Category Archives: Tools and Gadgets

Langstroth’s Christmas Present

I’ve been posting this piece every Christmas for a while. If you’ve read it before, read it again. Or not. Christmas Day is L.L. Langstroth’s birthday. He’d be 219 years old, if he hadn’t been struck down in his 85th … Continue reading

Posted in Beekeeping, Books, History, Hives and Combs, People, Tools and Gadgets | Tagged , | 8 Comments

Making honey talk

A biochemistry student at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, has been analyzing proteins in honey. Since proteins (for example, pollen grains, shown above) make up only about 0.1-0.5% (one to five parts per thousand) of the volume of a … Continue reading

Posted in Diseases and Pests, Honey, Science, Tools and Gadgets | Tagged , | 7 Comments

Winter’s coming – are you insulated?

When I kept bees in Florida, I didn’t wrap my hives for winter. In Pennsylvania, where I grew up, we sometimes wrapped hives with thin black building paper. That was supposed to keep wind out of the cracks and heat … Continue reading

Posted in Beekeeping, Hives and Combs, Tools and Gadgets | Tagged , , | 34 Comments

Are you listening to your bees?

Experienced beekeepers approach their hives as one might enter a church or temple. With quiet respect. Once there, we listen. That’s an important part of our role.  The listening beekeeper knows in an instant if the colony is queenless or … Continue reading

Posted in Bee Biology, Beekeeping, Diseases and Pests, Tools and Gadgets | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Comb on demand

Here’s something that I never thought anyone would manufacture. It’s fully-drawn comb, just the way bees would make it, if bees were machines. I’m impressed with the technology, but I’m not sure how marketable these manufactured combs will be. Perhaps … Continue reading

Posted in Beekeeping, Hives and Combs, Strange, Odd Stuff, Tools and Gadgets | Tagged | 9 Comments

Late-winter Feeding

Today is the last day of winter in the northern hemisphere. But the temperature – here in Calgary, at least – feels spring-like. It’s been in the mid-teens (60° F) for a few days. It’s the first chance for many … Continue reading

Posted in Beekeeping, Tools and Gadgets | Tagged , , | 5 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 , , , , , | 12 Comments