Will my hive make it through winter?

It’s wasn’t December yet when I made this discovery, but I think one of my nucs from this spring is going to have a hard time getting through winter. When I checked the hive by looking up through the wire-screen on the bottom, I saw hundreds of dead bees. All my other hives clean the…

What have I done?! (Beekeeping)

This has been my first year with ‘real grown-up’ beehives. This meant I needed to make new colonies, nucs, artificial swarms, to prevent my bees from swarming. Although I haven’t lost any colonies and I’m now up to six working hives, I really should have put more care into selecting queens. I now have two…

Multiplying hives and growing new colonies

Since May, the three beehives I got as nucs last year have been giving me opportunities to make new colonies. Making new colonies is a normal part of the development in a production hive, as it mimics the natural way bees reproduce. In nature, honeybees would swarm. This would mean growing their original hive to…

Project cleanup: I got free beehives!

When it’s time to purchase new beehives for the coming year, have you ever found your mind drifting towards discovering a beehive-tree that gives you everything for free? Maybe you’d plant your crown board tree, your broodbox tree, a couple of frame bushes and plant your wax foundation tubers… Equipment is expensive! And if your…

Planting for pollinators part 2

In part 1 of planting for pollinators, I focused mainly on plants that thrive in wetlands. Of course, not all valuable plants need a wetland to survive, many are more flexible. In this second part I’ll devote more attention to annuals and plants that grow on other soils.   Probably the two biggest assets to…

Quiet in the apiary

Today I believe my bees have finally gathered into their winter cluster. The temperature is circling 10°C and as I passed by the apiary a couple times today, I didn’t see any activity. During spring and summer, when the weather is cool or rainy, I can usually see bees peeking out around the entrance. Now,…

Water for honeybees

Every beekeeper should consider where his or her bees go to collect water. Water, besides pollen and nectar, is one of the main substances bees collect and bring back to the hive. Water is added to nectar to help it being digested again and again until it becomes honey, and when that honey is being…

Beekeeping: I’m ready!

The most exciting new project I started in 2018 is certainly beekeeping! I have been fascinated by the life inside a hive, the life-cycle of these creatures and their habitat. Since October 2017 I have been taking classes with a local beekeepers’ association, and I have been getting my kit together. I made a hive…