Tag Archives: winter

Northern Spring

When will spring start? I’m in western Canada, near the Rockies. We have long, cold winters. Spring comes late. So, I’ve always kept honey bee hives wrapped late into the spring. That used to be a real chore 20 years … Continue reading

Posted in Climate, Ecology, History, Honey Plants, Science, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Bitten by the cold

Alberta beekeepers had smooth sailing through January. It was so mild in southern Alberta that one beekeeper wrote to ask if bees could be swarming. Swarming to the toilet, yes. Literally swarming with queen in tow, no. But the activity … Continue reading

Posted in Beekeeping, Strange, Odd Stuff | Tagged , | 24 Comments

Century-old beekeeping equipment

Image courtesy of: The Photography of Coley Ogg circa. 1919, Beekeeping Demonstration at Berea College, Kentucky. This picture is from 100 years ago. It was late winter, 1919. An agriculture agent came to this Kentucky Appalachian farm to teach modern … Continue reading

Posted in Beekeeping, History, Hives and Combs | Tagged , , , | 9 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


My friend Nichol sent this picture of her backyard hive. It’s beautiful, isn’t it? A quintessential image of winter in Canada. Besides being a great photographer, Nichol is a woodworking artisan. She handcrafted the hive equipment in her workshop. It’s … Continue reading

Posted in Beekeeping, Friends | Tagged , | 6 Comments

A Cold Canadian Wedding

I’ve been preoccupied. My oldest son’s wedding was on the weekend. I’m sharing a couple of pictures. The bride’s family came from Colombia. Because of work, they were only able to visit for a week.  I was disappointed that we … Continue reading

Posted in Culture, or lack thereof, Friends, Honey | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Groundhog Day Again

When I was a kid growing up in western Pennsylvania, Groundhog Day was a big deal. It didn’t hurt that it was also our elementary school principal’s birthday. We didn’t get the whole day off (unless Feb 2 was on … Continue reading

Posted in Culture, or lack thereof, Ecology, Humour, Strange, Odd Stuff, Swarms | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Here Comes the Sun

If you are in the far north, your bees are not quite at mid-point in their winter marathon. But days are getting longer. It is amazing how bees – and flowering plants – recognize even a few minutes of extra … Continue reading

Posted in Climate, Queens | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Ground Hog Day

Pork burgers, anyone? Today is Groundhog Day, which makes me think of ground beef, hamburger helper, and ground hog. And the weather. We, of course, are far too sophisticated to depend on a rodent for our long-range forecast, even if … Continue reading

Posted in Bee Biology, Climate, Culture, or lack thereof | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Frightfully Slow

Canada’s spring has been frightfully slow this year. Snow was on the menu coast-to-coast-to-coast in April and early May. As seasoned beekeepers will admit, wintering bees at our latitude is not too hard until mid-March. In springtime, cold damp windy … Continue reading

Posted in Friends, Pollination | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment