Category Archives: Beekeeping

Beekeepers Come; Beekeepers Go

Between 45% and 75% of British beekeepers are newbies – in their first four years. Only 10% have been at it for more than ten years.  I guess it’s similar in Canada, Australia, and the USA. I saw the UK … Continue reading

Posted in Beekeeping, Culture, or lack thereof, Humour, Outreach, Save the Bees | Tagged , | 13 Comments

Black ‘Pollen’ in March

A friend sent this great picture of a honey bee trucking home some very dark pollen today. Since flowers are not yet blooming here in Calgary, I’m pretty sure that the ‘pollen’ is coffee. Bees have been known to gather … Continue reading

Posted in Beekeeping, Strange, Odd Stuff | Tagged , , , | 14 Comments

International (Bee-)Women’s Day

Today (Wednesday, March 8) is International Women’s Day. Women have always played an important role in beekeeping. In developing parts of the world, it is usually women who tend hives and produce honey for their families’ food and cash. In … Continue reading

Posted in Beekeeping, Culture, or lack thereof, History, Outreach | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments

Beekeeper Royally Stung

A rather sad story today. Sad on several levels. A couple of months ago, we learned that “Prince Charles’ beekeeper” was charged with using a prohibited chemical in his hives. The chemical is a medication used throughout North America and … Continue reading

Posted in Beekeeping, Diseases and Pests, Honey, Save the Bees | Tagged , , , , | 12 Comments

One more thing about Chinese honey. . .

Occasionally, we take honey from the hive too early. It’s bad honey – some beekeepers call it “green”. High in moisture, and maybe not fully enzymatically converted by the bees. Nectar is ‘wet’ – sometimes 90% water and just 10% … Continue reading

Posted in Beekeeping, Hive Products, Honey, Science | Tagged , , , , | 13 Comments

Langstroth, the Christmas Gift

I’m repeating a blog which I posted on Christmas Day last year. It’s about the inventor of modern beekeeping, L.L. Langstroth. Enjoy! He invented modern beekeeping, making it easier, more productive, and less stressful for bees. However, Lorenzo Lorraine Langstroth … Continue reading

Posted in Beekeeping, Books, History, Hives and Combs, People | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

The Clumsy Beekeeper

When I was much younger, my brother and I visited a world-renowned bee breeder who produced thousands of queens every spring. I don’t remember much about that trip to the north-Florida panhandle where every town had some elegant white clapboard … Continue reading

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

Double or Nothing?

A gentleman at our bee meeting posed a challenging question a couple of weeks ago: “What should I do with a weak hive? I think it might be queenless.” Well, it depends, of course. I’m continuing with the series of … Continue reading

Posted in Beekeeping, Queens, Save the Bees | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Water in Honey

Honey is about 80% sugar and 18% water. The rest is minerals and ash*, pollen grains and bees’ wings. The sugars and water come from nectar secreted by flowers. When flowers produce nectar (as a way of attracting pollinating insects … Continue reading

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

Morgan Freeman’s Bees

By now, most beekeepers have heard that Morgan Freeman is a beekeeper. Morgan Freeman is incredible. Whether you enjoyed him driving over Miss Daisy or just gaining redemption after Shawshank, you likely admired the way the man can perform. I’ve … Continue reading

Posted in Beekeeping, Culture, or lack thereof, Outreach, People | Tagged | 2 Comments