Category Archives: Bee Biology

A Bee ID Expert

How well do you know bees? Not just honey bees, but all the other ones – masons, carpenters, diggers, sweat, cutters, bumblers, and the other many thousands of species. If you are like most of us, not so well. There’s … Continue reading

Posted in Bee Biology, Outreach, Save the Bees, Science | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Prolonging the sweet taste

Most nectar-supping insects land on a flower, take a bit of nectar, then fly off. But bees are different. They hang around the flower, sometimes gorging for ten seconds or more, if there’s enough nectar. Why the difference? Scientists think … Continue reading

Posted in Bee Biology, Science | Tagged , , | 10 Comments

A Depleted Home

A few days ago, a friend invited me to visit her bees.  In one part of her apiary, there were three hives, neatly lined, single-storey. These hives had started the season as packages five weeks earlier. Two were excellent. They … Continue reading

Posted in Bee Biology, Beekeeping, Queens | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

Peak Dandelion

For a lot of temperate-climate beekeepers, dandelions are the peak of the spring season.  Their bloom marks the point where hives are finally getting much stronger, nectar is pouring in, and the dandelions’ massive gifts are giving a fine boost … Continue reading

Posted in Bee Biology, Climate, Ecology, Honey Plants | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Package Hive Update

Three weeks ago, we installed two packages in our backyard.  We started with mostly new equipment, though we had six drawn, white-comb, deep frames for the bees to nest in right away. I considered using 100% foundation and letting the … Continue reading

Posted in Bee Biology, Beekeeping | Tagged , | 7 Comments

Babysitting the queen

A friend left town for a few days. She had two queens, in cages, which she’d acquired for her hives. As it turned out, she used one of them but her second hive wasn’t strong enough to split. That meant … Continue reading

Posted in Bee Biology, Queens | Tagged | 3 Comments

Oh dear, a virus ‘jumps’ from plants to bees

The bane of the bee is varroa. We warn new beekeepers that varroa will kill their bees faster than they can say “varroosis“ five times.  Varroa kills. Thirty years ago, the mites weren’t as bad as they are now. In … Continue reading

Posted in Bee Biology, Diseases and Pests, Ecology, Science | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

2017: The Year in Bee Review

As 2017 draws to a close, let’s look back at the year’s best beekeeping stories. With lower honey prices in 2017, some beekeepers left the business and colony counts fell a little.  Back in 2016, I reported that honey bees … Continue reading

Posted in Apitherapy, Bee Biology, Beekeeping, Culture, or lack thereof, Diseases and Pests, Friends, History, Hive Products, Honey, Honey Plants, Killer Bees, Movies, Outreach, People, Pesticides, Pollination, Queens, Save the Bees, Science | Tagged | 6 Comments

The Man Who Discovered that Bees Can Think

You probably know that Karl von Frisch figured out how honey bees use their waggle-dance to communicate. He won the Nobel Prize for that and for other studies of bee behaviour. I think it was well-deserved and his experiments withstood … Continue reading

Posted in Bee Biology, Culture, or lack thereof, History, People, Science | Tagged , , , | 13 Comments

Wax Worms Biggly in the News

The folks who write my favourite business magazine, Economist, have a freebie on their website. They are giving away a 50-page book,  Ten Things We Learned in 2017. You’ll like the second story in their feature: “How plastic-eating caterpillars could … Continue reading

Posted in Bee Biology, Diseases and Pests, Ecology, Science, Strange, Odd Stuff | Tagged , , | 3 Comments