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. It…

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…

Snow Business

I was very fortunate to attend the BCHPA Education Day in Kamloops this March 2017, and am looking forward to the Sat/Sun Education Day in Kelowna, BC in October. I will report on two speakers (the second in another entry) only as the rest were speaking on Canadian honey labeling regulations. Those regulations only apply…

Spring Beeyard Prep

Spring is taking her sweet time this year, idling toward us in swathes of rain and chilly breezes. But imported queens are being produced as we speak…and once they go into their cell building hives, the countdown begins. My first batch of imported queens is due to arrive from Chile (courtesy of Light Valley Prunes)…

Treatment Free for New-Bees: it’s all about your goals

Dutifully following the advice of many online bee pages, and hungry for knowledge and fellowship, I slipped into an inconspicuous seat at the back of a draughty hall: it was my first bee club meeting. I had taken a weekend course in beginner beekeeping, all that was available in those days and pretty cutting edge…

Snowdrops

Settle down in your fireside armchair and sink into Emily Scott’s lovely blog post on winter and the beeyard: Endurance and hope She ends with a lovely shot of snowdrop shoots. Snowdrops should be the international flower of beekeeping! Emily beekeeps in England, in a climate very similar to ours here in the Pacific Northwest…and…