King Kong vs. Godzilla?

  You will read it in online comments. You will see it in chat boards, and news articles. There is a movement afoot to pit the interests of wild, native pollinators against my favourite non-native species, the European Honey Bee, Apis mellifera sp. I first ran across this debate in comments on beekeeping YouTube videos,…

Fireside Chat

As a new-bee I asked a beekeeping friend: what season is busiest for beekeepers? And he replied “they all are”. Even winter? Even winter. Winter is time to reflect on the season past, and prepare for the season to come. Winter is a great time to set some fun and inspiring beekeeping goals. What are…

Beautifulness

I stumbled on these little posters by Rick Allen of Kenspeckle Letterpress after finding the Winter Bees image in the previous post, from the book of the same name. Enjoy!

Winter Redux

  It is winter again. Our local forecast is my least favourite….chilly with rain. It has been a big learning year in the beeyard, so big I did a run of mating nucs in mid August, surprised by unexpected success in my last round of grafting. Friend Tim joined me for a never-to-be-repeated day where…

Eradication is the Goal: Gene Silencing is the Tool

  Of all the bad things out there threatening the survival of honey bees in our brave new world, none is more lethal than the Varroa destructor mite.   The Varroa mite has done more than just imperil the future of honey bees, and with that future the very food supply we all depend on….

When Needs Must: euthanizing honey bee colonies

It’s not fun, and nobody likes to do it, but sometimes we have to euthanize bee colonies. The most common reason is a case of American Foul Brood (AFB). Caused by the bacterium Paenibacillus larvae, AFB kills the bee larvae (usually) post-capping. It is bad enough the the bacteria are passed around the colony via…

Summertime….

  …summertime….and the livin’ is easy…. We have gone straight from a cold, wet, endless spring into high summer. Thank goodness! And our major honey flow is, eek!, nearly upon us. Crazy-making! One day we were feeding, desperate to keep the colony alive and brooding up, next we are pulling feeders and sorting the bees…

Go Forth and Multiply

Recipe for a New Queen/Colony 1 strong and healthy bee colony headed by a smokin’ hot queen 5 frames waxed foundation or drawn comb 1 nuc box 2 pollen patties 2 filled syrup feeders, one to fit your nuc box 1 pleasantly warm and sunny afternoon 1 nectar flow in progress (optional) 1 fearless beekeeper…

Lemonade

  It was a nice, sunny afternoon: what a gift in this cold, dreary, wet and endless “spring” of 2017. My beekeeping buddy Tim and I approached my 7 overwintered hives in the Boundary Bay yard with high hopes and light spirits. I had no idea what was coming at me. I have overwintered bees…

Hot Rhubarb

Sometimes, help comes from the most unlikely directions. Of all the stressors bees now face, none is worse, or harder on the bees, than the Varroa destructor mite. Indeed, if you do not face up to the ugly fact of Varroa in your bees early and often, a veritable landslide of Awful Events will gain…

On Having Lost My Mind…

2017 may go down as the year I completely lost my mind. Let us take a journey back, back in time to 2014. This is the year that, using spring splits as a swarm control method, I found myself with three beeyards and 30 colonies. What I had neglected to factor in was the equipment…

Michael Palmer and The Sustainable Apiary

This will be a quick synopsis of Mr. Palmer’s nearly 5 hours of material. Does that sound like a very long time? Anyone who has watched his lectures on YouTube will understand how those 5 hours flew by. Palmer has a direct, no-nonsense speaking style that gets right to the point and stays there. In…