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Winners of the Amber class in the American Beekeeping Federation's Honey Show at the 2017 North American Beekeeping Conference: Timmie Melancon of Gueydon, Louisiana (first, in centre); Karen Belli, of Wadsworth, Illinois (second, on right) and Amanda, third, on left.

A Canadian honey goes to the North American Beekeeping Show

Amanda and I just came back from the North American Beekeeping Conference in Galveston, Texas, the annual confluence of the brightest minds and most wilful beekeepers you can imagine. This is the time of the year when beekeepers tend to charge up their minds; for the most part the bees are in bed for the […]

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A closeup of a sweat bee, Halictus ligatus, that has collected pollen. Photo credit: United States Geological Survey

If you are a bee, how the New York Times sees you

As a journalist I have been a fan of the New York Times for a long time. As a beekeeper, I have another reason to like them. Joanna Klein’s interesting take this week on explaining the life of a bee breaks a few journalist conventions. One, of course, is writing in the second person. But […]

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Dead bees in a French beekeeping farm. Credit: Raymond Roig

Health Canada’s plan to consider reining in neonicotinoid pesticides

It seems a head of steam is developing about Health Canada’s interest in banning one of several neonicotinoid pesticides that it now believes is harmful to insects and the ecosystem.

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Our display for holiday craft shows and Farmers' Markets

Holiday gift ideas and the markets we’ll be at this Christmas

We’ve had a busy fall and early winter, what with getting our bees safely put to bed, and then working through some Farmers’ Markets and Christmas craft shows. We had a bumper year for honey, producing our much-sought amber honey, Harvest Moon, and a large amount of our early summer Berry Blossom. Happily, we can […]

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A pair of Sandhill Cranes have been nesting in the neighbourhood near our friends' U-Pick blueberry farm. If you go out to spend an afternoon in Harold and Doris Lougheed's place at 19000 River Road in Richmond, you may catch them sleeping on the lawn. (Photo courtesy Doris Lougheed.)

Picking Blueberries With Sandhill Cranes: A Summer Event

It is blueberry-picking time out in Richmond, and our friends Doris and Harold Lougheed not only are open at their U-Pick in Richmond, but they have been graced with some special guests, a pair of nesting Sandhill Cranes.

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John Gates, right, helps a student at his queen-rearing course to identify the right size of larvae to graft into a queen cell cup. Gates' annual queen-rearing course is a must for anyone wanting to learn how to successfully raise queen bees. Jeff Lee photo.

Learning how to rear honey bee queens, B.C. style

There is an art to raising good honey bee queens, it seems. So Amanda Goodman Lee and I are up in Tappen, B.C along with other beekeepers from around the province learning from two masters, John Gates and his protege, BillStagg. Gates is a former provincial apiculturist who helped develop a made-in-B.C. queen-rearing program. Until […]

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NEW map of Small Hive Beetle finds in British Columbia including the latest discovery in Maple Ridge. Courtesy Ministry of Agriculture

A new Small Hive Beetle find in Maple Ridge spells trouble for BC beekeepers

Bee season has not even started and already there’s been a new discovery of small hive beetle in the Fraser Valley. If it isn’t the unseasonably early start to spring – hey, we just got our first blueberry pollination delivery call – it is small hive beetle that is causing sleepless nights for some. Last […]

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Bee season in British Columbia starts, for many of us, with sending our deadouts through Iotron Industries' electron beam sterilizer. It kills all of the pathogens left in the boxes. Of course, we don't do this with overwintered colonies! Jeff Lee Photo

Bee Season Upon Us With Early Iotron Run

Who would have thought that beekeeping could be so complicated? The honey bees aren’t really even flying right now, other than some exploratory flights looking for early pollen. But it seems that the work of getting these little perishers ready for the new season starts early. So early, in fact, that I took this week […]

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