From the President’s Desk

This month we want to draw your attention to the Draft Regulatory Review for Marketing Council, as directed by the Provincial Government. The article elsewhere in this edition outlines the three major recommendations that the Board has suggested. Really, all three have been the functional way the Commission has functioned this just puts the definition substance in the regulations.

An article elsewhere in this edition outlines the three major recommendations that the Board has suggested. Really, all three have been the functional way the Commission has operated. This just puts the definition substance in the Regulations.

Producers with less than one hundred colonies have never been compelled to join the Commission. The Commission was set up to include all beekeepers in the province regardless of the number of colonies. However when registering with the Commission they become a non-voting beekeeper member and qualify to receive the most pertinent services that might be of use to them, as described elsewhere. We have always had a good relationship with the various Bee Clubs across the province and work cooperatively with them whenever the opportunity arises. Dr. Nasr has been instrumental in providing bee courses and speakers throughout the province, and at the Annual General Meeting and the Integrated Pest Management meeting.  The Commission has provided the availability of our services for the Edmonton and Calgary District Beekeepers Club. Many Commission members got their start in beekeeping through such Clubs. In future, to become an Eligible Producer a member must have registered 100 colonies with Alberta Agriculture. This change will now result in having two directors at large on the Board. The Commission was set up to include all beekeepers in the province regardless of the number of colonies.

Producers with less than 100 hives are welcome and participate at any Commission Meeting, including the Annual General Meeting.

Finally, at the 2014 Annual General Meeting the membership presented a resolution to change to Commission’s name to the Alberta Beekeepers Commission.

You should be aware that Small Hive Beetle were found in Ontario outside the Quarantine Zone that had been established for Small Hive Beetle control. Inspected hives from the area were permitted to go to New Brunswick. I have no idea how many hive beetles were found, when, where or any specifics. That may be the greater issue. Why was there no consultation with industry as this issue evolved. The Alberta Beekeepers Commission was not consulted, Canadian Honey Council was not consulted. Is it comforting to know that government knows best and has no moral or legal obligation to industry. Really.

The latest news on Hive Beetles as of June 20, to the chagrin of gossipmongers near and far, no Hive Beetles were found in New Brunswick, and hives are headed home in all directions. The greater issue is the reaction of Provincial Apiculturalists and their willingness to shut down commerce for such an incursion. We have not learned anything from history. Remember Tracheal Mites and the eradication and quarantines and disruption of business that occurred around that pest. Small Hive Beetles fit in the same category.Tens of thousands of queen cages have been inspected, I don’t believe any beetles have been found.  We will get Small Hive Beetles at any and all of the border regions, and have already received beetles in Australian packages and natural incursions in Manitoba and Ontario. The situation was addressed and we have moved on from that. There is lots of work to be done, let us do the essential things and realize when ego and attitude are standing in the way, and not let that become a controlling force. Do not take my word for it, call ex-pat Carmen Ciphery in Australia and have him share his techniques. Talk to Tom Congdon about the benefits the quarantine have brought to his operation.

This is largely a federal issue and CFIA has essentially walked away from the issue. Maybe somebody in Ottawa got it right.

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From the President’s Desk

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