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summer picture post

Here is some pics from the garden this summer

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Time To Split, Maybe?

2nd hive installed in the garden

Things have been going well with the bees lately. Both the Blue and Brown hive at home have rebounded from their winter clusters and their populations are increasing at a phenomenal rate. Foragers for both hives are bringing back an abundance of brightly colored pollen to provide for the growing hive. This also means this is the prime time for swarming. 1 week ago at inspection I noticed quite a few queen cups on the bottom corners of about 8 different frames. There were no eggs or larvae in the cups and there were no drones on the frames. Although there were many drones just emerging from their cells I thought is still was a little to early for them to swarm. Last year I missed the queen cells and the bees swarmed

About 2 weeks ago the bee population started to increase rapidly, so to possibly prevent them from swarming …

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Building the New Shed

This post was saved as a draft and not posted at the correct date. Better late than never. Thanks to all that came out to help construct our little shed!

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The Queen Has Arrived

Its been over a week since we introduced the bees from New Zealand to their new home here at Still Creek Garden.  The queen had been shipped in what is called a “Queen Cage” The cage has a hole plugged with a cork for the trip but the cork was removed and replaced with a piece of sugar fondant. Within a few days the worker bees will have eaten the candy and the queen hopefully will have been released to start laying eggs to build up the colony.

checking the frame

checking the frame

Saturday was a great day to take a look and see if the queen was out and about.  We opened the hive and the bees were very calm and didn’t seem to mind the intrusion. Taking a look at the frame where the queen cage was placed I could see that the candy was gone and there was no queen inside.

queen cage

queen cage

Queen Cage close up

Queen Cage close up

I don’t have much luck  in spotting the queen in my other hives until another beekeeper told me not to look so hard and you will find her.  Sure enough this was the weekend that the queen was spotted in 2 of my hives and the new hive at the garden!  The queen looks a lot different from her worker bees. Her abdomen is longer, filled with the sperm to provide for the egg laying. When she starts to lay the eggs she can lay up to 2000 eggs per day! Here is the queen from the garden in all her glory. click on the image to get the up close version.

The Queen

The Queen

I don’t have a habit of naming my queens but I think that this should be something we should do at the garden. If anyone has any suggestions please do make them!

The bees had built a bit of new wax comb on some of the frames and had moved some of the sugar-water or the honey to some cells in other frames. I did not see any eggs but this is not out of the ordinary and we should see eggs in the next inspection. For now it is great the queen is out and the bees are looking good.

Bees on the Frame

Bees on the Frame and Nik working on the Wipper-Snipper




New Hive at Still Creek

Friday April 6 was the day we installed the first of 2 new hives at Still Creek Community Garden.  The day was looking great scattered cloud and the temperature nearing 12 C when I picked up the packages, one for the garden and one for a fellow beekeeper.

We headed to the garden and were met with showers and a small thunder-storm! I was prepared with a pop up tent as last year it was the same weather, unpredictable

There was about 15 people expected to witness the hiving of the package so we set up a little info table in the shed. Both myself and my partner spent time informing gardeners of the fabulous world of the bee.

The garden had purchased 3 veils and when we asked who would like  to wear them immediately 3 little arms shot up and the 3 boys in the front got to…

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2 new hives for 2012 !

Urban Beekeeping in Vancouver has rules. Not too many but they do limit the amount of Hives you can keep on a residential property. I am limited to 2 hives where I live, but Vancouver’s bylaw says that hives can be placed in community gardens!  I have been working with the Still Creek Community Garden and this year the Bees were approved at the annual meeting!! Still Creek Garden is a large garden that sits on 5 city lots and contains approximately 45 double plots.  It is the 2nd year of the garden and people are very excited to have the bees.

I picked a spot away from most of the plots and has good south east exposure. Because the location is near the sidewalk and a home there needed to be a windbreak/fence built to minimize the exposure to both. Here is what I came up with.


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Our Harvest Potluck

This gallery contains 8 photos.

The day started off with a lot of rain, but by the time we arrived at the garden, the sun had come out and the day was fine. We had hot dogs and corn, all kinds of great salads and … Continue reading

MIA … one pumpkin

Here’s a photo of our last remaining pumpkin from the pumpkin patch. It was smashing. And now it’s … somewhere else. We started off the season with three pumpkins. One failed to thrive, and the other two vanished.

Harvest Party Potluck!