Tag Archives | Hive management
Frame of brood infected by ascphaera apis, chalkbrood. Photo courtesy of Bee Informed Partnership.

Battling honey bee chalkbrood an expensive, maddening affair

We’ve had our hands full this year, what with the exceptionally early spring and the unusual advancement of bloom times. Our blueberry and raspberry growers called us in early, and the wild blackberry flow that we all depend upon in the Fraser Valley for our honey is just as early. But what’s been equally troubling […]

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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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Amanda out in one of our apiaries in Metro area. Where's the snow? Photo: Jeff Lee

Late-winter feeding of the bees as spring draws near

We spent much of the weekend out with the bees, making those important late-winter checks to see who had survived and who had not. Some are thriving. But not a few are struggling. What made this weekend both enjoyable and worrisome was the extraordinarily mild weather. February can be a tough month here, both rainy […]

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Applying oxalic acid in vapour form. I use a Heilyser Technologies vapourizer attached to a 12-volt car battery. Acid is in the bottle on top of the hive, purchased from a chemist. (Photo: Amanda Goodman Lee)

Treating bees with oxalic acid; a late-winter mite-killing exercise

It’s the beginning of February and we’re just starting to get busy for the start of the new season. If you are like me, you will have a long list of unfinished chores from the fall. From cleaning up and repairing boxes and equipment to finishing those ambitious workshop projects that are supposed to make […]

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Melanie Kirby, owner of Zia Queenbee Co., will be a keynote speaker at the BCHPA Semi-Annual meeting in Kamloops March 13-14.

B.C. Honey Producers semi-annual conference set for March 12-14

Get ready for the B.C. Honey Producers Association’s semi-annual general meeting and Education Day on March 13-14 in Kamloops. The BCHPA has organized a great education program for Saturday, March 14, following their regular business day on Friday. You can register here. They are also bringing back, by popular demand, the Certified Instructors Course, which […]

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We made a simple syrup dispenser for our bee yards out of a small 12-volt pony pump, marine deep-cycle battery, garden hose and fittings. As long as you wash it out with hot water after use, it works like a charm! Photo: Jeff Lee

Build a sugar syrup pump for feeding the bees

When we first started out beekeeping with two hives, we didn’t need anything to feed other than a bucket, some sugar and a couple of in-frame feeders. These, of course, were for those necessary periods in the fall, winter and early spring when forage isn’t around. If you had told me that we would eventually […]

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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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