Author Archives: Ron Miksha

About Ron Miksha

Ron Miksha is a geophysicist who also does a bit of science writing and blogging. Ron has worked as a radio broadcaster, a beekeeper, and is based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. He has written two books, dozens of magazine and journal articles, and complements his first book, Bad Beekeeping, with a popular blog at www.badbeekeepingblog.com. Ron wrote his most recent book, The Mountain Mystery, for everyone who has looked at a mountain and wondered what miracles of nature set it upon the landscape. For more about Ron, including some cool pictures taken when he was a teenager, please check Ron's site: miksha.com.

A good day in the bees

Friends at Tsuut’ina Nation Apiaries, just outside Calgary, invited me to visit their main apiary today. The indigenous bee project was started by Chief Lee Crowchild two years ago. While I visited, the Tsuut’ina beekeepers worked 35 hives at this … Continue reading

Posted in Beekeeping, Friends | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Have you ever seen a queen like this?

A friend of mine, Jessie, who works the bees at Chinook Honey near Calgary, spotted this unusual queen. Jessie took the pictures on this page. As you can see, the queen has very little colour. What might cause this apparent … Continue reading

Posted in Genetics, Queens, Strange, Odd Stuff | Tagged , | 10 Comments

Goodbye, Susan

A friend whom I never met has passed away. Her memorial service was on the weekend. Susan Rudnicki was a regular reader and commented here frequently. If you’ve been following this blog over the past year or two, you have … Continue reading

Posted in Beekeeping, Ecology, Friends | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Pollinator Week 2019

In the past three or four years, I began to notice that honey bees aren’t the only bees in the world. What a surprise! There are over 20,000 other versions. Some as big as elephants, some as small as pin … Continue reading

Posted in Culture, or lack thereof, Ecology, Outreach, Pollination | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Remembering Eva Crane: Beekeeper and Physicist

June 12th. I have an excuse to write a bit about the amazing Ethel Eva Widdowson, born in London on June 12th, 1912. By age 30, she had defended her doctorate in nuclear physics, begun to teach at Sheffield University, … Continue reading

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Do you know the queen colours?

If you mark your queens, you should follow the international queen-colour code: White in 2016 and 2021, Yellow in 2017 and 2022, etc. This system has been around for decades because it’s uniform, consistent, and lets a beekeeper know the … Continue reading

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Can we learn old tricks?

I have a small collection of old bee books, and I like searching them for new ideas. (If you can’t get new ideas from old books, what’s the point of history?) My favourite beekeeping books are the ones that tell … Continue reading

Posted in Books, History, People | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

Save the People

A few decades ago, most prisons had farms. Inmates grew some of their own food while learning a few basic skills. That changed for a number of reasons, partly because of the tendency to lock everyone up if they couldn’t … Continue reading

Posted in Outreach | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Laying worker, new queen, or both?

Following on yesterday’s post about laying workers, I thought I should add this important caveat.  If you have a new queen (from a split which was given a young caged queen, for example), you may occasionally find multiple eggs in … Continue reading

Posted in Bee Biology, Beekeeping, Queens | Tagged , | 5 Comments

At least one of these bees is a laying worker

At least one of the bees in the picture above is a laying worker. Can you spot her?  I can’t. But if you read this post to the end, you will have the answer – and a really nice bonus, … Continue reading

Posted in Bee Biology, Beekeeping, Diseases and Pests, Queens, Science | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments