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 …

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 …