Joe was born in 1940 and raised in the Codroy Valley, 30 miles inland from Port Aux Basque, NFL, and is the eldest of 13. He joined the Air Force in 1961 and was transferred out West in 1963 to Puntzi Mountain 120 miles inland towards the coast from Williams Lake. Met and married Marg in 1966 and got a job at Highland Valley Copper where he worked as an electrician for 32 years. He has been retired from the mine for 20 years now.
After asking a fellow electrician a million questions about bees, he decided to buy a couple of packages from Campbell Jones. We had them set up in our back yard in Ashcroft. Someone sprayed their garden and a month later one hive died. The other one died over the winter. So we bought more packages in the spring, 60 hives from Bill McCormack and 150 from Bob Meredith in the years following. We got up to 499 hives but lost 70% when the mites arrived. The city lot in Ashcroft wasn’t big enough for storage and extracting in a school bus attracted many bees from the surrounding area. Good thing our neighbors liked honey. Consequently, we moved out of town to the Walhachin area where we have been ever since.
We became involved with the Kamloops Beekeepers Club and have attended many conventions of the BCHPA, Alberta Beekeepers, Saskatchewan Beekeepers, American Beekeepers Federation and also a few WAS ones. You always learn something new and meet new beekeepers.
Joe enjoys helping new beekeepers and older ones if they have problems. It is an interesting hobby and gives him something to do in his retirement.