Duncan seminar talks ‘staggering’ bee losses

Honey bees have been under attack from disease in recent years and it takes vigilance and knowledge to help them.

Honey bees have been under attack from disease in recent years and it takes vigilance and knowledge to help them.

“Beekeeping losses are staggering,” said Don Fowler, president of Cowichan Beekeepers, last week, in announcing a free and timely seminar Nov. 16 at Providence Farm Chapel starting at 7 p.m.

“Beekeeping has become very trendy. Cowichan has more beekeepers than ever before,  most with only one or two colonies. Some operate in a void without formal training or even being members of the club.”

Honey bees get communicable diseases but unless beekeepers know what, how and when to look for them the result can be “poorly managed colonies” with “an endless cycle of infestation and re-infestation year to year,” he said.

Poorly managed bees affect well managed bees, too, he added.

Paul van Westendorp, provincial apiculturist is presenting the seminar on pest and disease management tonight (Wednesday). There is no charge and all are welcome.