Latest posts by Chris Marchand (see all)
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By Michael Christianson
On Wednesday a few beekeepers rented a room in the Oxdrift Community Hall to gauge whether or not there was enough interest in having a local beekeepers group. So it was in a room that filled up quickly, the Cloverbelt Beekeepers Association was born.
People came from all around the community to attend the meeting and to meet others who share a common interest. The experience in the room ranged from amateurs who have never owned bees and wanted to know more to those who have owned thousands of bees over multiple decades.
Some of the aspiring beekeepers had questions about buying bees, taking care of them and how to get the best results. Dan Kieffer has been getting his supplies ready and plans to buy bees in the spring from a seller out of Thunder Bay.
“This is always something I’ve been fairly interested in,” said Kieffer before the meeting began. “I wanted to just do a small scale not necessarily as a business just around the house, something extra to help the garden along and get a tasty treat out of it. I had ordered a couple nuke hives for this next year so I was quite happy to see there was a local group meeting somewhere I could get a bit more resources.”
Kieffer and other new beekeepers were happy to have local people that they could talk to face to face. Like many who begin a new endeavor they turned to the Internet but found to be overwhelmed by all the new information at once. The Cloverbelt Beekeepers Association hopes to educate and guide along those who are just starting out. Reagan Breeze, who was nominated to be the group’s president at the meeting was happy and surprised to see all the people who made the trip to Oxdrift.
“The first meeting was actually pretty overwhelming,” said Breeze. “There’s a lot of people that were involved. There was a lot more interested than we actually thought there was going to be. Tonight’s meeting had close to 30 people which we kind of thought maybe about 10 people.”
The next meeting will be held on April 12 at 7p.m. at Oxdrift Community Hall. After the group elected a president, vice president and secretary treasurer it was decided membership in the group would be $25 so if you plan to attend bring along a membership fee. Breeze hopes the group will attract more people who are interested and put them on the right path.
“We’re going to be able to educate beginner beekeepers because spring is here now so bees are getting out, they are doing what they have to do,” said Breeze we’re basically going to be out there educating, showing people exactly how to keep their hives viable for the spring time, getting strong for the summer time so that get a nice strong hive, make honey and do a lot of pollenating.”
Breeze also explained during the meeting that there is currently no by law in Dryden that stipulates you cannot keep honeybees. He said that people who only see bees as stinging annoying insects should educate themselves on how they hold together the ecosystem. Breeze would be more than willing to talk to anyone about bees. Honey runs through his blood.
“My son he started out basically when he was six years old he came into the beehives with me and I showed him the ropes on how it was done,” said Breeze about his own history with bees. “The money that he earned from his beehive himself from the sales of his honey was basically able to buy himself his own bike and taught him a little bit of work ethic at the same time but the big thing was his education to show him how important bees are in society.”