Honeybees thieves hit Eastern Ontario

Humans have a tendency to presume that everyone like yourself, who likes the same sports team or has the same interests, is good or should be trusted. Beekeepers, doubly so. Unfortunately, some beekeepers proved just how unworthy they are of that trust this week when they cleaned out an apiary of a dear friend of ours: It was a professional heist. The culprits …

Inside a swarm

What comes to mind when someone says the word “swarm”? Instant death, right? Bees attack and don’t stop stinging, right? What if I told you that a swarm is generally the least aggressive that you’ll ever seen honeybees? No, seriously. A swarm is the colony’s way of creating a new hive: about half of the workers and the queen leave the …

The splits are doing very well

This was the scene inside hive #1 today when I added a second box.  I split it into two singles and two nucs less than three weeks ago. I think they’ve recovered, don’t you? 😉

Another day, another hive setup

Way back in March, when I suggested the hive rental idea to Greg, he was skeptical. But, I’d spoken with Marianne Gee with Gees Bees Honey Company and they were quite happy and I figured it was worth a shot. I was flabbergasted by the interest. We actually have a waiting list of folks wanting to place a hive. It’s …

How honeybees do without males

Speaking as a male, I’m not sure I approve of this, but nobody asked. 😉 An isolated population of honeybees, the Cape bees, living in South Africa has evolved a strategy to reproduce without males. A research team has sequenced the entire genomes of a sample of Cape bees and compared them with other populations of honeybees to find out …

Sticky fingers: The rise of the bee thieves

  A fascinating piece from The Guardian this morning. Thankfully, while they do happen, hive thefts aren’t exactly common here. Not yet anyway.   The Long Read: Bees have become a billion-dollar business. But who would try to steal them? Source: Sticky fingers: The rise of the bee thieves | Brett Murphy | Environment | The Guardian

Hive inspection quick reference cards

I got the idea for these from someone on a beekeeping forum a couple of years ago. Unfortunately, I didn’t keep track of whom, so I can’t credit him. Printed off, 5 to a letter-sized page, they’re meant to be tacked to the rear of a hive so you can tell with a quick glance what was going on in …

A beautiful day in the yard

It was a gorgeous Spring day today! Hopefully it’s here to stay and not another tease. I was fooling around with a borrowed GoPro camera and shot a but of video at the entrance of the swarm hive. Yes, I talk to my bees. Don’t you? 😉

Sigh. Spring.

Winter’s a tough time for a beekeeper, but March can be even worse. Unsettled is a good word to describe March weather. The temperature’s been up and down like a yo-yo and we have a big storm bearing down on us. The warm days have been amazing: flying bees, dead being carried out and I’ve been able to sit and get …