They’re ALIVE!

Winter is a difficult time for a beekeeper. You can visit the bees, but they don’t come out to play. You can’t open the hive and you certainly aren’t likely to get stung. (Is it weird that I kind of miss that?) You have to satisfy yourself with trying to hear the bees inside. A stethoscope helps in that regard, …

It was way too hot for hive work today

The thought of pulling on the full bee suit, gloves, boots and veil was revolting (the temperature was 24C at 10am), but they had to do it. The swarm hive had to be cleaned up a bit before it got so bad that nothing could be done before Spring. But, Foolish is as Foolish Does, so Greg and Gord suited …

The amazing power of cinnamon

No, this isn’t some nutbar post about cinnamon being the next wonder drug that’s being suppressed by Big Pharma and the New World Order. It’s about the use of cinnamon in the hive. What for, you ask? To repel ants. Last week when I had my first look at the swarm, the inner cover of the hive was polluted with …

Beekeepers try to keep bees — and livelihoods — from going extinct

    An interesting piece from the Washington Post about the lengths that some beeks are having to go to help their colonies. Obsessing over bee health was unheard of 50 years ago, said Marla Spivak, a University of Minnesota professor of entomology. “In the past, it was very easy to keep bees. Throw them in a box, and they …

FUD from the Grain Farmers of Ontario

FUD /fəd/, noun fear, uncertainty and doubt, usually evoked intentionally in order to put a competitor at a disadvantage. The Grain Farmers of Ontario have been very vocal opponents of Ontario’s recently approved and soon to be implemented restrictions on the neonicotinoid pesticide seed treatments. If you listen to their argument, it’s going to mean the end of grain farming …

Report: Bees may get hooked on neonicotinoid pesticides

File this under “I don’t even …” Bees may be getting hooked on nectar laced with widely used nicotine-related chemicals in pesticides they cannot even taste, in the same way humans are addicted to cigarettes, new research has found. Adding to evidence of potential harm from the chemicals, another field-scale study published on Wednesday also found that exposure to so-called …

Don’t Go With the Flow, Go With the Wax (A Few Words on Saving the Bees … and Us)

I’ve had a very difficult time with the Flow™ hive. It’s awe-inspiring to see someone take a project that they’ve obviously poured their blood, sweat and tears into and see it not only get funded, but exceed the ask by more than 100x. But, I’ve had this vague uneasiness that’s been incredibly difficult for me to put into words: plastic frames …

Kingston Seedy Saturday is this week

If gardening is your thing (if it not, it should be), this Saturday is the event for you: There will be seed vendors, speakers, activities and all sorts of displays. This will be our fourth year going and it’s grown every year. I spent this evening tinkering a bit with our famous lip balm recipe and I think it’s our …

Chemical Weapon or Bee Poop?

It sounds like two extreme ends of a continuum, but that’s really the debate: In 1981 the Vietnam War was over, for the United States, but it looked to the world like the Cold War was still being fought in Southeast Asia, and it had a nasty new wrinkle. The Soviets were spraying Vietnam and Laos with something that left odd …