Langley Bee Club often host field days, where members are actually able to visit apiarys and work with the bees and share knowledge with other like-minded bee lovers. (Special to The Star)

Langley Bee Club often host field days, where members are actually able to visit apiarys and work with the bees and share knowledge with other like-minded bee lovers. (Special to The Star)

Langley’s apiary club keeps ‘buzzy’ through summer

People who enjoy bees and everything about the insect, can get real experience with local group

Langley Bee Club is the place to be for beekeepers looking to share knowledge, network, and socialize with other like-minded bee lovers in the Fraser Valley.

The members focus on best practices for the tiny winged workers because they are critical to food security.

“I think something that is often over looked is that honeybees are livestock, like the chicken of birds,” said Carolyn Essaunce, club vice-president, and a commercial beekeeper with her own farm and retail brand.

In recent times due to COVID, the South Fraser branch of the BC Honey Producers Association was forced – like many groups – to make the switch to online events.

While this helped others from different regions connect from afar, it also resulted in some members stepping away from the monthly gatherings, Essaunce said.

“We lost some of our less technological members,” she elaborated. But “one of the silver linings was being able to pull guest speakers from all over the world.”

Between waves of COVID, members were able to sneak in a few Bees & Beers events – informal gatherings at pubs, breweries or cideries – plus some in-person field days where they met up at someone’s apiary and actually worked with bees.

While the monthly club meetings are on hiatus for July and August due now to summer break, the club will reconvene again in September.

In the meantime, the club will keep buzzing through the summer.

“We will be hosting field days where we meet at an apiary and Bees & Beers events, which are a great way to get to know the members,” said Essaunce.

A misconception that Essaunce wants to dispel, as more people get interested, is about bees and wasps.

RELATED: Cold temperatures impacting bees – and Langley farmers

“[Bees] are so different than wasps. Although both are beneficial insects that pollinate, honeybees are gentle, die when they sting, and have no interest in your barbecue,” she explained.

If joining a bee club isn’t in someone’s cards, there’s still much that Essaunce said can be done to help ensure the future of these native pollinators. One key way is to ensure their ongoing existence is to provide food and shelter.

RECENT: Festival of the Bees returns to Langley Demonstration Garden

“Lawns and development are taking away nesting spaces for native pollinators and food for all pollinators,” Essaunce said. “The best thing anyone can do, when they have land or a balcony to play with, is to either plant food for yourself, or food for pollinators – ideally both. Every tiny patch counts, and nectar/pollen availability is one of the biggest players in bee health.”

For those who are keen to learn more about bees, and get more involved, that’s also an option. The club takes members from all different backgrounds, level of experience, and age ranges.

Starting back on Tuesday, Sept. 6, and thereafter on the first Tuesday of each month, the club will be meeting at the Heritage Hall (formerly OAP Hall) at 3015 273rd St. in Aldergrove at 7:30 p.m.

“The only requirement is the love of bees,” she concluded.

For more information on the group and its events, visit the Langley Bee Club website.

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Langley Bee Club often host field days, where members are actually able to visit apiarys and work with the bees and share knowledge with other like-minded bee lovers. (Special to The Star)

Langley Bee Club often host field days, where members are actually able to visit apiarys and work with the bees and share knowledge with other like-minded bee lovers. (Special to The Star)

Langley Bee Club often host field days, where members are actually able to visit apiarys and work with the bees and share knowledge with other like-minded bee lovers. (Special to The Star)

Langley Bee Club often host field days, where members are actually able to visit apiarys and work with the bees and share knowledge with other like-minded bee lovers. (Special to The Star)

The club took part in the Festival of Bees Event. (Carolyn Essaunce/Special to The Star)

The club took part in the Festival of Bees Event. (Carolyn Essaunce/Special to The Star)

Carolyn Essaunce, vice-president of the Langley Bee Club, encourages people to get involved in big or small ways to help ensure the future for bees. (Special to the Aldergrove Star)

Carolyn Essaunce, vice-president of the Langley Bee Club, encourages people to get involved in big or small ways to help ensure the future for bees. (Special to the Aldergrove Star)