Founded in 1954, the Cowichan Beekeepers Club celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2014. Originally the club was simply a way for like minded individuals to connect and share common interests.
Beekeeping has changed immensely since then. The much publicized Colony Collapse Disorder has been somewhat overstated by the media. Winter losses have been higher than industry averages, causes are complicated and not well understood. The arrival of the mite Varroa destructor and the many viruses it vectors are widely implicated. Pesticides and fungicides may play a role as does vital habitat loss and poor genetics.
What does it mean to be a beekeeper? More than ever before we need the best up-to-date knowledge and the advice of experienced apiarists. A basic understanding of integrated pest management principles is fundamental to successful beekeeping.
There has never been a more important time to have honeybee colonies in your backyard. Urban habitat is well suited for honeybee forage. Early and late flowering bee loving plants are especially valuable. Honeybees will pollinate the fruit and vegetables in your garden and increase the production of your orchard trees.
The Cowichan Valley is home to an estimated 200 beekeepers, with most belonging to the club. The club will strive to keep members up to date on best practices and current events to keep the valley’s bee colonies strong and healthy. It matters not whether you have one or two hives or dozens, everyone is welcome to attend our meetings.
Beekeeping is a fascinating, rewarding and addictive hobby and the Cowichan Valley Beekeepers Club is the place to learn. We have members who have kept bees for decades who love to share their knowledge and anecdotes with "newbees".