Category Archives: Queens

Do you know the queen colours?

If you mark your queens, you should follow the international queen-colour code: White in 2016 and 2021, Yellow in 2017 and 2022, etc. This system has been around for decades because it’s uniform, consistent, and lets a beekeeper know the … Continue reading

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Laying worker, new queen, or both?

Following on yesterday’s post about laying workers, I thought I should add this important caveat.  If you have a new queen (from a split which was given a young caged queen, for example), you may occasionally find multiple eggs in … Continue reading

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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

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Dr Warwick Kerr, the “Man Who Created Killer Bees”, has died

It is with regret that we report that the humanitarian, geneticist, and scientist, Professor Warwick Kerr, passed away this morning, September 15, 2018. He was six days past his 96th birthday.  Dr Kerr, a Brazilian bee scientist, had one of … Continue reading

Posted in Bee Biology, Culture, or lack thereof, Genetics, People, Queens, Science | Tagged , , , , | 23 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

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A Depleted Home

A few days ago, a friend invited me to visit her bees.  In one part of her apiary, there were three hives, neatly lined, single-storey. These hives had started the season as packages five weeks earlier. Two were excellent. They … Continue reading

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Babysitting the queen

A friend left town for a few days. She had two queens, in cages, which she’d acquired for her hives. As it turned out, she used one of them but her second hive wasn’t strong enough to split. That meant … Continue reading

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2017: The Year in Bee Review

As 2017 draws to a close, let’s look back at the year’s best beekeeping stories. With lower honey prices in 2017, some beekeepers left the business and colony counts fell a little.  Back in 2016, I reported that honey bees … Continue reading

Posted in Apitherapy, Bee Biology, Beekeeping, Culture, or lack thereof, Diseases and Pests, Friends, History, Hive Products, Honey, Honey Plants, Killer Bees, Movies, Outreach, People, Pesticides, Pollination, Queens, Save the Bees, Science | Tagged | 6 Comments

Shake, Rattle, Roll: Our Little Earthquake

I live in one of the less shaky parts of the world. I don’t think that Calgary has ever had a damaging earthquake. (Granted, the city isn’t much over a hundred years old, so it’s a short history.)  When the … Continue reading

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One Week with a Queenless Hive

Over a week ago, I brought a nuc into my back yard. Twelve days have passed, so there should be an emerged virgin queen inspecting the neighbourhood, looking for boys. My little nuc was intentionally built as a queenless hive. … Continue reading

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