Category Archives: Commercial Beekeeping

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 , | 6 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 , | 13 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 , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Beekeepers becoming wary of pollination

  Compared to almonds in California, blueberry pollination in British Columbia is small potatoes. But there are some similarities. Commercial beekeepers migrate long distances from cold northern prairies to the mild coast with thousands of colonies. They are paid for … Continue reading

Posted in Commercial Beekeeping, Pesticides, Pollination | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Psst. Wanna make some money?

Most hobby beekeepers keep bees for fun, not profit.  But almost every beekeeper whom I’ve ever met tells me that, well, it would be nice to hear the cash register jingle once in a while. Bird-watchers or golfers rarely expect … Continue reading

Posted in Beekeeping, Books, Commercial Beekeeping | Tagged , , , | 20 Comments

First day with the bees

On Friday evening, just after the sun had set, we installed two packages of bees. Earlier in the day, we arranged six drawn-out deep brood frames (purchased from Scandia Honey, a very reputable bee farm in our area), two new … Continue reading

Posted in Beekeeping, Commercial Beekeeping | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

Rotten: Lawyers, Guns & Honey

I’m invariably cautious – even cynical – about beekeeping movies. But I just saw one that breaks the mold and restores faith in the potential for delivering a great story about the honey industry without lies and exaggeration.  The one-hour … Continue reading

Posted in Beekeeping, Commercial Beekeeping, Culture, or lack thereof, Movies, Pollination, Save the Bees | Tagged , | 31 Comments

Moving the Bees

Yesterday, I wrote about nuking the bees. Today, it’s moving the bees. My nuc started out on my daughter’s farm, 130 kilometres east of my home in Calgary. That’s over an hour’s drive, out on the prairie, away from the … Continue reading

Posted in Bee Biology, Beekeeping, Commercial Beekeeping, Hives and Combs, Tools and Gadgets | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

Backstory for the Bees

Yesterday evening, I brought a small hive of bees to my back yard. It was thrilling. That may seem odd to those of you who read this blog regularly. (Did you miss my Urban Beekeeper post?)  Surely I’ve got dozens … Continue reading

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

Miel Carlota – Once the World’s Biggest Bee Farm

One of the world’s largest honey farms was a Mexican outfit started by a couple of guys on holidays from Germany. The Second World War broke out while they were rambling around the Mexican coast, so they stayed for an … Continue reading

Posted in Beekeeping, Books, Commercial Beekeeping, History, People, Queens | Tagged , , , , | 12 Comments