I guess I’m more interested in spending time with the birds, bees, plants and my dog at my farm than I am in mentoring new beekeepers. However, there are lots of other resources for you! I have just a few words of advice:
- When you’re surfing the internet looking for beekeeping info, keep in mind geographic location. Alberta is very different from the United States, or even Eastern Canada, for beekeeping. A lot of the things they do elsewhere don’t work so well up here.
- Keeping in mind the above point, it’s best to talk to Albertan beekeepers about bees. As in get off the internet! Get out and meet people! Talking to other beekeepers is a ton of fun.
Having said that, here are a few quick online resources to get you going:
- Alberta Agriculture and Forestry just released a tailored-to-Alberta honey bee disease app to help you ID diseases in your hives. Download it at here.
- Allan Dick, an Alberta beekeeper, has a good website for Albertan beekeepers.
- Ron Miksha’s page is a fun one too.
There are clubs and forums flourishing all over Alberta. Here are a few of them:
- Edmonton District Beekeepers Association. In addition to monthly meetings, they do mentoring classes and workshops now.
- The facebook pages for Edmonton Urban Beekeepers and Red Deer Bee Keepers are buzzing with excitement and advice for new beekeepers. I’m sure there are more facebook groups I don’t know about.
- Calgary District Beekeepers Association is an active group. I wish I had more contact with those fun folks than I do. Count yourselves lucky if you’re in their area!
I’m sure there are lots of groups I’m missing, but those’ll send you on your way.
And there you have it. I get lots of requests for mentorship but unless you nab me for a few minutes at my market stall, I probably won’t be of much help to you. I’m just not oriented that way I guess. But luckily there are lots of people who are willing to help you, you just need to find them.