This is the second in our Foodshed Fanfare series, where we celebrate the many wonderful people who reside in the Central Kootenay and who quietly contribute so much to our region’s food systems.
Just like the bees that he has tended his entire adult life, Dave Johnson’s impact on our region’s food systems is quiet but widespread. Dave is the owner of West Arm Apiaries. His beekeeping adventures began decades ago, when his father arrived on his newly purchased property with a set of hives that were being moved to protect the children in their former location, who were getting a bit too close for comfort on both sides.
Over the intervening years, Dave clearly honed his skills to such a degree that he became an acknowledged leader and mentor in the local beekeeping community. When Kootenay Local Agricultural Society ran a series on beekeeping for beginners, Dave was the obvious choice to lead the newbies into the adventures with honey bees. He has provided binders of information, farm tours, and ad hoc advice to a host of fledgling and experienced beekeepers.
Some Council members will recall the tour we received at West Arm Apiaries in September 2018. We squeezed ourselves into a small building and learned about the intricacies of extracting honey from the hives. Dave’s deep commitment to the wellbeing of his livestock (bees), his knowledge of them, and the marvelous honey that they co-produce was all on ready display.
Dave and his wife Pat have also raised sweet corn, garlic, and blueberries that have always been in high demand – at the farm gate. In addition to being the nursery for local beekeepers, bringing in nukes that are the foundation of new hives, they have also run a blueberry nursery, farming out bushes to area backyard gardeners and farmers. If you want to read more and connect with Dave, check out his listing in our Directory.
In this Foodshed Fanfare, we honour Dave’s long commitment to healthy ecosystems, healthy bees, and to sharing knowledge born of decades of dedication and hard work.