Friday, October 1, 2010

One Bee

It has been a while since I last wrote on this blog and that is because there is not very much for me to write about. The six bait hives I set out in different locations were not successful in catching any swarms this last season and there seems to be a distinct lack of honeybees hereabouts. I don't attribute this to anything sinister, just the previous long hard winter which had snow from October 2009 until April 2010 with temperatures going down to minus 35 degrees celsius. I despaired at not seeing any honeybees at all until I saw activity of bees coming and going at one of my bait hives at a neighbors farm. Turns out they were robbing out some old crystalysed honey in the comb of the bait hive. Well at least they cleaned the comb up for me. What made it really bad was that I had not seen one honeybee all year in my garden, not one! Then one sunny day, I was admiring the peacock butterflies on my aster flowers when I spotted a ragged wing old worker foraging on the asters. That sight lifted my spirits and gives me hope for next season. My six bait hives will be waiting to go out again and I am confident of success next year.


  1. best of luck with your swarm traps in 2011! looking forward to reading your next post.

  2. Norm,
    I've read a couple of your posts, and you're thinking lines up fairly well with my own...that is, to get as much "natural" genetics, localized natural genetics, as is possible. My mentor, Serge Labesque, always says, "trust the bees, they know.." and he is a firm, if reluctant, believer that the hives that die out, would die out sooner or later in any case.
    Can you find no bees in your region to purchase? Then your swarm queens (second hive) could be found by local drones for mating...a slower process of adaptation but nature's way, and you could artificially increase from that point, still maintaining open mating, natural survival, and intelligent care without chemicals.

  3. A poor year can only be improved on. Keep the faith!