It’s hard to believe that we’re heading into Halifax Honey Bee Society’s 8th year of urban beekeeping! We want to begin with a huge thank-you to all our members. Not only has your continuous support assisted with bringing our workshops to life with gripping discussions and keen engagement, but your interest in bees has helped build a healthy environment in the HRM!

We’ve decided to do things a little differently this season. Although we will always encourage new members who are at the beginning stages of beekeeping, we’ve decided to advance our learnings to accommodate existing members’ knowledge and experience. Even if you know nothing about bees, anyone and everyone is welcomed to our workshops! We can assure new members that introductory skills and education will be acquired during the season but if you wish to get more help with the basics, definitely let us know. We have a fantastic team of organizers who would love to teach you the fundamentals so you can enter the wonderful world of apiculture!

We want to increase the number of opportunities members can have to learn about beekeeping. Due to the limitations of scheduling honey bee workshops – such as being reliant on weather, stage of hive operations and health of the bees, and the ability of members to attend if events are only hosted on weekends or weekdays – determining set dates and locations has been difficult. Since the bees do not always agree with our agenda, this year we’re letting the bees decide!

Individual members of our organizing team will be sending out notices 1-4 days in advance (or even the morning of) on when they’ll be in their apiary if members want to visit their bees. We also have a predetermined list of workshops that we’ll be hosting this season (list to be posted soon!). Please be sure to check for updates on the website and Facebook page which will be edited concurrently. Emails will be sent to the mailing list as well.
Link to Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/halifax.honey.bee.society/?fref=ts

If you are interested in hosting or leading a workshop, please let us know! Send all inquiries or suggestions to halifaxhoneybees@gmail.com. Also we’d love it if you could share any bee-related information about other learning opportunities taking place (public lectures, community or provincial events, etc.).

Here are the basic details, with more coming soon:

Workshop: De-Winterizing the Beehive
Date and Time: 2:00-4:00pm Sunday, April 17th
Location: 31 Roupen Court (off of Kingswood), Hammonds Plains
Description: There should be major pollen coming in from willows, maples and crocuses but it is unlikely we’ll see this as the weather forecast predicts 7°C. It will probably be too cold for major interior inspections but this workshop will mark the beginning of the beekeeping season. Here we will be removing the winter wrapping and having a quick peak inside the hive to see how the bees are doing. We’ll discuss what beekeepers can expect to see when doing their first inspection and what to look for. We’ll be hosting the workshop at an apiary where the bees successfully made it through the winter; however, members will also learn about managing a beehive that did not survive the winter. Here it is important to know how to diagnose the reason for mortality and how to properly clean or discard equipment.

Workshop: Installing a Nuc
Location and Time: TBA (early June)
Description: Come watch the society install one of it’s brand new colonies (we’ve purchased 2 nucs this year). Workshop will include a discussion on selecting the optimal hive location/direction and how to manage a new colony.

Workshop: Spring Inspection
Location and Time: TBA (end of April/early May)

Workshop: Can you do the Splits?
Location and Time: TBA (mid or end of May)
Description: Splitting a hive is a way to control swarming by simulating the swarm for the colony. There are different methods of conducting splits which will be the focus of this workshop. Understanding “bee politics” will also be discussed, such as what to look for when interrupting reasons for swarming and producing a new queen, the virgins wars, and dividing a colony so there are equal job roles among the bees in both hives.

Workshop: Top Bar Hive
Location and Time: TBA
Description: This has been a very popular workshop in the past and it’s no wonder why! The top bar hive is a very neat beehive design (typically what you see in beekeeping is called a Langstroth hive). The top bar hive mimics a more natural beehive where instead of using plastic foundation for the bees to build wax off of, it uses frameless wooden bars (this is how combed honey is produced). This is definitely an opportunity you don’t want to miss!

Workshop: Flow Hive
Location and Time: TBA
Description: One of our members has been looking forward to setting up the newest beehive technology this year- the Flow Hive!
Learn more about the technology at: http://www.honeyflow.com/

And of course, the following 3 workshops are fundamental and will be hosted later in the summer:
Workshop: Diseases and Pests
Workshop: Honey Extraction
Workshop: Winterization

Stay tuned for more details!

We look forward to seeing new and familiar faces!

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