For most people, spring means the usual seasonal transitions, like planting new seeds and storing away the heavy coats. For beekeeper Jerry Jerrard, he is getting ready to sell starter beehives, known as nucleus colonies, or ‘nucs’ for short, to those who want to become the owners of buzzing, furry, honey-producing bees of their own. He produces hundreds of nucs each year.
Joe Valas never intended to be a full-time beekeeper, but for 60 years, honey fans in the Kawartha Lakes have been glad he did just that.
After escaping Slovakia in 1952, Valas — a cabinetmaker trained to work with hand tools — moved to Southampton to find work. However, machinery had taken over furniture production in Canada, so he took temporary work on a farm and instead, found a field of clover.