February 18 2018
- a trip to a nearbye apiary to test the new wheels in deep snow and brief inspection of random hives. The result was encouraging.... 6 of 6 hives checked are doing very well.
There was benign evidence of rabbits, and the AWD plowed through the snow with ease unlike last year's attempt in the VW.

Remember that warm day in Feb?

The hives might all be alive now, but there is still
a lot of winter left.
Hive winter mortality has averaged 58% over the last decade
in central Ontario. The graffitti on the hive wrappers are rcognized by the bees are used to guide bees back to their own hive

Early Season May 6 2017 - it was a rainy day ... again

Caiti and I set out several new hives at Sharon Creek Organic Micro Farm

We discovered that all the bees in Caiti's old hive had absconded which is the first case of Colony Collapse Disorder we have observed .... a completely empty hive.

All the bees must have flown off just before winter started. Nobody knows yet why this has started happening in the last 10 years. Very strange. Anyway a new colony was started and we hope for a great summer when this stretch of nasty weather is over.

New hives can be started by adding a nuc colony to the hive box.

Can you spot the new Queen bee?

Imported from Chile she is being protected, fed and kept warm by her retinue of worker bees





Caiti checking out a hive that has absconded.



March 21 Spring 2017 -crocus

Beekeeping has started again. This is the time of year to feed the bees pollen and fondant to help the hive raise young bees and to make sure they have enough water and fuel allowing them to stretch their wings for flying after confinement all winter.

Winter hive losses this year were about 12% which is good compared to provincial losses of 30% - 60%.
A hive needs about 70 lbs of honey to consume over the winter not enough and they starve. If hives in Ontario are not wrapped for winter they can starve even if there is honey in the hive because the hive interior becomes to cold.

An experienced beekeeper can renew hives in the first few weeks of May by catching swarms and raising queens and splitting very strong hives.

Max and I were able to witness a swarm that started while we were tending a northern apiary and managed to lure it down to a cedar tree. After the swarm regrouped we captured and relocated it successfully.

This swarm had just landed when my good friend Max jumped in to save them one cup at a time and it worked great!

One of the weirdest events in beekeeping this spring was on the foothills of MT Horeb ON.
Lightning struck a Birch
tree beside the White Pine that held a swarm I was called to relocate.




Season forecast for 2018

This year's expansion to meet demand has already started. All apiaries will be arranged to accommodate maximum hive capacity.

Queen bee rearing will start a little earlier.

New methods of hive health maintenance will be evaluated.

Telling the bees read about an old custom regarding bees and their human friends......




Please give me a call if you spot a swarm or need a hive removed from a structure.