollination.
                                                                             Available in Canada
                       Sunny east west valley, three bedroom                   and World Wide!
                        house, 2.61 acres, school bus route.          Treatment method & video: www.
                          Mike McLennan, Flower Power                  
                      Apiaries, 4550 Hillview Rd Grand Forks             e-mail:
                                                                           tel / fax: 1-250-762-8156
                           BC V0H 1H5, 250-442-2933.

                                            MENTHOL BOARDS
                                                        Please order early
                                         HAMILTON BEE RANCH LTD.
                                              Box 1169, Nipawin SK S0E 1E0
                                                   Phone 306-862-4194
                                                     Fax 306-862-4193
                                            Producers of Northern Blossom Honey

26   May 2005   HiveLights
HiveLights   May 2005   27
           F.W. JONES & SON LTD.
                     SINCE 1878
            44 DUTCH STREET, BEDFORD,
                   QUEBEC J0J 1A0
               (450) 248 3323 PHONE
                 (450) 248 2592 FAX

  We stock a complete line of beekeeping                          Your Leading Supplier of:
       Equipment for all your needs.
     Woodenware, Queen excluders,                                  *Natural Menthol Crystal
      containers in glass and plastic.             Please indicate your interest in Thymol Crystals, Call for
        Queen rearing equipment,
           Queens, Comb Honey                                          *Bee Feed Pollen
    Containers, Foundation, smokers,
          Extracting Equipment                                    *Fresh, Frozen Royal Jelly
    Beekeeping Tools and much more.                Call for Competitive Pricing and for a Free Copy of our
                                                             Full Color 2004 Mail Order Catalog.
     Please call or write to receive your
               Free catalogue.                            PO Box 2744 _ Eugene, OR 97402 USA
                                                       Toll Free (800) 456-7923 _ Fax (541) 762-7173
     Branch Office: F.W. Jones & Son Ltd.                
105 St. Regis Crescent, Toronto, Ont. M3J 1Y6          
                 416 783 2818

                                                    Guy Anderson, Kincardine ON 519-396-3529
                                                    Lewis Farms, Austin, MB 204-637-2277
                                                    Alberta Honey Co-op, 70 alberta Ave.
                                                         Spruce Grove AB, 780-962-5573
                                                    Stawn’s Honey, Vernon BC 250-542-9977
                                                    J.J. Bee Supplies 5693-176 St.,
                                                         Surrey BC Ph 604-574-3400 Fax 604-574-9728
                                                    Flying Dutchman 6124 Metral Drive,
                                                         Nanaimo BC ph/fax 250-390-2313

                                                          One-piece plastic drone comb
                                                                                                             Delivered to Door on Time
                                                                                                             At Temperature 80-90 degrees F.

                                                                                                             PO Box 190 Fisher Branch MB R0C 0Z0
                                                                                                             Telephone 1-800-990-1390
                                                                       High Fructose Corn Syrup    
                                                                       Food Grade Sweetener
                                                                       Dealer for ADM Corn Processors
                                                                      Serving Manitoba & Saskatchewan

 PLANET BEE HEALTH ALTERNATIVES                      Ed Nowek
Queens, Nucs, Honey,Beeswax,                5011 Bella Vista Rd.
Pol len, Pr opolis, Royal J elly                     Vernon B.C.
                                           Ph: 250-542-8088 or -      1 877 233-9675

                                                                                             Quality Bee Pollen
                                                                                             Peace River, Alberta
                                                                                             Rural Ontario

                                                                                             Custom pollen cleaning and drying services
                                                                                             Buying Canadian bee pollen.
                                                                                             Fresh frozen pollen available

                                                                                             Call Chris Toll-Free 1-866-624-8175
                                                                                             Tel. (519) 773-5902
                                                                                             11302 Imperial Road, Aylmer, Ontario, N5H 2R3



Use Mite-Away II Single Application Formic acid Pads in the spring
 and fall for control of varroa and tracheal mites. See our updated
   web site at or call toll free 866-483-2929.
    You can purchase Mite-Away at the following distributors:
 Ontario: F.W. Jones & Sons Ltd, Toronto, 800-665-6637
          Cook's Bee Supplies, Aurora, 888-645-9722
          Better Bee Supplies, Cambridge, 519-621-7430
          Benson Bee Supplies Ltd, Metcalfe, 800-214-7366
          Peter Mewett, Stirling, 613-395-3225
          Grey-Bruce Bee Supplies, Markdale, 519-986-4980
          Clovermead Apiaries, Aylmer, ON 519-773-5503
          Tannenhof Farms, Oro Station,877-772-8753
          Better Bee Supplies, Cambridge, 519-621-7430
          Sudbury Bee Supplies, Sudbury, 705-566-0743
 Quebec: F.W. Jones & Sons Ltd., Bedford, 800-665-6637
 Maritimes: Country Fields Beekeeping Supplies,
            Upper Coverdale, N.B., 506-387-6804
 Western Canada: BeeMaid, Winnipeg MB, 204-783-2240
                   Vancouver Island Apiary Supply, Duncan, BC