First goes on the excluder, then the first super!

Honey Super Sunday, a milestone for Honey Bee Zen

Sunday was a big day for me. Since putting the nucleus colony of four frames into my hive on May 21st, I have watched as my bees have drawn out comb. The queen has been busy laying eggs and building a colony. In late June I added a second brood chamber, and watched as the […]

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Bee waggle dance

That sexy dance of the honey bee

Originally published July 10, 2011. I bet you didn’t know honey bees are sexy. It starts with a sultry swinging of the hips from side to side, then moving to a figure eight as the worker bee wags her bee-hind back and forth. Not since watching an episode of “Dancing with the Stars” have I […]

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When killing a queen invites a disaster

I’m glad I can’t be charged with regicide for killing the queen. The killing of royalty is, of course, a crime. Just like patricide, infanticide and good old homicide. But in this case, the untimely demise of my queen bee – either because it got squished between two frames or couldn’t handle the harshness of […]

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Wasp on water

On swarming bees and mistaken picnic marauders

Talk to people about keeping urban beehives and two things invariably come up as concerns. One is the belief that the bees will now flock to their picnic or patio barbecue. The other is a fear of swarms. The first one is a complete non-starter. The other is a periodic issue that is vastly overblown. […]

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Is THAT a disease in my beehive?

Albert Einstein once said “If the bee disappears from the surface of the earth, man would have no more than four years to live. No more bees, no more pollination … no more men!” No more men? There are times when women might wish for this when we’re picking up stinky socks, but I think […]

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Flying bee on lavender

Feed The Bees: a community effort to feed – and save – ourselves

After Saturday’s publication in The Vancouver Sun of our new Honey Bee Zen blog, I received a note from Ian Tait, an old Olympics friend who is now involved in an effort to help bees make it in this tough world of ours. It’s called Feed The Bees. Tait pointed me to this cooperative effort by the Delta Chamber of Commerce and Earthwise […]

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Honey bee landing on oregano flowers

Bees in the city: keep your neighbours happy

Most cities in North America at one time banned the keeping of bees on residential lots. In theory it made sense (but not good sense): people didn’t want insects flying around their heads, especially ones that could sting you. But in recent years, the pendulum has swung as urban stealth beekeepers who kept secret hives […]

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Dandelions and honey bees: a reason not to weed.

Amanda: Not since I was five years old have dandelions meant so much to me. I can still see that bouquet of wilting heads on the windowsill in an empty Cheez Whiz jar. I later became ruthless in my dandelion destruction. I joined the host of other gardeners who have turned to whatever tool possible to […]

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