Vancouver starts pollinator and honey bee education program

Vancouver is known for its greenery, affinity for parks and community gardens. But now it plans to do more to increase pollinator forage for both wild and domestic bees. You almost can’t walk anywhere in Canada’s third-largest city without stumbling on a pocket park or lush garden. We’re known for our cherry blossom festival. We are […]

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Amanda hives a package of Arataki bees from New Zealand in one of our yards. Jeff Lee photo.

Our package bees arrive, with a promise of a heavy work season

The evidence of this weekend’s frenetic beekeeping activity is all over the place. In our kitchen, the floor is sticky from the droplets of sugar water that dripped as we made up major amounts in preparation for imported New Zealand bees that arrived Sunday. Out back of the garage is a pyramid of stacked cardboard […]

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Flying bee on lavender

Importation of U.S. Package Bees divisive among Canadian beekeepers

The deadline for public comment on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s Risk Assessment on the importation of American package bees has now passed. But that hasn’t stopped the considerable commentary from beekeepers who are weighing in on both sides, who alternately find the CFIA “status quo” decision either specious and based on faulty science, or […]

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Winning the honey contest makes up for expensive mistakes

As I’ve said many times, Amanda and I are relatively new at beekeeping. We manage to learn new lessons every day. High on this year’s list of mistakes not to make:  Don’t use a weak queen bank. It’s hard on both the queens and the pocket book. Don’t steal too much honey. Bees don’t like […]

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An apiary in British Columbia.

Canada to keep border closed to U.S. honey bee packages: report

Canadian beekeepers hoping for quick access to cheaper package bees from the United States have had their hopes dented, if not crushed. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has concluded a new risk assessment report that says Canadian apiculture remains exposed to the potential for medication-resistant varroa mites and American Foulbrood, and infestations of small hive […]

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Bald-faced Hornet and wasps

How we’re battling wasps and hornets around bee hives

Beekeepers face a dizzying array of pests, diseases and threats to their livestock. We spend an enormous amount of time battling the varroa mite and being on guard for American Foulbrood disease, nosema, small hive beetle and Africanized honey bees. Fortunately in our region of Western Canada we don’t have the last two problems. Yet. […]

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Honey bee on fllower

Bee deaths rise in Canada as lobbying to open border grows

We’re all waiting patiently for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s risk assessment on cross-border bee imports from the United States. The report, which will look at the level of risk associated with reopening the border to cheaper bee imports from the U.S., is supposedly undergoing peer review among scientists before being released for public comment. […]

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Jim Bach, former WA state apiculturist.

Jim Bach, former Washington State apiculturist, passes away

British Columbia beekeepers may remember Jim Bach, once the state apiculturist for Washington. I received word Friday from Paul van Westendorp, B.C.’s provincial apiculturist, that Bach died suddenly this week. Paul reminded me that Jim, for too long a bachelor, had found a common bond with Fran Kay, the B.C. beekeeper dynamo who for a […]

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