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 …

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 …