Inspector’s Notes

North Island Bee Inspector, Wendi Gilson, 250-882-2852,

March notes:
Wendi is seeing lots of starving colonies, dead-outs and mite issues at this time of year.  Aim for better winterization of colonies, better hive resources, and better mite control.
If you have a dead-out with a lot of honey left, your bees may still have starved by being too small a cluster to be able to move back into contact with food stores.
Another problem Wendi has noticed this spring is overfed colonies not having enough space to lay.  Last fall, backfilling was a problem because there was so much nectar flow late into the year.  The queen needs space to lay winter bees in Sept-Oct and first half of Nov.  Backfilling prevents this crucial egg laying and results in a decreased population of winter bees (which consume less honey, resulting in limited spring space for the queen to lay).

Overwinter Survival / Loss Survey (emailed out next month)
Wendi (with Deborah and Sherlene) is developing a dead-out survey to include backyard beekeepers.  Survey will be emailed out to all members in May (weather dependent) with a 2-week window for completion.  Survey results will be shared with Club members.  (Note:  the survey itself is an important learning tool:  once you’ve completed it, make a copy of your data and review it in September as you head into another winter.  What will you do differently in the fall to correct and prevent problem areas that you identify now?)

TIPS:  It’s important to take advantage of the mentorship opportunities offered by the Club and the free inspection services offered by the Ministry of Agriculture (i.e. me!), as they focus on outreach and education.  

Don’t attempt to work in isolation; many times the help may make all the difference in whether your bees thrive and survive.  Go to field days and get together with your neighborhood beekeepers.

I’m looking forward to seeing you in your bee yards or at a Club meeting on Zoom or in person.  It feels like spring is just around the corner!



DUE TO BACKLOG, please only submit one or a few samples when there is suspicion of disease presence. 

Click here for instructions on how to prepare and submit samples.

Upcoming activities:

Field Days:  May 22, Aug 14, Sept 25, locations TBD
Contact Wendi to attend or host, maximum of 12 participants per visit. 

Anyone interested in a Nosema identification lesson (using a microscope)?  Please let Wendi know!

1- Apiary Registration:
Anyone keeping bees in BC must register their apiary with the Ministry of Agriculture:

2- Beekeeping Bulletins:

3- Permits:
Required if you are selling (or giving away) bees or used equipment.
Required if you are moving bees or used bee equipment to another bee district (i.e. anywhere on the mainland).
Permit details:

*Apiary registration and permits are FREE – their only purpose is to prevent the spread of disease in honey bees.*

4- Apiary inspection/extension services offered FREE to beekeepers.  
Don’t hesitate to contact Wendi if you’d like a bee check in your apiary or even just a phone consult.

5- Laboratory diagnostic services offered FREE to beekeepers (for the price of a stamp).  (However, the lab in Abbotsford is temporarily closed due to the recent flooding in the area.  When it re-opens, the free diagnostic services will be available again.) 

Breeding Mite-Biting Bees To Control Varroa

The Seasons of Bees: