Tag Archives | British Columbia
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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Large honey bee swarm. Photo: Jeff Lee

A massive swarm reminds us swarm season is here again

It is swarm season again, but this time with a twist. The early spring is wreaking havoc for beekeepers, who are finding overwintered colonies exceptionally strong. The mild winter, I think, has lulled some beekeepers into not realizing their hives are bigger, stronger and hence, more prone to swarm earlier than usual. The general rule […]

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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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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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A small honey bee apiary

On farm status for beekeepers and tax assessments

There isn’t a day when I am talking to people about bees that they don’t say something like “is it true that honey bees are dying off, or that they are in trouble?” I usually take the time to explain the considerable problems facing beekeepers today: varroa mites, pesticides, monoculture crops and an agriculture industry […]

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Honey bees pollinating a blueberry field

Lessons from our first blueberry pollination contract

We have just finished our first commercial blueberry pollination contract, an accidental affair that has left us both yearning for more and wary of this necessary side of beekeeping. On the one hand this was a perfect experience; we helped a partnership of four commercial growers at least partially satisfy their deep need for bees, […]

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mccutcheon

A new book on beekeeping in British Columbia

Western civilization is in the middle of a renaissance around the venerable art of beekeeping. This was once, in North America and Europe, the business or hobby of a declining number of old beekeepers practicing a craft passed down by father and grandfather. Declining, in large part, because of the general decline of profitable farming […]

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