Report on Newfoundland BeeCon 2023

Thursday 26 January 2023

The winter may be the offseason for beekeepers but it allows us to engage in other important activities.  As a process of lifelong learning, beekeeping requires ongoing professional development.  An important part of this process is attending meetings, workshops and industry events.  Throughout the winter and early spring, a series of events are held across our region which provide valuable information to beekeepers.  One of these, an excellent meeting in Newfoundland (NL), has just occurred.  A few of the highlights of this meeting are detailed below as well as a schedule of some upcoming events.

Report on Newfoundland BeeCon 2023

People from all aspects of the beekeeping industry converged on St John’s, Newfoundland last week.  There was a series of meetings hosted by the NL Beekeeping Association across the city.  The beekeeping industry was represented by individuals from all levels and sectors.  There were first year beekeepers with two colonies mixing with multigenerational beekeepers with thousands of hives under their care.  All levels of government from across the country attended to show their support for beekeeping, honey production and pollination services in Canada.  Academic researchers and Tech Transfer had a high profile at the event as well as a few visitors representing beekeeping interests from outside of Canada.

The meeting was kicked off with the Canadian Honey Council (CHC) annual general meeting beginning on Wednesday.  The board members, who represent the beekeeping industry through this national governing body, discussed challenges and solutions for the industry.  Tech Transfer for Apiculture was highlighted as key to the sustainability of beekeeping in Canada.  As a result of discussions during this meeting the CHC appointed two board members to work directly with the Canadian tech transfer groups.  A new Atlantic CHC representative was also appointed.  The past Atlantic representative, Chris Lockhart of New Brunswick, stepped aside after diligently serving the region for three years and a new Atlantic board member, Rodney Reid of NL, was appointed.

A talk on Technology Transfer presented by ATTTA at the recent beekeepers meeting held in St. John's, NL.

In conjunction with the CHC AGM, the Canadian Association of Professional Apiculturists (CAPA) held their own AGM.  The themes of the meeting were around sustainability, tech transfer, overwintering losses, emerging research as well as the usual business of the Association.  There were a good number of members from across the country in attendance and many others joining online.  The president, Ernesto Guzman, reported that poor varroa control was the suspected, primary reason for last winter’s high losses.  There was additional discussion around this topic throughout the meeting.  The two busy days, with a full agenda, culminated in a fun evening which included making new visitors honorary Newfoundlanders through the Royal Order of Screechers!

Also, on Friday evening the NL Beekeeping Association held an event and talk with well-known Canadian beekeeper Ian Steppler.  This talk was well attended with a large proportion of NL beekeepers in attendance.  Also, Julia Common from BC gave an energetic and informative talk on her experience as a beekeeper on the opposite coast.  The importance of keeping NL varroa free is a goal of the industry and the association.  All those present recognized the unique position of the NL beekeeping industry and accepted that all Canadian beekeepers can help ensure that this status as free from varroa is maintained.

As host for the overall event, the NL Beekeeping Association ensured that everyone was welcomed, and this resulted in not only a productive meeting but a friendly and pleasant atmosphere.  As many of us had an extended visit due to a proper NL snow storm, a delayed departure was accepted as additional time in Canada’s friendliest province.

Upcoming beekeeping events in Atlantic Canada

New Brunswick Beekeepers Association – March 10-11th

New Brunswick Hort Congress – March 15-16th

Connecting with ATTTA Specialists

If you’d like to connect with ATTTA specialists or learn more about our program, you can: