Our history 1987 – 2003
The idea of beginning a local beekeepers club was launched when a group of beekeepers, attending meetings with the Quinte Beekeepers in Belleville, realized that they were all from the Kingston region. An advertisement was placed in the Kingston Whig Standard and the first meeting was held in the fall of 1986. There were 40 paid members in 1987 and the first president was Bill Kirby.
The purpose of the Guild was to educate and share in the art of beekeeping. It was intended to be of interest to those in Lennox and Addington, Frontenac, Leeds and Grenville. The group first called themselves The Harrowsmith Beekeepers Guild as the first meeting was held in Harrowsmith.
The name was changed to the Limestone Beekeepers’ Guild at one of the first meetings in 1987. It was felt that “Limestone” represented the entire region and Kingston is known as the “Limestone City”. The use of the word guild was felt to convey the sharing and teaching that would be available to members. A guild can be defined as a society for a common goal, an association of craftsmen or a group with common interests or skills.
Our membership includes beekeepers with as few as one hive, to those with several hundred. There are those about to purchase their first hive and those with decades of experience. The majority of members have less than 10 hives. At least four of our members are former bee inspectors.
We’ve had many guest speakers. We look forward to Doug McRory’s visit each spring with his news of the world of beekeeping. Some others who have spoken are, Medhat Nasr, Cynthia Scott-Dupree, Barry Davies, Neil Orr, Robert Paul, David Vander Dussen, Martin Damus, Dr. James Day, Dr. Richard Milne, Jim Anderson and Ron Stevenson.
Every year we hold a honey contest. Limestone Beekeepers Guild has made a donation to the Ontario Bee Research Fund for the last few years. Some of our members do presentations at schools and local fairs. A few of our members are involved in bee venom therapy. The guild has provided a list to local pest control companies, by-law enforcement and police, of members willing to remove unwanted honeybee swarms.