“It is said that smoke calms honeybees”

We don’t use smoke when we tend our hives. We never have and I don’t see any reason to start now. It disrupts the hive and can mask all kinds of odours that a beekeeper can use to figure out what’s happening in a hive. It appears that part of our justification for being smoke-free is also inacurrate: “The perception …

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 …

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 …

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 …