All About the Bees

Brian Scott with his working demonstration hive.
Brian Scott with his working demonstration hive.

Brian Scott, owner of Innisfil Creek Honey (south of Barrie) shared his experiences as a beekeeper at the June meeting of the Tweed and District Horticultural Society. Brian is a commercial beekeeper and operator of a beekeeping supply store in Innisfil. He is a Certified Queen and Nuc Producer and he supplies customers with honey bee nucleus hives, starter hives and Queen Bees. Brian sells bee equipment and offers lessons on the art of beekeeping.

Brian started this career just 4 years ago with 3 “boxes”. He now has 300 and plans to have 450 by September.

His presentation, sprinkled with bits of humour held the audience’s attention as he explained his successes and challenges as a beekeeper. Being a beekeeper is more involved than most people imagine-Brian admitted that he often works 19 hours days in the early spring.  A beekeeper is a farmer with the same set of challenges faced by farmers…harsh winters, enough food for livestock and predators!

Since honey bees are not native to Canada, they need to be cared and “babied” to survive in our Canadian climate. As Brain says, it is expected to loose many bees due to severe and adverse winter weather.

Beekeepers also need to ensure that their bees have adequate food sources….bees will travel up to 2 ½ miles from the hive searching for nectar. The beekeeper must set the hives up in a location that will allow the bees to get the nectar during the 3 blooming seasons….dandelion, clover and golden rod. Each of these blooming seasons produces a different kind of honey. Bees need to have food throughout the winter months….sugar syrup.

The inside of a bee hive.
The inside of a bee hive.

Predators are mainly bears and skunks. The electric fence will help curtail the bears from destroying the hives and keeping the hives 18 inches above the ground helps to keep the skunks from “eating” the bees.

Brian explained the life cycle of the bees and the role the Queen Bee plays in the hive. Now, members know what the term “Queen Bee” really entails!

Although Brian has only been pursuing this career as a beekeeper for 4 years, his knowledge was evident as he competently answered questions about the bees, hives, honey production and the role of bees in nature.

Check out Brian’s website….www.innisfilcreekhoney.com

COMING UP….

June 26…Trip to Spindle Tree Gardens in Tamworth. Fee is $12 plus HST (group of 10 or more).

July 8-10…Tweed Fair. Fair entries must be at fair by noon on Fri July 8. Set-up for the club is Sat July 9 @ 8 am

July 19….Clean up of town beds. Meet at Moira Gardens at 6 pm

Aug 13…Clean-up of town beds. Meet at Moira Gardens at 9 am.

Aug 2…Pot Luck Dinner at  Beryl and Alan Austin’s. Remember your lawn chair, favourite pot luck dish, cup, plate and cutlery.

Sept 6…Brad Smith and Michele Cole from Herb Haven in Napanee will discuss their business venture as well as information about culinary and aromatic herbs.

Sept 11…Potter Settlement Vineyards and Winery Tour @ 2 pm. Register by Sept 1 due to limited spaces.

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