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Beeing in the moment is everything in the art of keeping bees

Laura Cameron-Delisle and her colony of bees.  - Submitted photo/The Observer
Laura Cameron-Delisle and her colony of bees.
— image credit: Submitted photo/The Observer

For environmental educator, consultant, community-builder and beekeeper Laura Cameron-Delisle, beeing in the moment is everything.The beekeeper and naturalist took a moment to chat with The Observer about life with her 50,000 bees and her new book, Beekeeping Basics: A Handbook for New & Emerging Beekeepers.

Delisle will be presenting on in it at ACES 4th Annual Seed Exchange at the Harrison Mills Community Hall this Friday.

The book was a two year project for Cameron-Delisle, who admittedly, kept learning throughout its conception. The beekeeper was charmed by the harmonious, integrative, and community-oriented nature of the bee, and decided she wanted to take up the art of beekeeping, and to use her knowledge to teach others about bees and effective ways of communication, reminiscent of a bee colony.

Daringly, she learned the beekeeping trade, and joined the 7,000 other Canadian beekeepers in Canada.

Her first season was not without tragedy.“I lost the entire colony the first year,” she says. “As much as I tried to ask the right questions and thought I was doing the best I could do before even getting my bees, I wasn’t successful — it was really disheartening.”

This was the impetus for the book.

Cameron-Delisle wanted to impart her wisdom to other first time beekeepers.

“I wanted to put this together because being a new beekeeper can be quite daunting with all the stuff you’ve got to take in and learn about keeping your bees healthy and alive.”

She created the book as a simple, factual, educational tool about what to do and how to do it. It’s a step- by-step practical guide for the first time beekeeper.

“The book gives you the gist of what to expect that first year of beekeeping,” she said. “The second year gets more complicated.”

The book is chalk full of advice from a first year beekeeper who has been through the expected pitfalls of that first season.

“There are tips about what to consider before buying your bees, where to buy your bees, and things to expect over the bee calendar year that are all in the book.”

According to Cameron-Delisle the colony is a tightly woven network that is contingent on the health of all its 50,000 members including a queen bee.Cameron-Delisle checks on her hive daily in a full beekeeper suit, though, she recommends that others do what is comfortable for them provided there are no known allergies to the bees.

“One thing I would tell beekeepers is don’t be disheartened if you lose your colony that first year because it’s not easy — there’s lots that can go wrong and even using the best practices, you can still lose them over the winter,” she says.

Cameron-Delisle has an upcoming workshop on Beekeeping Basics: A Handbook for New & Emerging Beekeepers on Feb. 26 as well as her presentation at ACES 4th Annual Seed Exchange at the Harrison Mills Community Hall this Friday Feb. 17 at 6:30 p.m.

For more information on Laura Cameron-Deslisle M.A. workshops visit www.thebumblebeecircle.com and to check out ACES 4th Annual Seed Exchange visit www.weareaces.org.

 

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