About Us

Club History

RRAA History
During January 1963, the Provincial Apiarist and Entomologist, Don Robertson, sent out letters suggesting the formation of a Greater-Winnipeg Beekeepers Association. This resulted in an organizational meeting on March 26, 1963, where Don outlined the benefits of forming an association.
The main benefits of forming an organization centred on buying package bees, exchanging ideas with one another, and organizing field days.

The first Executive consisted of:

  • Chairman Bill Brace
  • Vice Chairman Nick Olnick
  • Secretary Don Smith
  • Treasurer Dick Loudin
  • Executive Members Ed Loginski, H. Oldenberg, and S.Phillip Donkin
At the April 1, 1963 Executive meeting, committees were formulated, including Education, Entertainment, Field Day, and others.
The first Regular Meeting held April 16, 1963 followed. At this meeting the constitution of the “Red River Apiarists Association” was adopted by the 35 people present. Membership fees were $2.00, and package bees cost $5.60.
As the organization membership grew, meetings moved. Locations included church basements, school classrooms, library boardrooms, lecture theatres, etc. Membership in the RRAA peaked at 250 during 1983, when 1,100 packages of bees were distributed to members at a cost of $25.75. Member fees were $10.00 with about 90 people attending each meeting.
Mites in the USA prevented importation of package bees during 1986. This affected beekeeping across Manitoba and several people quit the practise.
Presently, we still uphold the basic principles of the organization to provide education, equipment, and entertainment for all members. As specific anniversary dates come by, we will be recognizing our heritage.
In 2008 for example we celebrated our 45 anniversary with about 50 people gathering to remember our past and look toward our future. During this celebration, we recognized Anne Donkin and Walter Wright, two of the remaining founding members.
For our 50th Anniversary, we hosted a party on Friday April 2013, as our members love to get together and chat. And continuing in the celebration theme, a new club logo was approved in February, yet it took us until the Manitoba Honey Show, September 27-29, 2013, to have T-shirts ready for all volunteers and Show Winners. The bright golden shirts with the black logo really dressed up the Show, as guests knew exactly who the beekeeping volunteers were. A classy culmination of 50 years.