Monday, June 28, 2010

The latest buzzzz, har har har...

The Bearded One and I spent the weekend taking beekeeping courses offered by the Tech Transfer team of the Ontario Beekeepers Association. Saturday was Introductory Beekeeping, Sunday was Integrated Pest Management. Gordon spent last bee season being my grunt labour, but this year he wanted to get his hands dirty. Of course, he started out with the ceremonial lip sting back in May!

Here he is, all suited up and ready for action:

He was promptly pooed on by some bees!

The course was held at the Hector Dignard Blueberry Farm in Embrun. They also sell raspberries currants and, not surprisingly, honey!

The course was taught by Ontario bee inspector Brent Halsall, and two of the "Bee Girls" from the OBA's Tech Transfer Team, Mel and Janet.

I aspire one day to bee-keep in shorts, like the fearless Janet.

Bees crawling over the front of a hive, and hanging in a chain from the top entrance.

A couple of really short beekeepers joined in! (Kids from the blueberry farm, obviously used to the bees given how they up close and personal they were with the hives!)

Gordon sits in the foreground as Mel demonstrates a treatment method for one of the various pests afflicting honeybees here.

21 hives and a bunch of neophytes!

These were growing behind the hives and I have no idea what they are. The fruit was hard and green and the size of a large olive. I saw on on the ground that had started to turn red. I meant to ask what they were but forgot. Anyone?

And as you can see, the bees were happily flying about yesterday, as we learned about gloves to protect our hands from nasty chemicals:


  1. Owf. I've spent my whole life avoiding stinging insects and have succeeded in only being stung once (when I stepped on a dead wasp).

    I firmly believe in the "if there is a stinging insect in the vicinity, frantically wave a large object in the air to shoo it away" school of thought.

    You and Gordini are lunatics.

  2. Yes, Nick, I think you may be right!

    But you shouldn't wave things in the air around honeybees if they are bent on stinging you, as that only enrages them and they call in their sisters to help in the fight. Instead, walk or run away!


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