On April 14th, I received an invitation to join the Edmonton Beekeepers Google Group. I would highly recommend signing up since invaluable information can be gained by being part of this group. Malcolm Connell messages, “The purpose of the free Edmonton Bee forum is to make announcements, mentor new beekeepers, buy and sell equipment.” Members can also ask questions… and it is nice to see the more experienced beekeepers come to the rescue.
We have decided to put our New Zealand bees at the Ranch near the family farm. This is a 480 acre property 100 miles north east of Edmonton that is primarily bush with a large meadow. There are also several trails through the bush that my Dad strategically placed throughout the property to allow for easy access to the most remote parts. It is not unusual to see moose or deer pasturing in the meadow. There are also a large number of bears in the immediate area. We always take bear-spray and pack a shotgun for the worst-case scenario. On occasion, we will see a lone wolf or coyote loping off to the safety of the bush as our vehicle approaches.
Our great bee adventure began on April 8th, 2017 when my son, Worth and I got up at the crack of dawn to attend an introductory beekeeping course at Grant McEwan University. Actually, it started at 8:30am and we did have time to sneak in a Starbucks coffee. Organized by the Edmonton and District Beekeepers Association, veteran beekeepers Craig Toth and Malcolm Connell took turns explaining various aspects of practical beekeeping. They had handouts, hives and a wide array of beekeeping equipment. By early afternoon, our heads were chocker full of information and our eyes bright with enthusiasm.