Friday, 10 March 2017

Rotary Club of Oak Bay Meeting 7 March 2017 - Barry Denluk on Bee Keeping

Reporter: Heather Aked

President Lori opened the meeting with O’Canada
Invocation from Lynne Murray
Heather A. provided the week's Rotary Moment which was on this month's theme: Water and Sanitation 
Eugen Bannerman introduced our visiting Rotarians and Guests:
Matthew Lowe guest of Jim Force
Graham Hill guest of Ron Cooley
Barry Denluk guest of the Club and today’s speaker

Health of the Club: Mary gave us an update on Tom L. He is out of the hospital and resting at home. Recovery will take at least 2 months.  Feel free to reach out to both Tom and Margaret; it would be appreciated.  A card was circulated.

  • Anne McIntyre announced that she was still looking for another 2 people to host the Aussie Rotarians that are in Victoria the weekend of May 20th – following pick up Anne will host a b.b.q. at her home.  Lynne stepped up – thanks. Looking for one other home.
  • Eugen announced that in two weeks, he will be our speaker and his talk will be on the ‘bucket list’.  If you have anything you want to share with Eugen prior to this talk feel free.  Lori commented that the only item on her bucket list was to win the lottery…..she keeps buying tickets!

Our Celebrations Master, Mandy, drained us with a variety of questions including celebrating International Women’s Day which is March 8th.   Mandy had us guessing names of members based on the anagrams she posted on the screen. Lori was the best hands down and saved out table a dollar or two.  Ann Sims birthday was last week. We sang Happy Birthday.
Ron Cooley’s 50/50 ticket was drawn yet again but sadly for him, he did not pick out the black marble. Maybe next time Ron!

Guest Speaker:
John Jordan introduced Barry Denluk, today’s speaker.  Barry has been a master bee keeper for 15 years, has travelled to Rwanda twice (once with John J.) to assist bee practitioners there.

Barry gave a very interesting talk on Honey Bees.  He explained that as honey bees pollinate the food we eat, as the population grows and we grow more plants, the seeds require pollination.
What’s the difference between a honey bee and a wasp?  Honey bees have hair, wasps don’t, the ends of each hair are like a duster and carry an electrostatic charge as they fly through the air, causing pollen to attach.

A bees diet is pollen (protein), nectar (sugar) and water.  Yes, honey bees drink water. If you have a bird bath, make sure you put some stones in it so the bees can sit on them and drink (they don’t swim very well).  Did you know that beetles were very likely the first pollinators?

There are more than 20,000 different varieties of honey bees and they can be found everywhere except Antarctica as there are no flowers down there!  Honey bees have the most complex social behaviour of all bees.  They each have different jobs.   The queen can lay 2000 eggs over 24 hours.  The workers are undeveloped females; they don’t develop ovaries.  The drones (males) have a single function and that is to mate.  They live for 10 days and then die.

Iraq is the birthplace of the bee.  Canada imports about ¼ of a million Queen Honey Bees every year, an the life expectancy of this imported honey bee is about 3 months.  Her function is to get the hive started and then a replacement queen is introduced. 

In the summer Barry has about 60,000 bees per hive and the bees' single function is to produce honey. It was surprising to hear that an entire life’s work for a bee is just 1 tablespoon of honey, and they work all day, every day.  

A bee's hair gives it its colour . As they get older they lose their hair so they get blacker – so in theory we can tell how old the bee is.  When they are born, they are grey in colour and within 24 hours, they have their full colour.

It takes 21 days for the egg to hatch, the next 21 days are spent in the hive and the final 21 days are spent foraging.  Honey bees’ wing muscles do not have the ability to regenerate.  A winter bee will live 3 to 6 months and the queen bee will live longer as she travels less.

Did you know:
  • That a honey bee can carry almost its entire body weight of pollen back to the hive
  • In the first week of its life a bee doesn’t have a developed stinger
  • Bees don’t like black
  • Honey is a simple sugar and metabolizes quickly
  • Honey bees sting to protect the hive.
Barry began beekeeping 15 years ago and finds it very relaxing.  As mentioned, he’s been to Rwanda twice (he has a whole talk about this which hopefully we will hear one day).  Some lucky people bought some Rwandan honey. Yours truly bought some wildflower honey which I can’t wait to try.  Check out Barry’s website for information about courses etc. etc.

Ann Sims thanked Barry for his talk and presented him with the coveted Oak Bay Rotary mug.

Lori closed the meeting with a rap video on water and sanitation.

See you next week!

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