The Outlook & District Regional Park’s free summer programming being offered on a weekly basis certainly seems to be a popular outing for families, if the crowd that showed up to take in a presentation on bees and honey production is any indication.
Approximately 40 people came down to the bowl of the park on Saturday, July 22 to listen to local resident and teacher Lee Genereux speak of his work as a beekeeper; a passion that Genereux has had since he was 10 years old. As well, Riverbend Co-op was on hand to offer fresh popcorn, and Lee encouraged people to enter the draw for jars of honey, including one jar that was chocolate-flavored.
Lee laughed that he gets stung by his bees “every day”, but by this point in his long-time work, he’s almost built up a sort-of immunity to the pain that everyone else would feel if they were stung.
Genereux went over his responsibilities and daily tasks as a beekeeper and showed off some of the tools of the trade, including a smoker and frames of the hive that the bees produce honey in, which were still sticky with the sweet, natural substance.
Lee’s bee colonies are situated along Highways 219 and 15, as well as along the South Saskatchewan River. He says one of the many challenges of being a beekeeper in rural Saskatchewan is the pesky wildlife that loves fresh honey, as Lee has to deal with racoons and skunks that want access to what the bees produce.
If all goes well during the season and the bees keep producing the sweet, sticky substance, Genereux estimates that he’ll accumulate roughly a semi-load of honey when all the work is said and done.
The interesting program was also an engaging, up-close-and-personal one for those in the audience, and Lee was more than happy to answer questions about his work. People were especially interested in checking out the bees in their hives, as well as passing around live drone bees that were docile.
The rest of the summer programming down in the park continues this Saturday with a visit from the Last Mountain Lake National Wildlife Area and Migratory Bird Sanctuary Interpretive Trailer Visit.
The public is reminded that vehicles entering the park require a Regional Park pass.