Tag Archives | New Zealand
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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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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Bee drinking water out of depression in an old brick. Photo copyright Jeff Lee

On wintering, requeening and being back in the saddle

I’ve been offline for some time dealing with a number of domestic issues, not the least of which is an aging and ailing mother. But of course, the bees never let you forget that they too need attention, if only to offer a diversion, and to deliver yet another lesson in the long line of […]

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Package bees from New Zealand being put into one of our hives in 2012.  Photograph by: Mark van Manen , Vancouver Sun

On the debate over buying bees imported from New Zealand

This week, as commercial beekeepers began putting hives into apricot orchards and are busily getting ready for the blueberry season, we picked up some new packages from New Zealand. There’s lots of debate over whether starting hives in Canada from packaged imports – whether from Australia, Chile or New Zealand. For Amanda and I, our […]

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Phil and Lisa with Amanda and our two new hives. Note the QR code on the blue hive, which allows us to track information through the Internet.

Setting up new hives and awaiting our New Zealand imports

The plum tree next to our garage apiary burst into blossom this last week, just as we were putting the finishing touches to seven new hives that we’re putting up in three gardens near our home. Unfortunately, the wet weather has been making it difficult for the bees in our two existing hives to get […]

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Honey bee on oregano blossom. Photo: Jeff Lee/Honeybeezen

Canada’s ban on honey bee imports is folly, says B.C.’s biggest beekeeper

My story in The Vancouver Sun about the spring-time import of honey bees from New Zealand has triggered debate about the long-standing ban by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency on imports from the United States. More than 20 years ago, in the face of a virulent Asian mite called varroa destructor, Canada closed the border to […]

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Blueberry farmer and bee keeper Bob Fisher has brought in packages of bees from New Zealand to bolster his local bees to pollinate blueberries at his Richmond farm. Photograph by: Les Bazso , PNG

B.C. beekeepers relying on New Zealand package bees for blueberry pollination

Most beekeepers in B.C. are just starting to take stock of their over-wintered colonies, checking for dead-outs, putting on pollen patties and mixing up heavy syrup for the feeders. But this is also the time when those beekeepers who are involved in pollinating B.C.’s important blueberry crop are also installing packaged bees that have just […]

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