Tag Archives: Alberta

Winterprep: What’s the neighbour doing?

Fall has arrived and you’re preparing your bees for winter. If you are new to beekeeping, this should make you nervous. You might lose every colony you have in the next few months. What you do now  has a huge … Continue reading

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My Failure as a Beekeeper: Part VI

My anno horribilis apis had one more final insult to bestow upon my ever-shrinking self-esteem. Our little hive was attacked by robber bees. Once again, it was a scene entirely reminiscent of Tolstoy’s dying Moscow: There is no longer the … Continue reading

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My Failure as a Beekeeper: Part V

When a colony has lost its queen and not replaced her, the hive is almost certain to die a slow and sorrowful death. The great plans we had for this small nuc – a source of a pound or two … Continue reading

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My Failure as a Beekeeper: Part IV

This is the fourth piece in my six-part description of my colossal failure as a beekeeper this summer. If you’ve been following this little series, you saw how I acquired a little queenless nuc, transported it to my home, and … Continue reading

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My Failure as a Beekeeper: Part III

Over the past few days, I’ve been writing about the misadventures of a small queenless hive which we placed in our back yard this summer. It dutifully raised several nice queen cells. At the time, I worried about the greedy … Continue reading

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My Failure as a Beekeeper: Part II

Yesterday, I started to describe my rather lousy year as a beekeeper. It began with an intentionally weak queenless hive. I picked it up at my daughter’s farm and brought it into my back yard, here in the city of … Continue reading

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My Failure as a Beekeeper: Part I

I’ve worked with bees for almost fifty years, raising queens, pollinating crops, making oodles of honey.  I grew up in a beekeeping family (so my 50 years started really early). Over that long time period, I worked for some really … Continue reading

Posted in Beekeeping, Friends | Tagged , , , , | 9 Comments

Fireweed Attraction

Last week, fires in western Canada forced 47,000 people from their mountain homes. Over a hundred houses were destroyed. Livestock, wildlife, even bees went up in flame. Millions of stately pines and firs are now little more than spent matches … Continue reading

Posted in Honey Plants | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

YIKES! Small Hive Beetle in Alberta

Two days ago, our apiary inspector announced the unfortunate discovery of the ugly Small Hive Beetle (SHB), species Aethina tumida, in the northern part of our province.  I think that this is the first time SHB has been found in … Continue reading

Posted in Beekeeping, Diseases and Pests | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Bees with Beards

Ah, the bearded hive. With our current heatwave, beards are in fashion among beehives here in Calgary. Last week, I was called to the home of some new beekeepers. The front of their two-story hive was completely masked by a … Continue reading

Posted in Beekeeping, Climate, Humour | Tagged , , | 2 Comments