Category Archives: Beekeeping

Bitten by the cold

Alberta beekeepers had smooth sailing through January. It was so mild in southern Alberta that one beekeeper wrote to ask if bees could be swarming. Swarming to the toilet, yes. Literally swarming with queen in tow, no. But the activity … Continue reading

Posted in Beekeeping, Strange, Odd Stuff | Tagged , | 15 Comments

Century-old beekeeping equipment

This picture is from exactly 100 years ago. It was late winter, 1919. An agriculture agent came to this Kentucky Appalachian farm to teach modern beekeeping. He was teaching ‘modern beekeeping’ that we can recognize.  Not much has changed in … Continue reading

Posted in Beekeeping, History, Hives and Combs | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Nuns of honey

I bumped into this photo a few days ago when I was writing an article for Deutches Bienen Journal, Germany’s beekeeping magazine. I was trying to picture sisters at a convent in Quebec, tending their hives in the 1920s. This … Continue reading

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Is bee-talk keeping you awake?

So, you’re hauling bees across the country – and you’re drowsy. Or having trouble staying awake while doing the dull, repetitive manual labour we call extracting. What do you do? A lot of people keep their eyes open by listening … Continue reading

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A Year of Backyard Beekeeping

Regular readers of this blog know that I once kept hundreds of hives in Florida and Saskatchewan. That was a long time ago. Now that I’m all grown up, I’ve got just two colonies in my Calgary backyard. Much more … Continue reading

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Celebrating the Gifts of Langstroth

I’m repeating a blog which I post each Christmas Day, Langstroth’s birthday. With his movable frames and his brilliant beekeeping book, Langstroth was one of the founders of modern beekeeping. He invented the modern beehive, making it easier, more productive, … Continue reading

Posted in Beekeeping, Books, History, Hives and Combs, People | Tagged | 3 Comments

Smoky Bees

Originally posted on Bad Beekeeping Blog:
Calgary – a smoker’s haven. My home town – Calgary – is under a smoke advisory. The sky is hazy with smelly gray smoke from the trees, grass, and homes that are on fire…

Posted in Beekeeping, Ecology, Honey, Reblogs, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

More on High Temperatures and Bees

A couple of days ago, I posted about our all-time record high temperature. It was 37 ºC (98.6 ºF) – a temp that’s not too extravagant for many beekeepers, but the city of Calgary had never seen such a hot … Continue reading

Posted in Beekeeping, Books, Climate, Commercial Beekeeping | Tagged , | 8 Comments

Our Hottest Day

My home town, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, just set a record for heat. In all the past decades of weather-watching here, we’ve never been as hot as it was today. Ever. (In recorded history.) Officially, it reached 37C, which is over … Continue reading

Posted in Beekeeping, Climate | Tagged , | 33 Comments

Expecting the unexpected

For the past two days, I described how we might predict a future honey flow. I mentioned how difficult soothsaying can be yet I went on to say that experience and a tool like a scale hive can help us … Continue reading

Posted in Bee Yards, Beekeeping, Climate, Commercial Beekeeping | Tagged , | 14 Comments