They’re Alive!

After two unsuccessful attempts to winter my micro hive, I checked my bees last week and they are alive!  There were three things that I did differently last winter and I think all helped my colony survive: 1. I added a bottom board so that there was a bigger entrance and thus hopefully better ventilation.…

Wasps

You might find what I’m about to say surprising, even shocking. Wasps don’t deserve all the bad press. Like most people I have long held a rather uncharitable view of wasps. However, a number of experiences over the years has convinced me that there are almost as many untrue myths out there about wasps as…

What Not to Wear

Unlike TLC’s popular program, What Not To Wear, this post is not about fashion. But just like Stacy and Clinton, I can give you advice about what not to wear, and what to wear. I’m not going to throw out your wardrobe however (nor give you $5,000 towards a shopping spree). This is after all,…

Getting stung

When people find out I grew up on a bee farm, one of the first questions I get is “Have you been stung?” And I tell them far too many times to remember. My rough estimate is between 1,000 and 2,000 times over 10 years. It wasn’t unusual to get stung ten times in a…

Proceed with caution

I am all for urban beekeeping, but in the last couple of weeks I was reminded again of the need to proceed with caution and why it may not be the best idea for there to be hundreds of new urbanites taking up the craft. American foulbrood (AFB) is a highly contagious and very serious…

Winter is coming…

Just like the Starks*, every beekeeper on the Canadian prairies knows that winter is coming. And like the Starks, every beekeeper on the Canadian prairies knows that a winter without preparation guarantees death, but preparation does not guarantee survival. While honeybees can and do successfully survive Canadian winters, you will find that giving them some…

Bees on TEDx

Found this talk at the Boston TEDx on Youtube. It’s another good introduction to keeping bees in the city, but his statistics are low for the Canadian prairies. Up here, our rural winter survival rate is higher, and Canadian beekeepers describe 15% winter kill as an acceptable rate. Actual Canadian statistics vary from year to…