Tag Archives | bees
How many times have you seen this kind of a swarm, just out of safe reach? No ladder long enough, no way to reach it? We've made a simple solution using a collapsible window-washing or painting pole and an old water carrier with the bottom cut off.

How to make a honey bee swarm retrieval pole

With swarm season comes a multitude of challenges of how to successfully retrieve a colony that makes like a hive and splits. Many of us have seen the pictures of swarms in really, really odd places; on the wing tips of aircraft, under bicycle seats and on the tines of harrows and other farm equipment. […]

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We boxed the swarm right off the roof of the condo building; it came off the tree to the right,  four storeys up from the street. Easy-peasy! Photo: Sharon Lee

Two colonies; from swarm heaven to flying hell

It is a spectacular thing to chase a massive swarm as it moves straight down the middle of a major street, all while people go about their business, unaware of what is going on overhead. Recovering that swarm from the top of a four-storey tree, as its branches, bent heavy with bees, bend over the […]

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Hives for Humanity's Sarah Common [L] and her mother, Julia Common [R] with the help of Jim McLeod [M] check on a bee hive at the community garden on Vancouver's East Hastings.

Vancouver starts pollinator and honey bee education program

Vancouver is known for its greenery, affinity for parks and community gardens. But now it plans to do more to increase pollinator forage for both wild and domestic bees. You almost can’t walk anywhere in Canada’s third-largest city without stumbling on a pocket park or lush garden. We’re known for our cherry blossom festival. We are […]

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Amanda hives a package of Arataki bees from New Zealand in one of our yards. Jeff Lee photo.

Our package bees arrive, with a promise of a heavy work season

The evidence of this weekend’s frenetic beekeeping activity is all over the place. In our kitchen, the floor is sticky from the droplets of sugar water that dripped as we made up major amounts in preparation for imported New Zealand bees that arrived Sunday. Out back of the garage is a pyramid of stacked cardboard […]

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Flying bee on lavender

Importation of U.S. Package Bees divisive among Canadian beekeepers

The deadline for public comment on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s Risk Assessment on the importation of American package bees has now passed. But that hasn’t stopped the considerable commentary from beekeepers who are weighing in on both sides, who alternately find the CFIA “status quo” decision either specious and based on faulty science, or […]

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Honey bee on fllower

Bee deaths rise in Canada as lobbying to open border grows

We’re all waiting patiently for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s risk assessment on cross-border bee imports from the United States. The report, which will look at the level of risk associated with reopening the border to cheaper bee imports from the U.S., is supposedly undergoing peer review among scientists before being released for public comment. […]

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Carniolan hybrid honey bee queen

Installing new honey bee queens from B.C.’s best breeders

We’re back right as rain, just as the rain hits. I managed to install new honey bee queens in a number of hives last night, fixing a self-inflicted problem that started when I de-queened the hives as part of an experiment in treating for mites. Stupid me, I then killed almost all of the banked […]

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Kirk Webster, whose pioneering views on treatment-free bees are helping to influence beekeepers, shows his home-made division board feeder to  Axel Krause, right, a B.C. provincial bee inspector, and Jim Tunnell of Snohomish. Jeff Lee photo.

Kirk Webster on treatment-free beekeeping in Pacific Northwest

FOREST GROVE, OREGON – It’s a contrary argument for beekeepers wrestling with the greatest pest in they’ve ever faced to suggest that you should make the varroa mite your ally. But that’s exactly the argument Kirk Webster, the pioneering treatment-free beekeeper, made this weekend to a packed crowd. More than 100 beekeepers from all over […]

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