As your bees prepare for the main flow they are building their population and the queen is heading toward her maximum laying capacity of approximately 1,500 eggs per day. In Alberta, we see a huge population explosion unlike anywhere else in the world. Your hive can have 80,000 bees!
Varroa mitesare the most deadly pest affecting western bees and can kill bee colonies in short periods of time. Monitoring and testing throughout the spring and summer is essential to keeping your hive healthy. If varroa mites are not properly treated throughout the beekeeping season, it can destroy an entire colony.
New beekeepers can find themselves intimidated with new terminology and all the parts that come along with beekeeping. Some of them can be self explanatory and some look like an alien contraption. We always strongly recommend taking a beekeeping course or getting a mentor so that you’re introduced to the new terms and equipment you will be expected to use. However, for those of you that want to jump in, here’s a brief overview of the essential parts that go into the house of your bee colony living in a Langstroth hive.
Queen bees do a lot of work in their short lives. A queen lays 175,000 to 200,000 eggs each year! In two to three years, the queen is usually at the end of her ability to lay enough eggs for a colony to succeed. Producing enough new bees for the colony is the queen's main job, and her ability to do this decreases over time. But there are also other things that can affect the queen's ability to fulfill her role. So, what is requeening and what are the five signs to look for?
Beekeeping costs a minimum of $500 to get started (this includes bees and equipment). In the long run, a course will help you save this money and your bees! If you want to keep bees and have them flourish- you need to know how to do beekeeping. To do beekeeping well takes time, and you need to gain a lot of knowledge and experience to get there.
We all dread the overwintering months when we can’t check on our bees as often, and worry about how they are doing.
After a terrible cold snap in January (-50 is cold for penguins!), and then a warm up, you have likely checked on your hives and taken a look inside. Some of you may have found your bees buzzing happily along, while others have found their colonies have died. This can be upsetting, frustrating, and confusing.
In the fall, we all do our best to prepare our bees for the long winter months. We ensure they are healthy, have a large enough bee cluster, ample honey stores to get them through, and a hive that is ventilated, insulated and dry.
Bees that overwinter live almost entirely inside the hive. Bees usually only leave for cleansing flights on days when temperatures allow. It is risky leaving the hive because their wings can freeze at 10°C, and they risk not making it back to the hive.
Hives can benefit from being wrapped to make it easier for the bees to stay warm during the winter. As we have mentioned before in our previous blog, no one solution will fit everyone's needs. You as the beekeeper will need to analyze and customize your approach to winter prep depending on your region and climate. For most of Western and Northern Canada beekeepers benefit from wrapping and insulating their hives as the drops in temperature can be quite significant. The colder it is outside the hive, the more energy the colony will need to expand to keep itself warm. More energy means more food will be consumed, which can raise the possibility that there will not be enough food stores to last through the winter.
There's no one size fits all when it comes down to overwintering your bees. Each location comes with its own microclimates that will determine what you need to consider when insulating your hive. Things like: Sunlight, Wind, Rain, etc.
Oxalic Acidtreatment. This is a very effective treatment for late fall and early spring. The reason is that during this time you will have almost no capped brood, which is the ideal time to use oxalic acid. The treatment is only effective on the bees and is unable to penetrate through the comb. It’s safe for the bees and is entirely natural. Oxalic acid is an organic compound that can be found in many vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and other plants. It has been shown to be an effective treatment for Varroa Mite and approved to be used in Canada for many years.
The 2022 season has come to an end and beekeepers are starting to prepare for the 2023. This is when you evaluate what beekeeping equipment you may need for next year and the bees you may need. You might be a new beekeeper looking to get started or you know what you’re doing and looking to expand your current beeyard. In this blog we will explain the different types of live bee products we will carry for 2023 and the different benefits of each product