Saturday, March 29, 2008

Current happenings.......

I have ordered my first hive. I have also ordered my first package of bees - from New Zealand. But I'm 247th on the list!!!!! Wah!!! The place I'm ordering from seems confident that I will get my bees though! Because I only want one package they think I will get mine with no problems! I should find out next week!

I think I will get them late April/ early May!

Lloyd (my Husband) is already talking about getting a second hive next year!!! I think he's as excited as me - maybe not as obsessed (lol) but as excited for sure!!! He wants the second hive at the front of the house for some reason.

I am obsessively watching bees videos on youtube any chance I get!

Roll on Summer :)

5 comments:

MonicaT1972 said...

Ok, dumb question of the day....but what's wrong with Canadian bees?

Jane said...

Not really a dumb question at all! There aren't really 'Canadian bees' as such....we have always imported bees to Canada. They used to come from America but thats not allowed anymore because of a cross-border ban because America has 'Foulbrood'.

Basically winters here are so harsh that most beekeepers don't overwinter their bees - they kill them off and then order package bees in the spring. They just find it easier (sadly imo). So they order bees from New Zealand or Australia. And often Queens come from Italy.

Because of diseases that are now coming from package bees, people are going back to over wintering and a more 'organic' and traditional way of beekeeping and so there are more 'Canadian' bees I guess because they are overwintered here.....and if you catch a swarm you could call them 'Canadian' but I guess many come from packages of NZ or Aussie bees originally.....unless they are overwintered by a keeper they aren't naturally able to survive our temperatures.....

I hope that makes sense....I'm no expert - I'm learning as I'm going and if I don't know something I'll look it up for you.......

MonicaT1972 said...

It makes total sense, you might just get me hooked on learning about them.

The day after my wedding we discovered a colony that had obviously left from somewhere or other with their queen on a building at the farm. The same friend of my parents came and did his thing (I wasn't there to see, too busy with other stuff that day) and rounded them up and took them to one of his hives. I guess it was pretty cool to watch.

I will let you know that my parent's friend has them do with thier bees for the winter as soon as I get ahold of them and find out!

Jane said...

If you search on youtube for 'bee swarms' there are some really cool videos of people collecting swarms....

When a colony gets too big they split into two...a Queen leaves with half the bees and they go in search of a new place to live - they can often be found in a lump of bees in a tree or someplace similar. They are quite docile when they are swarming and won't hurt you.

People often advertise in the paper for swarms as this is how some beekeepers get their colonies. They will come and get them with a brood box for you. They normally use sugar water spray to calm the bees and then just gently knock them into the box and take them home with them and put them into their hive :)

You should check out their videos - very cool :)

Jane said...

You know in Strathcona county you can have a hive in any sized yard - even in town! You just have to be at least 150 metres from a school or community building and you have to inform your neighbours. Urban beekeeping is really popular these days :) You have to get a licence but its really cheap with the county and yu mustn't be a nuisance to neighbours but thats easy - all you have to do is have a 6ft fence behind the hive so the bees fly UP and have a water source so they don't go into your neighbours pool to drink - apart from that your neighbours won't mind because their flower gardens will do GREAT :) Give them free honey and they'll be happy )