Tag Archives | Apiculture
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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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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Mark L. Winston, reading from his bestseller Bee Time: Lessons From The Hive, at the American Beekeeping Federation convention in January, 2015 in Anaheim, California. Photo: Jeff Lee

Mark Winston’s Bee Time Wins Governor General’s Award

On our book shelves devoted to beekeeping are some of the classics; Langstroth’s Hive and the Honey Bee, Root & Miller’s ABC and ZYZ of Honey Bee Culture, Francis Huber’s New Observation Upon Bees, and dozens of other books that cover everything from queen breeding and selection to honey production to health benefits from hive […]

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Some of our colonies out in the Fraser Valley, with accompanying four-leged companions and Amanda. Photo: Jeff Lee

Our beautiful sunny, warm – and utimately deadly – fall weather

I am sure that I have seen this before, this long, winding fall of sun and warmth, where even the leaves on the maples and horse chestnuts remain unreasonably green. But somehow, this fall seems different, far beyond the Indian Summer we sometimes get. The smatterings of rain we’ve had in recent weeks have been […]

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Honey bee with Deformed Wing Virus, next to a healthy bee. Photo credit: www.omafra.gov.on.ca

On Deformed Wing Virus, feeding & treating with formic acid

Last week, as we were getting ready to treat our colonies for varroa, Amanda discovered one that had Deformed Wing Virus. It is a particularly heartbreaking disease to find, since the predominant physical issue is that the bees have either shrivelled wings or no wings at all. Watching a wingless bee crawl around on the […]

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Michael Bush, the Practical Beekeeper, will give a talk in Vancouver, B.C. on Oct. 18, sponsored by the Richmoind Beekeepers Association. Photo credit: Youtube.com

Michael Bush, the Practical Beekeeper, to give seminar in Vancouver Oct. 18

Michael Bush, the Nebraska beekeeper and author of such useful books as “The Practical Beekeeper” and “Beekeeping Naturally” will be in Vancouver next month. Regularly sought for his knowledge and simple ways of dealing with honey bees, Bush has also made something of a business of reproducing out-of-print publications from early beekeepers, such as Francis […]

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Working with the bees at one of our summer honey collection and pollination sites. Photo credit: Amanda

From two hives to 100, we’re loving our adventure in beekeeping

When we first got into beekeeping a few years ago, someone warned me that as we grew in size I would wonder where all the time went. They told us that our first year, that heady moment when we brought home our first two nucleus colonies and watched in awe as they grew and began […]

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Marla Spivak, entomologist and honey bee researcher who developed the Minnesota Hygeinic strain of mite-clearing bees. Photo courtesy of the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Marla Spivak, Eric Mussen, Dewey Caron & others at BCHPA 2014 convention

I always look forward to the annual B.C. Honey Producers’ Association convention for two reasons. The first, but not most important one is that it comes towards the end of a season of heavy lifting. The approach of the AGM and its popular education day are signs that the frenetic summertime workload of looking after […]

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