I live in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. It’s a remarkable city. Economist magazine ranks us as the world’s fifth-best city (they place Vancouver and Toronto as 3rd and 4th) while the international agency the Mercer Group says Calgary has the cleanest environment of any city on Earth – clean air, clear glacial water, tidy streets. Both Economist and Mercer failed to mention that Calgary also has the best beekeepers’ club in the world.
I’ve spilled many a pixel raving about the Calgary Bee Club and its education programs, school outreach, swarm collection, bee community projects, honey shows, and diverse meetings, so I won’t do that again today. Instead, I have a few photos (thanks to Liz Goldie) from one of our club’s weekly summertime “Saturday at the Hive” events. A couple of weeks ago, my friend and fellow bee instructor Neil Bertram invited 35 of his closest friends to see his bees and tour his off-grid honey shop in central Alberta. Neil runs a bit over 300 producing hives and makes about 60,000 pounds of honey almost every year. He wholesales most of it and he keeps his costs down by doing his own building, repairing, beekeeping, and extracting.
Neil Bertram enthusiastically shares what he knows. Hundreds of beekeepers have become better beekeepers because of Neil’s commitment and his living example of better beekeeping. I’d better add this disclosure, too: Neil co-stars in our hit program Making Money from Honey. Without his work and support on that project, Money from Honey wouldn’t be nearly as good as it is.
Photos on this page were graciously provided by my bee buddy, Liz Goldie.
Saturday at the Hive, Alberta style: