Tag Archives: Alberta

Feel like a MOOC?

You can never know too much about bugs.  That’s why I signed up for Bugs 101, offered by a rival school, the University of Alberta. (That’s up in Edmonton – I’m in Calgary, at a different, and arguably warmer, closer,  … Continue reading

Posted in Bee Biology, Beekeeping, Ecology, Outreach | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

How did your bees do?

You hear the question every time beekeepers meet. “How did your bees do?” The answer is usually in pounds, barrels, or dollars in the bank. The question came up recently here within Calgary’s bee club. We have an extremely well-run … Continue reading

Posted in Beekeeping, Climate, Culture, or lack thereof | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

A good day in the bees

Friends at Tsuut’ina Nation Apiaries, just outside Calgary, invited me to visit their main apiary today. The indigenous bee project was started by Chief Lee Crowchild two years ago. While I visited, the Tsuut’ina beekeepers worked 35 hives at this … Continue reading

Posted in Beekeeping, Friends | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

The reason we don’t raise April queens in Alberta

It snowed again. After weeks of sweet weather, balmy enough for T-shirts, the bees quit hauling pollen and focused on hibernation.  This is the reason so few queens are bred in Canada.  We can do it, but freaky weather gets … Continue reading

Posted in Beekeeping, Climate | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Polar Vortex Insurance: Extended to Beekeepers!

Our local Auto Club (Alberta Motor Association) is offering Polar Vortex Insurance. This is a great new feature (for members only) – if the temperature stays at -25C, or colder, for any 14 consecutive days, each paid-up member gets to … Continue reading

Posted in Climate, Humour, Save the Bees, Strange, Odd Stuff | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Smoky Bees

Originally posted on Bad Beekeeping Blog:
Calgary – a smoker’s haven. My home town – Calgary – is under a smoke advisory. The sky is hazy with smelly gray smoke from the trees, grass, and homes that are on fire…

Posted in Beekeeping, Ecology, Honey, Reblogs, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 2 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 , , , , , , , | 7 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

Minding the June Gap

I ran this piece last year, but it’s worth repeating. After the natural spring bouquet has begun to fade, honey bees may become hungry. The hives are (usually) strong with lots of brood. If there is a long gap between … Continue reading

Posted in Beekeeping, Ecology, Honey Plants | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments