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Bees, Beekeeping and Honey

  • A great clearing house of info for organic and other beekeepers - Halifax Honey Bee Society
  • We are doing a project on insects, so I thought teaching the kids a bit about beekeeping would be a good idea. Your page had some great resources that we will be able to use. Just wanted to say thanks for all the help. - Jess and the Westwood Youth Group

Bee pollinator decline of all species of bees is real and needs attention.

This information pathfinder is for beekeepers, farmers, growers and the general public, providing good information on beekeeping of the familiar European hive bee as well as our 400 species of native bees in BC. Special effort was made to assemble links for organic honey bee beekeepers. Since colony collapse disorder and disease threatens the existence of hive bees, pathways to information on the nature and management of our native bees is also provided. Web sites for commercial bee businesses have not been included. Many of these have good information as well. Please send suggestions for improvement.

Bee news:

CBC video documentary: To Bee or Not To Bee, on The Nature of Things, with David Suzuki
The sudden and drastic disappearance of bee colonies around the world has scientists scrambling to find a cause - and an antidote. Watch online.

Beekeeping for beginnersIntroduction
Organic Honey Standards in Canada
Beekeeping for Beginners (Government of Alberta)
Honey Bees and Beekeeping: Rounding Out the Year (eXtension)
World of Beekeeping
Beekeeping in BC Beekeeping in BC
Apiculture - Bees and Pollinators (BC Ministry of Agriculture and Lands)
Note: All hive locations need to be registered with the BC provincial apiarist
Bee and fireweedBeekeeping Terminology Terminology
Beekeepers Glossary (The Beekeeper's Home Pages)
Beekeeping Glossary (Apiservices)
Where to get honey bees Where to Get Bees
BC Bee Breeders Association
BC Honey Producers Association
Attracting bumblebees. There are many species of bumblebees; all of them dwell in small underground hives which they build in abandoned burrows, and they have queens who live for several years and workers who live only one. The limiting factor in their case is not homes, but homes safe from predators such as field mice, who like to dig down into hives and eat the larvae. . . . Take a small wooden box full of cotton wool, and with a short piece of old garden hose extending from a hole in the side maybe six inches. Bury the box in the ground in a secure, fairly dry place, so that the end of the hose just pokes out of the ground. Once a newly hatched queen finds it – which rarely takes more than a single spring – you'll have a bumblebee hive full of pollinators who will do their duty for your garden and the wild plants around it as well. - The Archruid Report.
Beehive and bee-keeping equipment Beehive and Bee-Keeping Equipment
Beekeeping Equipment You Must Have (EzineArticles)
Hives - what to look for (Government of Alberta)
Build It Yourself (Beesource)
Drawings of Hives and Hive Parts (Dave Cushman)
Warré Hives
Bee on mintHow to Keep BeesHow to Keep Bees
Bee-keeping and bee breeding (Dave Cushman)
Beekeeping (Beesource)
Beekeeping (Wikipedia)
Beekeeping (Bad Beekeeping)
Scientific Beekeeping (Randy Oliver) One of the best, up-to-date reviews of important topics in beekeeping today.
Pollinator toolkit for organic farmers (Xerces)
Organic farming offers many benefits to pollinators but some common organic-approved pesticides and practices can be potentially just as harmful to bees and other pollinators as conventional farming systems. The Xerces Society has developed Organic Farming for Bees (PDF/3.6M), a tool kit for organic growers that includes guidance on how to minimize disturbance to pollinators from farm and on how to provide nest sites and foraging patches. In particular, two fact sheets provide information on toxicity to native pollinators for all major organic-approved insecticides and about pollinator-friendly organic farming practices.
Honey Bee Forage Map (HoneyBeeNet)
Beeswax (NC State University)
Visual Aids Visual Aids
YouTube videos:

