Learning about bees and beekeeping is a daunting task. Let’s be honest: you’ve taken an interest in working with an insect that you’ve tried to avoid angering for your entire life. Bees are dangerous, aren’t they?
The first time that I investigated this was in the early 90’s. There was next no information about how to get started available online and anything that I did find was all doom and gloom. You have to treat for this parasite or that bacteria. Don’t get any of parasite treatments on your skin, though. I gave up and moved on.
Fast forward to January/February 2008: bees pop up on my radar again. I don’t recall the context, but I decided to look into beekeeping again. How things had changed in 15 years. Now there was far more information online than anyone could absorb. Much of it conflicted too: you have to do this to keep your bees alive. No, don’t do that, they’ll die. If was confusing, to say the least.
I was stumbled across Phil Chandler’s Biobees forum while I was looking for hive building plans. The only thing missing was a choir of angels singing. I was home. I had found a community of beekeepers from a dozen different countries who all wanted nothing more than to keep bees without chemicals. We learned so much from the people there. If we had questions, somebody would answer them. If we needed advice, there was lots of it. It was, and still is, a great place for beekeepers online.
There’s one problem: there aren’t a lot of Canadians there. We have some different challenges than beekeepers in other countries. Beginning with inter-provincial trade rules and how the industry regulated all the way to the way bees are sold in this country and what the rules are once you have them.
Greg and I wanted to fill that hole, so we talked about setting up a forum aimed at Canadian beekeepers who want to keep bees in a more sustainable way than is the norm. We talked. Then we talked some more.
We finally got it off the ground last September only to get hammered in a spam flood. I took the board down for cleanup and to tighten security, but life got in the way and I never got it fixed.
Until now: The Canadian Sustainable Beekeeping Network is on the air!
I managed to save/transfer the user accounts of people who registered the first time and hope that they’ll come back. The security is clamped down and the firewall is ready for action. There isn’t a lot of content yet, but we’re adding it as we go. Come check it out. There’s no charge for an account and there never will be. We believe very firmly that there are no secrets in beekeeping. Only knowledge to be shared.