The BC Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Fisheries (Ministry) Apiculture branch provides a number of resources and services to beekeepers. These are summarized below:
There are 12 Apiary Inspectors in BC located in key beekeeping regions. They provide free visits to inspect hive health. For our club’s central island area (included in the Vancouver Island & Gulf Islands – North region) our inspector is Wendi Gilson. She can also be reached by email and by phone at 250-882-2852.
Laboratory Testing Services
Testing for diseases is no charge and is carried out in the field (during inspection) and laboratory diagnostic services. These are free of charge. Laboratory diagnostics include microscopic examination, bacterial culturing for ID and for antibiotic resistant testing and virus ID (using PCR).
An online beginner course is offered at no charge. There is also an advanced Bee Master course that is offered every other year in-person and has a cost.
Ministry website resources
The government website offers a library of extension materials that include Best Management Practices, Disease and Pest identification and controls, Bee forage plant list. Also are sections dealing with statistics.
The chief apiarist
Paul van Westendorp also will present at club bee keeping meetings
BEE BC Program
Government commitment of $100K per year in support of local, community-based projects towards bee health and environmental enhancement.
In addition, to the above the BC government supports the BC Honey Producer’s Association with $25K per year, and the BCHA reps reach out clubs with news and BCHPA events that serve all beekeepers.
Anyone keeping bees in B.C. must be registered. You can use the Beekeeper & Apiary Registration Form online form to register.