Category Archives: Beekeeping

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

Posted in Bee Biology, Beekeeping, Diseases and Pests, Tools and Gadgets | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

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

Posted in Beekeeping, Commercial Beekeeping | Tagged , | 3 Comments

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

Posted in Beekeeping, Climate | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Comb on demand

Here’s something that I never thought anyone would manufacture. It’s fully-drawn comb, just the way bees would make it, if bees were machines. I’m impressed with the technology, but I’m not sure how marketable these manufactured combs will be. Perhaps … Continue reading

Posted in Beekeeping, Hives and Combs, Strange, Odd Stuff, Tools and Gadgets | Tagged | 8 Comments

Good Neighbour Beekeeping

It’s worth repeating. Especially at this time of the year. Be a good neighbour beekeeper.  I wrote the following post last March. If you missed it, here’s your chance to miss it again…. 🐝 🐝 🐝 🐝 🐝 🐝 🐝 … Continue reading

Posted in Bee Yards, Beekeeping, Books, Outreach | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

A bit of pollen

Today’s high was only 12 ºC (53F), but the bees had discovered pollen. It’s surprising how small the pollen pelts are, and doubly surprising that nearly every bee is carrying some. Both of our backyard colonies are weak, but coming … Continue reading

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Our backyard bees get a make-over

First the good news:  They survived.  Then, the reality: Kinda weak. For the past few days, it’s been mild (15C, or 50F), so my 16-year-old and I did a complete backyard bees make-over. Mind you, looks aren’t everything, but this … Continue reading

Posted in Beekeeping | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

Late-winter Feeding

Today is the last day of winter in the northern hemisphere. But the temperature – here in Calgary, at least – feels spring-like. It’s been in the mid-teens (60° F) for a few days. It’s the first chance for many … Continue reading

Posted in Beekeeping, Tools and Gadgets | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

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 , | 24 Comments