Category Archives: Beekeeping

How to predict the honey flow

This post will be disappointing to anyone hoping for a quick and easy way to predict what the honey flow will bring. There is no substitute for experience. It may take years to gain the knowledge you’ll need because every … Continue reading

Posted in Beekeeping, Climate, Commercial Beekeeping, History, People | Tagged , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

What will August bring?

I had an email last week with a question about beekeeping. I couldn’t answer it. The reader asked, “What can I expect my bees to do in August?” It depends, of course, on where you are keeping bees. In the … Continue reading

Posted in Beekeeping | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

A Taste of Honey

I checked the bees this morning. They started as packages on foundation but are all grown up now and starting to fill honey supers. The main flow has been going well for a couple of weeks, though interrupted by a … Continue reading

Posted in Beekeeping, Honey | Tagged , | 8 Comments

Honey for the house

We had a late spring. Our main flow hasn’t quite started. In another week, the bees will be gathering ten pounds of clover and alfalfa honey each day here in Calgary. There’s a nice flight today but five days ago, … Continue reading

Posted in Beekeeping, Honey, Tools and Gadgets | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Smokers, beware: Playing with Fire

Today, I will end this mini-series of blog posts about smokers with some safety tips. Smokers can be dangerous and yada, yada, yada – some readers have already tuned out. But here’s the cost.  I know a South Dakota beekeeper … Continue reading

Posted in Beekeeping, Tools and Gadgets | Tagged , , , | 12 Comments

Smokers, beware: Bee Smoker 101

If you’re somewhat new at beekeeping, you haven’t been using a smoker for long. You might not know some of the peculiarities of the hot little machine. I’ll give some basics here. Tomorrow, we’ll look at smoker safety, aka, how … Continue reading

Posted in Beekeeping, Tools and Gadgets | Tagged | 3 Comments

Smokers, beware: Stuff I’ve Smoked

Yesterday, I started a discussion about whether beekeepers should use a smoker. (Smoke or no smoke?)  I think you should use one, but you’ve got to be smart about it. I’ll write more about smart smoking tomorrow, in a piece … Continue reading

Posted in Beekeeping, Books, Tools and Gadgets | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

Smokers, beware: Smoke or no smoke?

Smoke or no smoke?  Good question. It surprises me that there are beekeepers who have completely forsworn smokers. Such quixotic folks ply their trade without smoke, believing (perhaps correctly) that a bee smoker invalidates the organic status of their honey. … Continue reading

Posted in Beekeeping, Tools and Gadgets | Tagged , | 30 Comments

Minding the June Gap

I ran this piece last year, but it’s worth repeating. After the natural spring bouquet has begun to fade, honey bees may become hungry. The hives are (usually) strong with lots of brood. If there is a long gap between … Continue reading

Posted in Beekeeping, Ecology, Honey Plants | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Package Bee Population

Yesterday, I wrote about bee populations in a hive that starts as a package.  The original bees slowly die while the number of new bees, arising from eggs laid by the package’s queen, rapidly increases. In yesterday’s example, the immigrant … Continue reading

Posted in Beekeeping, Queens, Science | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments