Category Archives: Climate

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

Posted in Beekeeping, Climate, Culture, or lack thereof | 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

Polar Vortex Insurance: Extended to Beekeepers!

Our local Auto Club (Alberta Motor Association) is offering Polar Vortex Insurance. This is a great new feature (for members only) – if the temperature stays at -25C, or colder, for any 14 consecutive days, each paid-up member gets to … Continue reading

Posted in Climate, Humour, Save the Bees, Strange, Odd Stuff | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Bees on Ice

So much has happened in the weeks since my last post: I started an MSc (in bee ecology); my son and I pulled our honey crop;  I presented a talk at the first-ever United Beekeepers of Alberta conference; I began … Continue reading

Posted in Climate, Ecology, Travels | Tagged , , , | 19 Comments

More on High Temperatures and Bees

A couple of days ago, I posted about our all-time record high temperature. It was 37 ºC (98.6 ºF) – a temp that’s not too extravagant for many beekeepers, but the city of Calgary had never seen such a hot … Continue reading

Posted in Beekeeping, Books, Climate, Commercial Beekeeping | Tagged , | 8 Comments

Our Hottest Day

My home town, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, just set a record for heat. In all the past decades of weather-watching here, we’ve never been as hot as it was today. Ever. (In recorded history.) Officially, it reached 37C, which is over … Continue reading

Posted in Beekeeping, Climate | Tagged , | 34 Comments

Expecting the unexpected

For the past two days, I described how we might predict a future honey flow. I mentioned how difficult soothsaying can be yet I went on to say that experience and a tool like a scale hive can help us … Continue reading

Posted in Bee Yards, Beekeeping, Climate, Commercial Beekeeping | Tagged , | 14 Comments

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

Peak Dandelion

For a lot of temperate-climate beekeepers, dandelions are the peak of the spring season.  Their bloom marks the point where hives are finally getting much stronger, nectar is pouring in, and the dandelions’ massive gifts are giving a fine boost … Continue reading

Posted in Bee Biology, Climate, Ecology, Honey Plants | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Pollen Specks

Yesterday, I saw the first pollen of the year carried by bees in our area.  It’s almost May! Local bees have been without fresh pollen for over six months.  The pollen specks which I saw were pitifully specky. If you … Continue reading

Posted in Beekeeping, Climate, Ecology, Honey Plants | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments