Tag Archives | Queens
John Gates, right, helps a student at his queen-rearing course to identify the right size of larvae to graft into a queen cell cup. Gates' annual queen-rearing course is a must for anyone wanting to learn how to successfully raise queen bees. Jeff Lee photo.

Learning how to rear honey bee queens, B.C. style

There is an art to raising good honey bee queens, it seems. So Amanda Goodman Lee and I are up in Tappen, B.C along with other beekeepers from around the province learning from two masters, John Gates and his protege, BillStagg. Gates is a former provincial apiculturist who helped develop a made-in-B.C. queen-rearing program. Until […]

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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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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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Marla Spivak, entomologist and honey bee researcher who developed the Minnesota Hygeinic strain of mite-clearing bees. Photo courtesy of the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Marla Spivak, Eric Mussen, Dewey Caron & others at BCHPA 2014 convention

I always look forward to the annual B.C. Honey Producers’ Association convention for two reasons. The first, but not most important one is that it comes towards the end of a season of heavy lifting. The approach of the AGM and its popular education day are signs that the frenetic summertime workload of looking after […]

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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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An apiary in British Columbia.

Canada to keep border closed to U.S. honey bee packages: report

Canadian beekeepers hoping for quick access to cheaper package bees from the United States have had their hopes dented, if not crushed. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has concluded a new risk assessment report that says Canadian apiculture remains exposed to the potential for medication-resistant varroa mites and American Foulbrood, and infestations of small hive […]

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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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Photo courtesy of http://www.bluesci.org/

Disaster strikes in our apiary, and his name is Jeff

The lessons we learn as beekeepers are supposed to help us. I recently made a catastrophic mistake that also cost us a bundle and lost us some very good queens. Like many beekeepers in British Columbia, we take our honey off around the middle of August. Anything the bees collect after that is meant for […]

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