Beekeeping / Honey Industry Periodicals Beekeeping / Honey Industry Periodicals
American Bee Journal
Bee Culture
Canadian Honey Council
Beekeeping / Honey Industry Periodicals Beekeeping Networks, Newsgroups and Forums
International beekeeping forums (Beemaster)
Natural Beekeeping Network
Warré Beekeeping Network (Yahoo Group)
Bee Guardian
Colony Collapse DisorderColony Collapse Disorder (CCD)
Important: Symptoms for CCD observed in the USA have not been common in Canada where hive decline has mostly been attributed to disease pressure especially via Varroa mites
Colony Collapse Disorder (Wikipedia)
Scientists Untangle Multiple Causes of Bee Colony Disorder (Environment News Service)
Colony Collapse Disorder Prevention - Video (Paul Wheaton's Permaculture)

VARROA MITE. Varroa Mite Management Precaution - Use an integrated approach. Keep up-to-date on this topic. Varroa mites infest most hives in BC. Reducing and maintaining varroa mite populations in hives to very low levels is required for colony function. Failure to do so, especially prior to winter, will lead to hive collapse. Make sure your methods work.

Varroa mite
Click to see very large image of varroa
on honeybee host

Varroa destructor (Wikipedia)
Varroa Mite Detection Methods (BC Min.of Ag)
Varroa Mite Controls (BC Min.of Ag)
Powdered sugar dusting in bee colonies as varroa control (Khalil Hamdan, PDF)
IPM steps to control varroa mites the organic way (Tribe)
Thymol and Tea Tree String Varroa Treatment (YABeeP)
Bee Pollinator Decline / Bee Biodiversity Conservation Bee Pollinator Decline / Bee Biodiversity Conservation
Status of Pollinators in North America and Recommendations. 2007
A landmark publication. Soon after its publication, the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign was started. Canada followed with Canada's Pollination Initiative (CANPOLIN) to inventory and protect bee pollinators. Bee decline is real and merits immediate attention. Canada has the biggest, most elaborate bee bar-coding project in the world, housed at University of York, Toronto headed by Dr. Laurence Packer. Check for updates on the above-mentioned websites.
Bee conservation research Bee conservation research
Pollinating Insects The famous non honey bee lab in Utah. Keep an eye on this one because they have tons of information on using native bees for commercial pollination of crops and decades of experience doing this kind research. We have over 400 species of bumble bees and solitary native bees in BC to care for.
Xerces Society. Excellent publications for gardeners, farmers and landscape managers to easily, conveniently and economically feed and provide habitat for bees better at very little cost and attract more pest control insects as well.
Pollinator Conservation (Xerces)
Pollinator Conservation Guidelines (Xerces)
Revision Resources for a BC Pollinator-Friendly Environmental Farm Plan (Xerces, PDF)

Bees pollinating crops
GMO-free USA


Much of the material on this page has been put together by:

Ted Leischer B.Sc.,CANPOLIN Corresponding Member and Bee Pollinator Conservation Outreach Volunteer, lives in Powell River, BC and can be reached at 604-414-0468 or E-mail: tgleisch(at)
Ted has kept bees for 30 years, including ten as a commercial beekeeper operating 500 hives and raising his own queen bees; and taught beekeeping at an agricultural college in Alberta for 15 years. Observing the importance of bees to the economy of southern BC, and noting the serious nature of bee decline, he has engaged in volunteer bee pollinator conservation outreach, working with CANPOLIN researchers. His conservation activities are guided by extensive reading and investigation. He actively networks with the CANPOLIN team and maintains a bee-collecting site for the CANPOLIN bee bar-coding project. He also speaks to garden clubs and community groups to get the bee pollinator decline story out and convey what can be done to save our 400 plus native bee species in BC - main pollinators of our food crops. Additional resource list assembled by Ted Leischner.

Pertinent Federal (Canadian) & Provincial (BC) Regulations
Organic Dairy Farming in Canada
Farm Equipment
Marketing Your Product
Organic Prices (fruit and vegetables)
Small Scale Food Processing
Pest Management
Soil (Canada, USA) and Water (BC, Alberta) Testing Labs & Services

MarketingSoilVegetablesFruitBees and beekeepingGrains and ForageSpecialty CropsGreenhouseLivestockCertificationAnimal WelfareOn-farm Food Safety

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