Viewing entries tagged
beekeeping

The first harvest of the season

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The first harvest of the season

July 17, 2017  22° Sticky                                 graphic: Dallas Guihan

"Hello fresh air and sunshine, come pouring through my room"            g.clair

Thirty-two hives seemed like a good idea this spring, when the bees were so audibly happy to be freed of their winter cloaks and the post-rain forage was promising wondrous things to come.Now those wondrous things have come to pass, transformed into quantities of honey I have never seen from my smaller 8-frame hives....

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Queening

Queening

May 31, 2017

Let me catch that slit of light, for maiden's sake on a maiden's flight.    Bauhaus

It is not my practice to requeen on a regular basis. I know some beekeepers prefer to replace their queens annually, but I've never found that to be necessary. My queens tend to be productive for more than a year, and when they are ready, I let them supersede....

The first inspections

The first inspections

Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing/Memory and desire, stirring/ Dull roots with spring rain. T.S. Elliot

I look forward to the first inspection all winter. I think about my bees, huddled in their hives, eating honey and telling stories, and I can't wait to open them up and support their (I imagine) delirious early foraging.

The reality is somewhat different...

Spring cleaning the Honey House

Spring cleaning the Honey House

"The only way to live is to take vengeance on winter and strife."   Mary Winslow

I like a clean honey house. Clean and orderly. So I look forward to the day when it's warm enough to take a broom and mop to the accumulation of winter tracked-in dirt and detritus and get the honey house ready for the season...

The winter joy of beekeeping catalogues

The winter joy of beekeeping catalogues

March 7, 2017 5°C                                                      Photo: Marco Moretti

“The flower doesn’t dream of the bee. It blossoms and the bee comes.”
– Mark Nepo

Last night I had another bee dream. This may be a reflection of hunger for my bees, for the smell and sound of the beeyard. Or maybe, as I secretly believe, they’re calling to me. In any event, I woke up longing for spring and a strong desire to ‘nest’, which for me means couch-time with beekeeping catalogues. Like gardeners who obsess over seeds and garden accouterments, beekeepers, too, can drop headfirst into beekeeping supplies...

Oxalic acid: treating the dreaded varroa.

Oxalic acid: treating the dreaded varroa.

December 7, 2016/January 3, 20176.4°C and 3.6°C

To treat or not to treat. There's no question. (In my mind, anyway.)

People often assume that organic means treatment-free. In fact, the Canadian organic standards allows varroa treatment with formic acid, oxalic acid, and essential oils such as thymol, all of which are considered organic. To treat or not to treat is a subject of some controversy in beekeeping and beekeepers tend to feel strongly one way or the other....