Donor Spotlight: Keith Forsyth

Keith Forsyth of Grimsby passed away on Tuesday, September 28, 2021, at the age of 72. Keith was a life-long beekeeper and a loyal supporter of honey bee research for many years. He had been making a regular monthly donation to the HBRC since early 2019, and he had been supporting our work for many years before that.

Keith had been introduced to apiculture in an agricultural studies course in high school. Over the decades he supplied everyone he knew with jars of delicious, golden honey. He also worked as a Provincial bee inspector with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, he was a member of the Ontario Beekeepers’ Association, a past director of the Eastern Apicultural Society, and a friend to everyone in the beekeeping industry.

Keith received the Paul Montoux Award for his outstanding contributions to beekeeping. Paul Montoux was a founding member of Buckfast Ontario (the Buckfast honey bee breeding program established by the HBRC). Awardees are chosen that exemplify Paul’s generosity to the beekeeping community.

Janet: “I remember Keith was always with his best little buddy, Corky, his little Yorkshire Terrier. Keith would always try to volunteer for the same shift as the OBA Tech-Transfer girls, at the Royal Winter Fair, to work the honey booth. He wanted to make sure that the farm boys behaved around us, especially in the evenings after the horse show festivities. Keith was always there to support us with a helping hand, an encouraging word or a friendly email message. One time he brought us oversized coffee mugs that said “worker bee”, to keep us caffeinated and productive!”

Paul: “Keith was always at all the bee meetings. Picking up what he could and sharing it with others. He never missed an opportunity to encourage others. As the OBA representative to the Eastern Apiculture Society for many years he helped us stay connected with our fellow beekeepers in the eastern United States. I have fun memories of working with Keith and his other buddy Bill Minnick in Bill’s bee yards on graduate student projects. As bee inspectors they had an ‘odd couple’ routine developed from years of working together. I still remember Keith rolling his eyes when Bill was climbing a slim tree to catch a swarm. Rest in peace, Keith. Thanks for all your kind words and support.”