Our January Planning meeting produced excellent ideas and a framework for 2019 meeting agendas.
Report on the UTBA Annual Planning Meeting, January 8, 2019
Approximately 30 UTBA members came together on the second Tuesday in January to discuss and prioritize meeting topics and events for the coming year.
More than 20 topics and activities events were identified and discussed in four small groups, and then prioritized using a “dotmocracy” exercise in order of higher to lower priority.
Higher Priority Topics/Activities
1. Sharing Experiences. UTBA members want more opportunities to share their experiences and discuss problems as beekeepers. It was suggested that, among other things, we should include a short “Apiary of the Month” presentation at most meetings, where a UTBA member could take 10-15 minutes to describe his or her apiary and experience in beekeeping, hopefully with pictures.
2. Networking within UTBA. UTBA members would like more networking and mentoring opportunities, for example: small groups helping one another or sharing work (e.g. honey harvesting); developing a classified section on the website where members could ask for advice or help, locations for keeping hives, etc.; a blog chat function. Note: This might be beyond the current capabilities of the UTBA Coordinating Committee. Members who are interested in helping out with these types of activities are encouraged to step up.
3. Apiary Tours. UTBA members are keen to have more apiary tours. Only one would be possible for 2019, since the UTBA is one of two key organizers of the OBA Summer Meeting at the Humber Arboretum (June 22). The Coordinating Committee would welcome volunteers to help organize such a tour or it may not be possible.
4. Designing Attractive Honey Labels, Marketing and Pricing your Honey; Development of a “BQA Standard”. This session would require a whole evening or perhaps more than an evening, or possibly a workshop. The idea of a BQA standard is to find a way to designate good, unadulterated, local honey for sale.
5. Swarm Management. Members asked that, before swarm season, a meeting be held to focus on swarm management. The BEE Educated session could deal with the biology of swarms and the main session with how to reduce swarming, and how to deal with a caught swarm.
6. Apimondia. Apimondia is an international apicultural conference that occurs every second year. It brings together thousands of beekeepers, researchers and policy makers from across the world. This year it will be held in Montreal on September 8-12. Registration fees are reduced for groups of 10 and UTBA members are encouraged to participate. A speaker for the event has been invited to present to the February UTBA meeting.
7. Organizing your Apiary. In addition to some principles for physically organizing an apiary, perhaps in a BEE Educated presentation, this session could provide a good opportunity for members to share experiences and network.
8. Small Hive Beetle. UTBA members would really appreciate a session on the small hive beetle, including biology, its spread in Ontario, concerns about buying affected bees and nucs, and the OBA recommendation to OMAFRA to end the current quarantine. Note: The OBA Summer Meeting being organized by UTBA and TDBA will include a session on small hive beetle, so it may not be necessary to include this topic in a UTBA monthly meeting.
9. Integrated Pest Management. This is encouraged as a repeat BEE Educated session aimed at newer members of UTBA.
10. Apitherapy. Several UTBA members were interested in a session on bee-sting therapy. It was suggested that the session might be combined with information on the antiseptic and antibacterial properties of different kinds of honey, currently under review by researchers in London, Ontario.
11. American Foulbrood (AFB). OBA Tech Transfer have offered to give a presentation on American Foulbrood and also on the new regulations that require a veterinarian to approve beekeeper applications of oxytetracycline hydrochloride as a preventative measure. This session will probably take place in March.
12. Wild Bee Field Trip. Some UTBA members were interested in a “wild bee field trip” to identify wild bees and their habitat in the area, led by researchers at York University. It may not be possible for the UTBA Coordinating Committee to organize such a field trip this year, but UTBA volunteers may want to take this on.
13. Raising the Profile of the UTBA and Fundraising. This was suggested mainly as an activity for the coordinating committee.
14. Nutrition and Preparing Food with Honey.
15. Hive Inspections and Record Keeping. This would include a discussion of apps currently available to help beekeepers track the changing status of their hives.
Lower Priority Topics
The following topics were also suggested, but had smaller numbers of votes:
Finding a Host for your Hives/Being a Host for another Beekeeper’s Hives
Bee Biology and Behaviour
Using Single Brood Boxes
Preparing for Winter
Products of the Hive.
February BEE Educated: Winter Management of hives
Apiary of the Month: Alin Dumitresco
Main Session: Apimondia
March American Foulbrood and Requirements for use of Oxytet
April BEE Educated: Hive Inspections and Record Keeping
Main Session: Principles and Member Experiences of Organizing your Apiary
May Swarms and Swarm Management
June Integrated Pest Management
June 22 OBA Summer Meeting hosted by UTBA and TDBA
September Designing Attractive Honey Labels; Marketing and Pricing your Honey; BQA Standard Development
October Apitherapy; Antiseptic and Antibacterial Properties of Honey
November Products of the Hive (Honey, Wax, Propolis, etc.)