February 05, 2016 - 8:00 PM
KAMLOOPS - A beekeeper in Kamloops is helping others learn more about the hobby and says a growing amount of people are maintaining hives in their backyard since changes to the city’s bylaw over a year ago.
Joanne Nicklas has kept bees for the past 10 years and manages several hives in Kamloops and the rural areas surrounding the city.
“It’s a great little hobby to get involved in,” she says. “A lot of it is because I love learning about bees."
In April 2014, city council passed a bylaw allowing members of the public to keep hives on their property. The number of hives is dependent on the size of the property, but Nicklas says most dwellings can support two.
Since the change in bylaw, Nicklas says the Kamloops Beekeepers Club saw a dramatic increase in new members. Now close to 50 people have started or have plans to maintain hives in their yard.
“Bees continue to amaze me at what they can do, and the fact that they go out and visit little flowers and use that to develop their hive,” she says.
With the education comes the honey. Nicklas says she and her husband harvest it from each of their hives and usually package it for family and friends.
Honey isn’t the only by-product of the hive. Nicklas says her bees regularly pollinate the garden on the property which keeps produce fresh for the harvest.
"I’m really happy with my fruits and vegetables. It’s neat to just know that some of this was thanks to the bees,” she says. “They really go hand in hand together. Pollination is huge for that. Every third mouthful you eat (you can) thank a bee for that.”
To help others — beginner and advanced beekeepers included — Nicklas will host a free informal lecture to promote the hobby at Kamloops Makerspace on Feb. 16.
The event will begin at 7 p.m. and end at 9 p.m. at 207 Victoria St. West.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016