Upcoming Bee Workshops

                 2013 Honey Bee Workshops

March 30th      Castlegar – Kootenay Beekeeping supply – Natural Beekeeping Intro – 1

April 9th           Nelson – Oso Negro – Community Agriculture Conversation Cafe

April 13th          Castlegar – Kootenay Beekeeping Supply – Natural Beekeeping – 2

April 21st           Calgary – Calgary Convention center – Trade Show

April 27th         Slocan – White Pines Dojo – Natural Beekeeping Intro – 1

May 11th          Slocan – White Pines Dojo – Natural Beekeeping -2

May 25th         Castlegar – Kootenay Beekeeping Supply – Natural beekeeping – 3

June 9th           Winlaw – Against The Wind Nursery – Natural Beekeeping – 3

June 22nd         Castlegar – Kootenay Beekeeping Supply – Natural Beekeeping – 4

July 13th          Slocan – White Pines Dojo – Natural Beekeeping – 4

July 20th          Castlegar – Kootenay Beekeeping Supply – Natural Beekeeping – 5

August 17th      Castlegar – Kootenay Beekeeping Supply – Natural Beekeeping – 6

August 11th      Winlaw – Against The Wind Nursery – Natural Beekeeping – 5

Contact Christina Yahn for more information on workshops or to organize a speaking engagement or host a beekeeping workshop.

phone: 1-250-999-7948 or e mail: thequeensbeesproject@gmail.com

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Plants & Pollinators Workshop





Hello Gardeners & Friends of Gardeners!

Helen Sebelius, from Against the Wind Nursery & Gardens, will team up with Christina Yahn, from Queen’s Bees Project, to offer a spring workshop on Plants & Pollinators – Thursday, March 7th @ 6:30pm, Slocan Park Hall.  $20.00 each, or sign up with a friend for $35.00.
Gardens are increasingly recognized as important habitats where insects can find sources of nectar and pollen.  Plant fertilization, the production of seeds and fruit, and  biodiversity can be enhanced by introducing plants into your garden that are pleasing and useful to both people and insects. Sebelius’ gardening practices and observations, combined with Yahn’s knowledge of honeybees will paint a colourful picture of the intimate relationship between plants, people and pollinators.

To register please call the Slocan Valley Recreation office @ 250.226.0008.

Helen Sebelius, Against the Wind Nursery & Gardens, Winlaw


Christina Yahn, Executive Director, Queens Bees Project, Winlaw


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Pest Management Plan on Ecocentric

Today I am hosting Ecocentric a local environmental program and we are discussing our Pest Management Plan. This News blog is for people to check out the correspondence between myself and interior health regarding an interview, also the links they sent me along with some other interesting links. Please read the next post in my news feed to read more in depth my story about the Pest Management Plan.

Here is the correspondence via E mail with Interior Health:

Hi Christina,

Still working on this request – our potential spokespeople for this issue are busy with the flooding situation across the region right now but I do hope to have an answer for you later tomorrow.   


Promotion and Prevention Communications Officer

Interior Health

Thanks Lesley,

Just let me know if anyone is available for Tuesday July 3rd for about a 5 min interview.

I understand its a busy time.

All the best,


Thanks for your interest in having an IH person on your show. Most of your questions are quite specific and beyond the scope and practice of Interior Health (such as assessing the safety of methoprene and environmental assessments). These questions are best directed to other government agencies such as Health Canada and the Ministry of Environment. As such, we are declining the interview but we will provide you a statement about the intent and purpose of the IH Pest Management Plan. I will also provide you with some links to resources that will should help with your questions about methoprene.

Just working on tracking down a couple resources and will get this information to you tomorrow.

Thanks for your patience.



Promotion and Prevention Communications Officer

Interior Health

This is the official Statement I received on the topic:

Interior Health PMP

Interior Health (IH) is one of many agencies in the interior that have a pest management plan (PMP) for mosquito control.  Many local governments have their own PMP in place for nuisance mosquito control and/or West Nile virus control. IH does not apply larvicides under their own PMP – the intent of the Interior Health PMP is to provide areas within the Interior Health region that currently do not have their own pest management plan the ability to undertake mosquito larviciding should West Nile virus (WNv) be anticipated in a localized area. Interior Health’s PMP is not for nuisance mosquito control.

The Interior Health PMP was developed in 2009, the year West Nile virus was first detected in the Interior Health region. Evidence over the past three years has not demonstrated a substantial increase in WNv prevalence or a substantial increase in human risk.  In fall 2011, a provincial committee conducted a review of West Nile virus activity across BC. The review concluded that pre-emptive mosquito larviciding is not presently warranted as a precautionary risk reduction measure against human West Nile virus infection and outbreaks. As such, Interior Health is not recommending pre-emptive larvicing as a West Nile Virus prevention measure at this point.

Interior Health, in conjunction with BC Centre for Disease Control, will continue to carry out WNv surveillance. Medical Health Officers review the surveillance information on an ongoing basis and would determine if larviciding for West Nile virus risk reduction is necessary.


In BC, the Integrated Pest Management Plan process is overseen by the Ministry of Environment using the Integrated Pest Management Act and Regulation.  http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/epd/ipmp/regs/index.htm

Assessing the safety of pest control products (such as methoprene) and conducting environmental assessments are not within the scope of Interior Health’s responsibility.  It is the responsibility of the Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA).  An environmental assessment was done as part of the PRMA registration process.  More information is located here http://publications.gc.ca/collections/Collection/H113-18-2007-1E.pdf under section 2.4.

A fact sheet on methoprene is also available on the Health Canada website:  Use of Methoprene in Mosquito Contol Programs http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/cps-spc/pubs/pest/_fact-fiche/methoprene/index-eng.php



Promotion and Prevention Communications Officer

Interior Health

Here is some real information on Methoprene and West Nile Spraying:



This was just lovely of Interior health to send me some Internet links on Methoprene one of them just stuck right out for me…this is the reevaluation report by the pest management regulatory agency (the one responsible for making sure this product is safe!!!)

Here is a little excerpt out of the report that is shocking to me:

2.4.2 Environmental Toxicology Terrestrial
Methoprene showed no immediate acute effects on adult honeybees, as their mortality after 48 h did not exceed 10% after topical or oral application of the doses tested (up to 1000 μg/bee). At 250 μg/bee, some studies have shown behavioural changes, developmental abnormalities and disruption of hormonal regulation over periods ranging from 1 to 21 days. These effects were not seen at 25 μg/bee. Earthworms showed little if any toxic effects to methoprene exposure. Methoprene is practically non-toxic to mallard ducks and bobwhite quail on both an oral and dietary basis (lethal dose 50% [LD50] > 2000 mg/kg, lethal concentration 50% [LC50] > 10 000 mg/kg). Acute LD50s for rats and dogs range from 5000 to 34 600 mg a.i./kg; therefore,
methoprene is classified as being practically non-toxic. Mammal dietary NOELs range from 20 to 250 mg/kg bw/day. Methoprene showed little phytotoxicity to flowering plants, peas and tomatoes.

Here is the full paper to read yourself:



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Pest Managment Plan

The Pest Management Plan for the Kootenay, Okanogan and silmilkameen boundaries was approved for renewing its contract with interior health for another 5 years, despite the hundreds of signatures collected by a small group of concerned citizens.

I found myself very involved in this cause and created my first petition to pass around with the short time frame given by interior health for public feedback.  After 2 weeks we collected as many names as possible (Over 500) and personally handed them into the Interior Health head office in Pentictin B.C. Nothing came out of this of course except the raise in awareness about this specific issue to the general public.

No one I talked to was aware of such a program, or the fact that for the last 5 years we have been sprayed with toxic substances and had our water contaminated with bacteria developed in a laboratory in Israel.

I had to research this issue further so I contacted the consulting company that has this contract with Interior death…I mean Health.

SMC consulting is a company making money off the sale of these chemicals. I spoke with the CEO of the company where I was assured that Methroprene was a safe substance posing no threat to human life. That although in the actual pest management plan where they list multiple methods for spraying aerial spray, backpack sprayers  (even by horse!). They only spray when “necessary”  according to the CEO. However the conversation took a sharp turn once the CEO realized I had a brain and challenged his statements with actual facts and studies about Methropine he got off the phone quickly and I was not able to reach him again.

The next phone call I made was to Interior Heath, the Rep. that I spoke with again attempted to assure me of the safety of these substances. Although they are not able to provide me with any evidence to base this on. I however have multiple reports of studies proving the extreme risks of using such larvacides in our environment. In fact Methroprene is banned in a lot of states and in eastern Canada due to the proof of deformities caused in fish, marine life and estuarine invertebrates. Next I asked him about Interior Healths role in this program and if they receive any “kick backs” for the sale of these chemicals. He was not able to answer me clearly on this and said he would have to get back to me. Terrified yet? it gets better! I asked if Interior Health was a government agency or a private one…again He could not give me a definite answer. It turns out that they are NOT a government agency!! They are funded by the Canadian government however they are a privately functioning entity with all kinds of private partnerships!

Next my research took me to looking closer at this specific chemical. I found out there was a Report issued by the Toxics Action Center and Maine Environmental Policy Institute: http://www.meepi.org/wnv/overkillma.htm

Below I have highlighted some of the pressing concerns of this Larvacide from the report.

Methoprene is a compound that mimics the action of an insect growth regulation hormone. It is used as an insecticide because it interferes with the normal maturation process. In a normal life cycle, an insect goes from egg to larva, to pupa, and eventually to adult. Methoprene artificially stunts the insects’ development, making it impossible for insects to mature to the adult stages, and thus preventing them from reproducing.

Methoprene is slightly toxic to birds.51,124 Non-lethal effects that may affect survival of the birds did appear at acute oral doses of 500 mg/kg. These effects appeared as soon as 2 hours after treatment and persisted for up to 2 days and included slowness, reluctance to move, sitting, withdrawal, and incoordination.47 These effects may decrease bird survival by making them temporarily more susceptible to predation or by affecting reproductive and parenting behaviors.

Methoprene is slightly to moderately toxic to fish. Methoprene residues may have a slight potential for bioconcentration in bluegill sunfish and crayfish.Methoprene is very highly toxic to some species of freshwater, estuarine, and marine invertebrates.

Methoprene is believed to have a significant impact on lobsters. The Lobster Institute at the University of Maine is working on such research projects, but have not yet completed or published their study results. A $125 million putative class action lawsuit has been filed in New York by lobstermen against insecticide manufacturers for allegedly wiping out the lobster fishery.

Birth defects, frogs and methoprene

Use of methoprene is also a significant concern due to the effects of the retinoids that are formed when the compound breaks down after exposure to sunlight. Retinoids, a class of Minnesota Pollution Control Agencychemicals closely related to vitamin A, can cause birth defects in humans and may be contributing to the global epidemic of skeletal deformities in frogs.64 Dr. David Gardiner, a research biologist at the University of California at Irvine, has been studying retinoids for at least a decade, and in recent years he has probed frog deformities. To him, retinoids are the obvious culprit in the mystery of the misshapen frogs because of the peculiar kind of limb deformities being observed. “There is no other known mechanism for this [besides retinoids],” Gardiner says. “Much of early development is controlled by retinoids,” he says. “Our body [and the body of a frog] is completely dependent on them”.

Exposure to retinoids could also make frogs more susceptible to infectious diseases, Gardiner says: “The kinds of chemicals that would target development of limbs would target all organ systems,” including the immune system. Frogs with abnormal legs would also very likely have abnormal immune systems. This could explain why some frogs are now suddenly falling victim to infectious agents that they resisted for millions of years.

Peter Montague, of the Environmental Research Foundation points out: “The pesticide regulators at U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have missed a key feature of a chemical (methoprene) whose safety they regulate. It shows once again that relying on risk assessment leads to bad public health decisions. EPA’s risk assessments have routinely failed to evaluate the breakdown by-products of the chemical pesticides that the agency has deemed safe enough to allow as residues on our dinner plates. It also means that thousands of pesticides now in common use need to be re-tested to see if their breakdown by- products are dangerous to humans or other species.

Please look through the report yourself, I just took out the highlights above.
Considering it effects the Larva stage of an insects life…I am greatly concerned on the effects of our beneficial incests such us our pollinators. What effects will this have on foraging bees bringing the contaminated pollen back to the hive?. There has been NO research done with bees and Methroprene that I can find.

The next step in my research was to find out why on earth would they be spraying this high risk substance in such a large area???? the answer was one of the most distrubing parts of my research. It turns out the all of this is from hype over West Nile Virus. If you go to Health Canadas own website: http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/wnv-vwn/mon-hmnsurv-eng.php

You can clearly see that in the last year (and all years previous excluding one known case due to outside travel a few years ago) there has NEVER been a reported case of West Nile in B.C.!!!!! all of this spraying, all of this money, all of the risk for what?? nothing!!! could this be possible? yes it is in fact true all of this risky business being justified by West Nile virus???? follow the money my friends and you will see that this is all about making profits off the sale of a chemical.

Its quite disturbing that in the last 5 years bat populations have dwindled by over 30%. Bats are the single most valuable source of mosquito control available to us and they are dyeing due to habitat loss, not enough food sources. It is insanity to me that we would spray chemicals known to cause serious health effects to control Mosquitoes when we could just throw up some bat houses and create an environment for them to thrive. One bat can eat over 1000 mosquitoes in ONE HOUR!!

Read the Pest Management Plan for yourself here and speak out about this dangerous insanity. We need to Change this, we need to put enough pressure and exposure to ensure that the next 5 year contract is never signed.


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Donation from The Nelson Lions Club

Huge Thank you to the Nelson Lions Club for the generous donation!!

I am so thankful to be able to set up another hive by covering materials for another top bar hive. We were able to purchase all of the Lavender Hydrosol for treating all our bees for the entire year! The Lavender was purchased from a local organic farm supporting our farmers 🙂 what a great thing all around.

I feel so much gratitude for this community organization that actually helps the community and members in it.

For more information on what they are doing or how you can get involved with the Lions Club visit the website:




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Swarm of 2011 – White Pines Dojo


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First feeding/treatment of 2012

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