We made a simple syrup dispenser for our bee yards out of a small 12-volt pony pump, marine deep-cycle battery, garden hose and fittings. As long as you wash it out with hot water after use, it works like a charm! Photo: Jeff Lee

Build a sugar syrup pump for feeding the bees

When we first started out beekeeping with two hives, we didn’t need anything to feed other than a bucket, some sugar and a couple of in-frame feeders. These, of course, were for those necessary periods in the fall, winter and early spring when forage isn’t around. If you had told me that we would eventually […]

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Some of our colonies out in the Fraser Valley, with accompanying four-leged companions and Amanda. Photo: Jeff Lee

Our beautiful sunny, warm – and utimately deadly – fall weather

I am sure that I have seen this before, this long, winding fall of sun and warmth, where even the leaves on the maples and horse chestnuts remain unreasonably green. But somehow, this fall seems different, far beyond the Indian Summer we sometimes get. The smatterings of rain we’ve had in recent weeks have been […]

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Honey bee with Deformed Wing Virus, next to a healthy bee. Photo credit: www.omafra.gov.on.ca

On Deformed Wing Virus, feeding & treating with formic acid

Last week, as we were getting ready to treat our colonies for varroa, Amanda discovered one that had Deformed Wing Virus. It is a particularly heartbreaking disease to find, since the predominant physical issue is that the bees have either shrivelled wings or no wings at all. Watching a wingless bee crawl around on the […]

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Michael Bush, the Practical Beekeeper, will give a talk in Vancouver, B.C. on Oct. 18, sponsored by the Richmoind Beekeepers Association. Photo credit: Youtube.com

Michael Bush, the Practical Beekeeper, to give seminar in Vancouver Oct. 18

Michael Bush, the Nebraska beekeeper and author of such useful books as “The Practical Beekeeper” and “Beekeeping Naturally” will be in Vancouver next month. Regularly sought for his knowledge and simple ways of dealing with honey bees, Bush has also made something of a business of reproducing out-of-print publications from early beekeepers, such as Francis […]

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Dusting a hive with icing sugar. One method of testing for varroa mite levels. At the BCHPA convention, we'll get an update on other methods of testing and treating for this little, but powerful pest. (Photo credit: Jeff Lee)

Why beekeepers should not miss the BC Honey Producers convention this month

As a beekeeper, the end of summer and the harkening fall remind me of the approaching B.C. Honey Producers Association fall convention September 25-27 at the Delta Airport Inn in Richmond. I watch the calendar with particular interest and count the days to the start of the three-day event. As associations go, the BCHPA is […]

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Working with the bees at one of our summer honey collection and pollination sites. Photo credit: Amanda

From two hives to 100, we’re loving our adventure in beekeeping

When we first got into beekeeping a few years ago, someone warned me that as we grew in size I would wonder where all the time went. They told us that our first year, that heady moment when we brought home our first two nucleus colonies and watched in awe as they grew and began […]

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Marla Spivak, entomologist and honey bee researcher who developed the Minnesota Hygeinic strain of mite-clearing bees. Photo courtesy of the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Marla Spivak, Eric Mussen, Dewey Caron & others at BCHPA 2014 convention

I always look forward to the annual B.C. Honey Producers’ Association convention for two reasons. The first, but not most important one is that it comes towards the end of a season of heavy lifting. The approach of the AGM and its popular education day are signs that the frenetic summertime workload of looking after […]

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It's blueberry season in the Lower Mainland, This group of berries is typical of the crop at Doris and Harold Lougheed's U-pick at 19000 River Road in Richmond. Jeff Lee photo.

That not-so-secret award-generating U-pick blueberry farm is open

I have a secret blueberry patch that I frequent out on River Road in Richmond. It’s not one of those great swaths of blueberry bushes that spread into the distance. It isn’t even a very busy place, sandwiched among cranberry fields and the Fraser River. But the Lougheed’s little U-pick yard at 19000 River Road […]

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