Sandra Lagace

Sandra Lagace - Beekeeper

Sandra Lagace lives in Cathcart in Southwestern Ontario. Sandra first got involved with working in a bee yard while helping a friend who worked with Paul Montoux, a highly regarded and notable beekeeper in the Niagara region.

“I became charmed by the honeybees, loved opening the hive and seeing their heart shaped faces, and being witness to their productivity,” said Sandra, who adds that she has always had an appreciation for gardening as well. She grows vegetables for her family toward a more sustainable lifestyle. Bringing her two passions together, she has created a natural habitat for native pollinators and honey bees to ensure that bees thrive on her rural property. “We are fortunate to be located adjacent to 350 acres of organic agriculture and bush.” Sandra noted.

Sandra joined the Grand River Beekeepers’ Association in 2008 and fell under the mentoring of Ken Coyle and his son Steven from Waterloo. Sandra was always grateful that they were only a phone call away to offer advice and support. Grand River Beekeepers’ Association is an active beekeeping community that draws up to 50 participants at their monthly meetings. Sandra enjoys providing baking that includes honey in the ingredients at the meeting for the all-important coffee break.

Sandra took the OBA-Tech Transfer Program Introduction to Beekeeping Workshop when she first started beekeeping. Having the bees located on their own property is convenient to monitor their growth. Recognizing when to remove queen cells and split is important to maintaining the health and hive population. “I use a drone frame trap to suppress varroa, as suggested on the OBA-TTP fact sheet as a hive management tool.”

Sandra has played forward the opportunity to mentor a young beekeeper. A supportive neighbor approached Sandra to consider mentoring a young girl interested in honeybees. Eighteen year old Sara Cameron became her student and is now enjoying her own bee yard.

Sandra has had success in entering her honey in The Royal Winter Agricultural Fair, Honey & Wax Competition with encouragement from Ken Coyle. Trade secrets to competition success are hard to extract from Sandra. “Success is in the detail, ensuring every bubble and speck of dust is dealt with,” is how Sandra describes her approach.

Bringing awareness of the plight of honeybees and the value of honey product is the reward as Sandra provides her honey to family and friends. “People need to wake up and become aware, raise their voices. All change has started with a few people speaking up.” Sandra, also a stained glass artist, enjoys fishing with her family in both summer and winter, but “sitting back with a long cool summer drink and being charmed by the honeybees is a great way to end the day”.

Let’s hope this summer brings a lot of them.