Tag Archives | Nosema
Amanda earlier this year in an organic blueberry farm. Should we continue to pollinate, even in pesticide-free places like this? Is this practical and holistic beekeeping? We're wondering. Jeff Lee photo.

Treatment-free beekeeping conference in Oregon: searching for answers

This week we’re heading to a conference on how to manage honey bees without treatment. The question is, can we afford to? And at a time when honey bees and all native pollinators appear to be under grave threat – and as the debate over neonicotinoid pesticides continues to rage, there are legitimate questions about […]

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The neighbour's ornamental plum tree is just starting to bloom, offering some nectar and pollen for our reviving bees.

On winter survival and making spring nucleus colonies

I love that proverb “In like a lion, out like a lamb“. It’s meant to signify the final taming of winter as we head into spring. Unfortunately around here, this last week has been something akin to “in like a lion, out like a lion cub.” Cold, blustery, and still swatting the bees around a […]

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One of Ash Apiaries' over-wintered bee yards in British Columbia. The Manitoba beekeper says it lost half of its 2,500 B.C. hives last winter. Jeff Lee photo.

Canada, worried about bee poisonings, issues new pesticide use rules.

Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency has quietly issued new rules for the use of neonicotinoid insecticides blamed for an unusual die-off of bees in Ontario in 2012. The consumer product safety bulletin, issued Feb. 4 on Health Canada’s site but apparently nowhere else, advises farmers and users of seeds coated with neonicotinoids to use more caution, […]

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A sunny late-winter day in New Westminster and the crocuses are blooming, offering a rare early source of pollen for overwintered bees.  (Copyright: Jeff Lee)

B.C. honey producers begin to report high winter losses

Spring is around the corner, and at least in the Fraser Valley the crocuses and big leaf maples have started to bloom, offering some of the first pollen sources to overwintered bees. But this winter has been hard for some British Columbia beekeepers, with some reporting losses of more than 50 per cent, and not […]

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Almond-Grove

On mystery B.C. hive disease and California almonds

It’s heading on to mid-Feburary, and already there seems to be trouble brewing for beekeepers, not the least in California, where there is now a reported shortage of hives for the almond pollination season. In British Columbia, the situation is also a little confusing. Last week I filed a report to the B.C. Honey Producers […]

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The remnants of the colony in Amanda's once-strong hive. Frame upside down.

Two bee hives, two surprise stories this spring. Why we shouldn’t underestimate Mother Nature.

What a surprise we had when we opened up our two hives last week. First lesson: don’t ever underestimate Mother Nature. To recap, we went into the winter with one strong and one very weak hive. Amanda’s hive was booming strong; it produced some beautiful honey last year and we left it with a good […]

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 Phorid fly larvae exiting a bee. Credit: John Hafernik

A new threat: parasitic fly turns honey bees into “Zombies”

As if bees and beekeepers didn’t have enough to contend with, such as varroa mites, nosema, American and European foulbrood and mysterious colony collapse disorder, now comes the concept honey bees are being turned into “zombies” by a fly parasite. US scientists discovered that – ast least in California and South Dakota – a fly […]

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