Category Archives: Tools and Gadgets

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 | 2 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 , | 29 Comments

Welcoming some new friends

The bees arrived. It was getting late. I was getting anxious. But just after the sun settled for the night, my friend Mark arrived with our two packages. He brought us 13,637 worker bees and two queens. We counted them. … Continue reading

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

Have you lithium-chlorided your bees yet?

A friend (Thanks, Thomas!) sent a note this morning about a new mite treatment. It was developed at the University of Hohenheim, Apicultural State Institute, Stuttgart, Germany. Findings were published in Nature.  So, I am guessing that the science – … Continue reading

Posted in Diseases and Pests, Save the Bees, Tools and Gadgets | Tagged , | 13 Comments

Creamed Honey

I’ve written about ‘creamed’ honey before, but I think it’s time to mention it again. I don’t know what you call smooth honey – some folks call it creamed (though no dairy products are involved), spun (though no spinning is … Continue reading

Posted in Friends, History, Honey, Tools and Gadgets | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Why are Hives Damp in the Winter?

Last time, I wrote about my over-wintering misadventures with wet hives. In many parts of the world (I’m looking at you, England.), the biggest winterkill comes from moisture, not disease or starvation. During the winter, water may collect under the … Continue reading

Posted in Bee Biology, Beekeeping, Science, Tools and Gadgets | Tagged , , | 7 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