Nova Scotia Beekeepers Annual General Meeting 2023

Thursday 2 March 2023

With the light at the end of the winter tunnel appearing, beekeepers are thinking towards the spring season.  We are anxious to get back into our hives but in the meantime, there are meetings and events happening across the Atlantic region to keep beekeepers engaged.  The most recent of these was held last weekend in Truro, Nova Scotia.  A well-attended and efficiently run AGM for the Nova Scotia Beekeepers Association was a great success and a welcome return to in-person attendance.

Nova Scotia Beekeepers Annual General Meeting 2023

The 2023 meeting of the Nova Scotia Beekeepers Association was a return to in-person events after a few years of isolation.  The opportunity to reacquaint friends and colleagues was appreciated by everyone, as was the chance to meet new beekeepers.  Friday night was a gathering of around 30 commercial beekeepers.  The discussion focused on specific challenges for the commercial sector.  The main themes of the discussion were around honey bee health and supply for pollination.

NSBA president, Tyler Hobbs, welcomes everyone to the 2023 AGM (Duncan Wetzel, NSBA Vice President in foreground).

Saturday had a full agenda of speakers and presentations.  The day kicked off with a welcome from the NSBA president, followed by a presentation from the NS Provincial Apiarist, Jason Sproule.  An excellent overview of the past year in beekeeping was provided. Jason shared statistics demonstrating the growth in numbers of new beekeepers and overall colonies in the province in 2022.  ATTTA followed Jason with a short overview of all the team’s work over the past year.

A presentation entitled CFIA for Dummies, from Margaret Cornect, provided practical information for beekeepers around the rules for selling honey and related products.  Margaret shared her experience, which is significant, and provided advice for anyone producing products for sale to the public.  The practicality of Margaret’s talk was directly beneficial for all beekeepers on a subject which many find complex.

A range of trade stands, including ATTTA, were included in the NSBA AGM!

The rest of the day saw excellent presentations on the work of the Canadian Honey Council, Perennia and the Wild Blueberry Producers Association of Nova Scotia.  John Murray led the meeting in a moment of silence for beekeepers lost to us in the past year.  He also presented a lifetime achievement award to Gary Smeltzer.  The contribution and dedication of Gary to the NS beekeeping industry was unanimously recognized by all in attendance.  Congratulations to Gary!

Mr. Gary Smeltzer, awarded the NSBA Lifetime Achievement award.

Both Tom Cosman and Rodney Reid shared their personal journeys in beekeeping.  Tom is a well-known Nova Scotia beekeeper and co-owner of Cosman and Whidden Honey.  His sincere passion for beekeeping and pride in being part of a multigenerational business came through in his presentation.  All those present were attentive and appreciative, as Tom’s beekeeping story was told.  A similar personal narrative was shared from Rodney Reid of Newfoundland.  Rodney’s presentation completed the day and provided a different prospective on beekeeping.  As a relatively young industry, beekeeping in NL faces unique challenges but the participants from that province are without doubt dedicated to the craft. Rodney is an example of the enthusiastic, progressive industry which is developing in that province.  It is always motivational to hear such success stories, especially for new beekeepers making decision on what path they will take.

Remember the next meeting in our region will be the New Brunswick Beekeepers Association AGM,  March 10 & 11.  Details can be found on their website:

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