Frame of brood infected by ascphaera apis, chalkbrood. Photo courtesy of Bee Informed Partnership.

Battling honey bee chalkbrood an expensive, maddening affair

We’ve had our hands full this year, what with the exceptionally early spring and the unusual advancement of bloom times. Our blueberry and raspberry growers called us in early, and the wild blackberry flow that we all depend upon in the Fraser Valley for our honey is just as early. But what’s been equally troubling […]

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Danny Paradis, working his forklift as he arranges a semi-truck load of bees for shipment to Alberta from a Fraser Valley farm. Photo: Jeff Lee

Video: Moving Bees from B.C. to Alberta for pollination

I did this video last week of an Alberta commercial beekeeper who was staging his hives in a farmer’s field where we were pollinating raspberries. Paradis Valley Honey was getting ready to pull 2,000 hives out of the Lower Mainland where they had been pollinating blueberries, heading for canola in Northern Alberta. They needed a […]

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A mockup of our stand at EAT! Vancouver's show this weekend at BC Place. Yes, I know the labels are crooked and the background is cluttered. Just wanted to see how some of it comes together. Photo: Jeff Lee

It’s move-in day for Honey Bee Zen at EAT! Vancouver

It’s move-in day for our booth at this weekend’s EAT! Vancouver food + cooking festival. The event opens Friday at BC Place and goes until Sunday. It will feature an amazing array of chefs and foods. I found this interesting interview with Edible Canada’s Eric Pateman about the Canadian Artisanal Foods Pavilion, which he’s sponsored and where […]

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Large honey bee swarm. Photo: Jeff Lee

A massive swarm reminds us swarm season is here again

It is swarm season again, but this time with a twist. The early spring is wreaking havoc for beekeepers, who are finding overwintered colonies exceptionally strong. The mild winter, I think, has lulled some beekeepers into not realizing their hives are bigger, stronger and hence, more prone to swarm earlier than usual. The general rule […]

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Our delicious Fireweed Honey, freshly bottled, will be at EAT! Vancouver on May 1,2,3

We’ll be at EAT! Vancouver Food + Cooking Festival May 1-3 

Amanda and I are striking out in a new direction with our honey. We will be at the EAT! Vancouver Food + Cooking Festival at BC Place next month, in the Canadian Artisan Food Pavilion artisanal food section sponsored by Edible Canada.  We are absolutely excited about this opportunity and have been spending many sleepless nights trying to […]

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A pan view of one of our yards at dusk, as we prepare hives for delivery to blueberry growers. Photo: Jeff Lee

Blueberry pollination time is here, a month early for our bees

It’s that time of the spring when the calls come in from our growers: the bees are wanted in the blueberry fields, and pronto, please! It’s always a bit of a mad dash when getting ready for the blueberry “call”; colonies have to be equalized to make sure they’re strong enough, and then selected for […]

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Amanda out in one of our apiaries in Metro area. Where's the snow? Photo: Jeff Lee

Late-winter feeding of the bees as spring draws near

We spent much of the weekend out with the bees, making those important late-winter checks to see who had survived and who had not. Some are thriving. But not a few are struggling. What made this weekend both enjoyable and worrisome was the extraordinarily mild weather. February can be a tough month here, both rainy […]

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Bee on lavender

B.C. Honey Producers to hold neonicotinoid insecticide discussion

There is a debate developing in British Columbia about the concern over neonicotinoid insecticides and the effects they may be having on pollinators, both wild and domestic. We’ve been watching with interest the actions of the Ontario government to try and rein in the use of neonics (NNIs) by reducing their use by 80 per […]

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