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A sunny late-winter day in New Westminster and the crocuses are blooming, offering a rare early source of pollen for overwintered bees.  (Copyright: Jeff Lee)

B.C. honey producers begin to report high winter losses

Spring is around the corner, and at least in the Fraser Valley the crocuses and big leaf maples have started to bloom, offering some of the first pollen sources to overwintered bees. But this winter has been hard for some British Columbia beekeepers, with some reporting losses of more than 50 per cent, and not […]

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On mystery B.C. hive disease and California almonds

It’s heading on to mid-Feburary, and already there seems to be trouble brewing for beekeepers, not the least in California, where there is now a reported shortage of hives for the almond pollination season. In British Columbia, the situation is also a little confusing. Last week I filed a report to the B.C. Honey Producers […]

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Chinese beekeepers tending hives.

U.S. renews anti-dumping duties on Chinese honey but Canada not a target

The U.S. government has renewed its anti-dumping duties on honey originating from China. Meanwhile, the Canadian government appears satisfied that it is not being targeted by Chinese producers who want to tranship to Canada and relabel their product as “Canadian” in an effort to escape paying millions of dollars in tariffs. Last month the U.S. […]

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A Corona, Queens homeowner is in trouble with New York health authorities for keeping 200 unregistered beehives at his home. Photo credit: Jeanne Noonan for New York Daily News.

When beekeeping as a hobby runs afoul of the law

Now, who isn’t a beekeeper who at the beginning of the season has a few hives, and at the end has, oh, a few more? Summer splits, swarms, you know, that sort of thing? It keeps us all busy making woodenware, equalizing hives and generally dreaming of just one more box of honey. But what […]

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Package bees from New Zealand being put into one of our hives in 2012.  Photograph by: Mark van Manen , Vancouver Sun

On the debate over buying bees imported from New Zealand

This week, as commercial beekeepers began putting hives into apricot orchards and are busily getting ready for the blueberry season, we picked up some new packages from New Zealand. There’s lots of debate over whether starting hives in Canada from packaged imports – whether from Australia, Chile or New Zealand. For Amanda and I, our […]

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Phil and Lisa with Amanda and our two new hives. Note the QR code on the blue hive, which allows us to track information through the Internet.

Setting up new hives and awaiting our New Zealand imports

The plum tree next to our garage apiary burst into blossom this last week, just as we were putting the finishing touches to seven new hives that we’re putting up in three gardens near our home. Unfortunately, the wet weather has been making it difficult for the bees in our two existing hives to get […]

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Blueberry farmer and bee keeper Bob Fisher has brought in packages of bees from New Zealand to bolster his local bees to pollinate blueberries at his Richmond farm. Photograph by: Les Bazso , PNG

B.C. beekeepers relying on New Zealand package bees for blueberry pollination

Most beekeepers in B.C. are just starting to take stock of their over-wintered colonies, checking for dead-outs, putting on pollen patties and mixing up heavy syrup for the feeders. But this is also the time when those beekeepers who are involved in pollinating B.C.’s important blueberry crop are also installing packaged bees that have just […]

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Beehives after a Montana blizzard. Photo credit: Amy Grisak

On B.C.’s mild winter and the upcoming Beemaster course

It’s mid-January and we’re still in the middle of a gloriously dry winter that should be helping colonies in the Lower Mainland. It’s cold out, for sure, but at least it hasn’t been moist, so the bees should be faring well in their hives. Unfortunately, I think we’ve lost one of our two hives. It […]

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