Tag Archives: Alberta

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

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

Posted in Bee Biology, Beekeeping, Queens | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

The Fragile Earth Egg

I try to stay on topic. This is a bee blog.  But it’s hard to think about bees when our weather is so crummy. It has been extremely cold!  Winter is officially over, but only on the calendar. A few … Continue reading

Posted in Culture, or lack thereof, Humour, Strange, Odd Stuff | Tagged , , , | 14 Comments

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

Posted in Beekeeping | Tagged , , | 10 Comments

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

Posted in Beekeeping | Tagged , , , , | 13 Comments

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

Posted in Beekeeping | Tagged , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

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

Posted in Beekeeping | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

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

Posted in Beekeeping, Friends | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments