Category Archives: Beekeeping

Why are Hives Damp in the Winter?

Last time, I wrote about my over-wintering misadventures with wet hives. In many parts of the world (I’m looking at you, England.), the biggest winterkill comes from moisture, not disease or starvation. During the winter, water may collect under the … Continue reading

Posted in Bee Biology, Beekeeping, Science, Tools and Gadgets | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Winterprep: What’s the neighbour doing?

Fall has arrived and you’re preparing your bees for winter. If you are new to beekeeping, this should make you nervous. You might lose every colony you have in the next few months. What you do now  has a huge … Continue reading

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My Failure as a Beekeeper: Part VI

My anno horribilis apis had one more final insult to bestow upon my ever-shrinking self-esteem. Our little hive was attacked by robber bees. Once again, it was a scene entirely reminiscent of Tolstoy’s dying Moscow: There is no longer the … Continue reading

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My Failure as a Beekeeper: Part V

When a colony has lost its queen and not replaced her, the hive is almost certain to die a slow and sorrowful death. The great plans we had for this small nuc – a source of a pound or two … Continue reading

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95th Birthday for “The Man Who Made Killer Bees”

This week, we should celebrate Warwick Estevam Kerr, the man who made the killer bees. September 9th is his 95th birthday. Just like his bees, Kerr comes from hot, tropical Brazil. And just like his bees, Dr Kerr has been … Continue reading

Posted in Bee Biology, Beekeeping, Culture, or lack thereof, Genetics, People, Science, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

My Failure as a Beekeeper: Part IV

This is the fourth piece in my six-part description of my colossal failure as a beekeeper this summer. If you’ve been following this little series, you saw how I acquired a little queenless nuc, transported it to my home, and … Continue reading

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My Failure as a Beekeeper: Part III

Over the past few days, I’ve been writing about the misadventures of a small queenless hive which we placed in our back yard this summer. It dutifully raised several nice queen cells. At the time, I worried about the greedy … Continue reading

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My Failure as a Beekeeper: Part II

Yesterday, I started to describe my rather lousy year as a beekeeper. It began with an intentionally weak queenless hive. I picked it up at my daughter’s farm and brought it into my back yard, here in the city of … Continue reading

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My Failure as a Beekeeper: Part I

I’ve worked with bees for almost fifty years, raising queens, pollinating crops, making oodles of honey.  I grew up in a beekeeping family (so my 50 years started really early). Over that long time period, I worked for some really … Continue reading

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I’m Not a Doctor, but…

An acquaintance – someone active in our 400-member Calgary Bee Club – reported that he had an allergic reaction to a sting.  He’s been keeping bees quite a few years and he’s had dozens (perhaps hundreds) of stings. Then, a … Continue reading

Posted in Apitherapy, Bee Biology, Beekeeping, Friends | Tagged , , | 11 Comments