Category Archives: Beekeeping

How did your bees do?

You hear the question every time beekeepers meet. “How did your bees do?” The answer is usually in pounds, barrels, or dollars in the bank. The question came up recently here within Calgary’s bee club. We have an extremely well-run … Continue reading

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Saturday at the Hive

A new beekeeper learns best by clinging to the leg of an experienced beekeeper. That’s how I learned, but I was four years old at the time. For you older folks, you need a mentor, someone who’s actually a better … Continue reading

Posted in Bee Yards, Beekeeping, Friends | Tagged , | 1 Comment

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

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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

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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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

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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

Are you listening to your bees?

Experienced beekeepers approach their hives as one might enter a church or temple. With quiet respect. Once there, we listen. That’s an important part of our role.  The listening beekeeper knows in an instant if the colony is queenless or … Continue reading

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Another podcast you’ll like

I’m a steady fan of two great beekeeping podcasts. Kiwimana, produced in New Zealand, is a nice mix of practical beekeeping, bee news stories,  and interviews with beekeepers. The PolliNation podcast, made up of bee chats with Dr Andony Melathopoulos … Continue reading

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The reason we don’t raise April queens in Alberta

It snowed again. After weeks of sweet weather, balmy enough for T-shirts, the bees quit hauling pollen and focused on hibernation.  This is the reason so few queens are bred in Canada.  We can do it, but freaky weather gets … Continue reading

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