Thunder Bay Beekeepers' Association Newsletter – June 2011

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Hello all Thunder Bay and area beekeepers.

Here is an update of what your TBBA Executive and members have been up to the last few months. This will replace the newsletter that normally comes out in June.
Happy reading.

Well as I write this update the swarm season is upon us. I was called on Friday June 17 to capture 3 individual swarms/ virgin castes within a 5 block radius of each other in the Prescot Ave, Van Norman street area. As we do not know who owns these bees, they needed to be quarantined from our Thunder Bay stock. As TBBA does not have a quarantine yard at this time swarms must be destroyed or moved to a location to be tested. They have been moved to a friends camp on HWY 527 60 miles from town. These swarms indicate 3 problems that we face in our area:

  1. The bee inspectors did not know of anyone in the area who is registered to keep bees. By not being registered it contravenes the bees Act.
  2. There was never a quarantine yard set up by TBBA in the past.
  3. There is no easy way for the Public to contact a person to capture these swarms. This has since been corrected.
On June 20, Dr James Donaldson called me about a swarm at his patient's house. Location of this swarm, you guessed it Prescot Ave. Sounds like someone in the area has more than 1 unmanaged hive?

Another issue that developed was a few packages of bees where picked up from the Post office in Thunder Bay. These packages where destroyed by 2 members of TBBA and replaced with their stock. It was initially reported that there where three individual orders but word from our Provincial Apiarist was they where sent to the Dryden area. Please do not bring bees into the Thunder Bay Area.

The TBBA is currently in the process of trying to have OMAFRA reinstate the Tracheal mite and Varroa mite testing in our area for, at a minimum the Queen and Nuc producers. As we cannot say we are Mite free unless we have had our bees tested for tracheal mite by a certified institution. I believe we are Tracheal mite free; however I would never guarantee this until the bees have been tested. Let's hope that the rest of the province can appreciate our mite free status.

Jeanette Momot has written a letter that will be posted on the TBBA Website shortly. This letter is to reinstate the mite testing in Thunder Bay. I encourage each and every member to please take the time to forward this to the Public officials listed. I also encourage our American friends to also forward this letter.

I have been in conversation with our Provincial Apiarist Paul Kozak. Paul has indicated to me that there may be some researchers interested in studying our bees in the near future. We also discussed introducing our bees into a mite situation to see how they perform. As some of us have sent bees into mite infested areas, they have not been researched. This would be a great step forward in proving the quality of our bees. Who knows, we may have the best kept secret in the world?

Jim Heald has resigned as Treasurer and I wish to personally Thank Jim for all his dedicated years as Treasurer. All of the executive wish you a healthy, stress free recovery and many more successful years of beekeeping.

I want to Welcome and Thank Melinda Hill for volunteering to take over the position of acting Treasurer until the election. Her ambition and expertise is a welcome addition to the executive.

Faith Ling, with regrets, had to step down from the Executive as Secretary due to work, family and new business demands on her time. The Executive Thank Faith for all her hard work to help get the Association moving forward. We wish you well in your family and professional life and hope you will join the executive when the timing is right for you. So we are in need of a secretary to fill Faiths position. Please consider this position and contact an executive if you can volunteer some time.

Chris Carolan has volunteered to fill the position of acting Vice President until the election. I Thank Chris and welcome his vast knowledge in beekeeping and past TBBA President experience on the executive.

I would also like to welcome and Thank Evelyn Harris and Darlene Spakowski who have stepped up and volunteered to become the TBBA Volunteer Committee Coordinators. The executive hope in the near future that this will become an executive position as will all the Committee Coordinators positions. If you have an idea for a committee and wish to head a Committee, please contact an executive member.

Joanne Henderson has taken on the task of becoming the Website liason for the interim. We have put a deadline on updating the website to the end of June at which time all updates will be sent to the Webmaster. Once this has been updated the membership will be informed.

The kite festival at Chippewa Park, which happened to be on the National Day of the Honeybee was a huge success! Thank you to Simon Hoad, Linda Turk and Darlene and Phil Spakowski for their time managing the TBBA booth, and assisting with the Mason Bee Condos. It was very well received by children and parents alike. We have also been invited back by the City of Thunder Bay for next year's event.

The Constitution has only had a few comments, specifically grammar and the president having 2 votes. These are minor changes and we will as recommended by the executive be recommending membership acceptance the Constitution at the Nov AGM. If you require an electronic version please email me at

The July workshop will be at Dale Turks Beeyard on Highway 130 tentatively Sunday July 3. Details will follow shortly.

I will be attending a Queen rearing workshop conducted by Marla Spivak in a few weeks at the University of Minnesota. I will be inviting Marla to Thunder Bay to hopefully do a workshop here next year. I will give an update at the September meeting.

The September meeting will be at the Kakabeka Legion on Sept 13,2011 6:00pm supper 7:00pm Meeting.

Lets all hope to have a good healthy beekeeping season. Hope to see you at the July workshop.


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