The MAA and the Honey Bee Research Foundation are offering a one day beekeeping course that will take place on Sunday May 27, at the Macdonald Campus of McGill University. For the tentative schedule please see our calendar entry under the "Events & Activities" tab.
The price for the course is only $85 and the proceeds will go towards important honey bee research and for funding the MAA activities. Cash (preferred), or personal checks will be accepted at the door on the course day.
The theory part of the course will take place in the Centennial Center building room CC1-162, and the practical part on the nearby MAA Apiary. Parking for the day will be free and the map of the campus with the exact location of room CC1-162 and the suggested parking area will be posted closer to the event. Participants are advised to bring their own lunch.
**Please note: The course date has changed from Saturday, May 26 to Sunday, May 27.
There will be a gathering at the MAA Apiary on Saturday May 5 at 1:00 pm. The apprentices are still expected to show up on Saturday at noon on that day.
Besides apprentice training, the group will do a checkup of the bees and equalize the strength of the colonies to give the 2-3 weak to medium colonies a boost, while slowing down a bit the remaining strong colonies. We have started feeding the bees, just to stimulate the queen to continue laying eggs (a bit of a problem with the Russian bees, as their queens tend to decrease, and even stop the egg laying with cold weather and with absence of food intake, and that is not what we need at this moment). On Saturday they will need to be fed again.
We'll also try to melt some of the old comb, perhaps clean up the rooms that we want to occupy and start moving some of the equipment from the shed.
Everyone is welcome to attend and help out with the work at the apiary!
Claire-Mélodie had more pictures of the harvest event.
Thank you Claire-Mélodie!
Here are the pictures of the Fall 2011 harvest.
Initial Hive Status (04/23/2011)
Hives 1 and 7 are very strong. Bees are flying in to these loaded with pollen.
Hive 7 seems to be our strongest hive; the bees already ate the patty that was put in
two weeks ago. The top chamber is small, so it might need to be switched or split
to prevent swarming. The larger chamber has drone larvae, which is a sign that
swarming is near and the hive will soon produce queen cells.
Following the discovery of a dead hive by our caretaker, an urgent hive check-up was planned for Thursday the 11th. The hives are routinely checked during the winter months, for the purpose of inspecting any damage done by the elements on the colonies. This is done by gently (but noticeably) knocking on the side of the hive and listening intently for a response from the colony in the form of a sudden slight burst of buzzing which quickly dies away after the realization that no danger is eminent. During the last inspection, most of the hives appeared to be in healthy condition, with some of the weaker ones exhibiting a softer response due to their smaller colony size.
The objective of the day was to build a new type of hive. The Top Bar hive is a hive style more commonly found in Africa, more specifically, Kenya. Its most prominent characteristic is the lack of frames. Bars are simply rested on top, hence the "Top Bar" designation!
Yet another sunny afternoon was spent in the company of the bees! The hives were being maintained until the sunshine gave way to a storm cloud overhead. The following hives were checked-up on/created:
Once again, the bee-keeping season is upon us! It was a sunny afternoon, perfect to begin tackling the list of tasks that needed to be dealt with at the apiary. With the smell of freshly-cut grass in the air, we set-out to work. As always, the status of each of the hives needed to be noted. Careful attention and maintenance was required for the weaker and the newly-established colonies. Below is a synopsis of the condition of each hive.
It was irresistible to miss the window of opportunity to check on the hives, now that the weather was getting warmer. MAA members headed for the apiary in anticipation, to evaluate the post-winter condition of the nine remaining hives. The following is a report of each hive's condition and outlook: