Swarm Catcher List 2017

If you see a swarm and want a responsible beekeeper to come and catch it…  there is a list for that!

The Edmonton and Area swarm catchers for 2017 are listed by name, email, phone number and then what area they cover.

Call one of the people for the right area and be prepared to answer a few questions about:  if you own the property/house, how high the swarm is, how big and when it arrived.

  1.  Malcolm Connell, connellmjm@hotmail.com, 780-239-9649, Edmonton
  2.  Alan Durston, alan@durston.ca,780-920-1425,                                       S and W Edmonton.
  3.  mr_ron_ford@yahoo.ca,                                                                               Camrose, Wataskiwin, Ponoka
  4.  kenfeth@yahoo.com, 780-678-4450,                                                 Camrose, Wetaskiwin
  5.  Darrell Sopel, dsopel@northlands.com, 780-901-3087.                    N Edmonton, Gibbons, Ft. Sask. Bon Accord
  6.  naomi.legg@gmail.com, 780-905-5344,                                                       S and W Edmonton.
  7.  Al Koberstein, akobe@telus.net, 780-462-8987,                                    S and SE Edmonton.
  8.  Rob Wynn, wynnr@shaw.ca, 780-970-7620,                        Edmonton
  9.  Herman Dixon, hdixon1@yahoo.ca, 780-974-2609,                             S Edmonton, Calmar, Leduc, Beaumont
  10. Jonathan Hinman,  jc.hinman@gmail.com,  780-807-7283,               S Edmonton, Leduc, Sherwood Park

If all goes well then the swarm can be nicely taken away in less than an hour.

A copy of this is being sent to Clint at Bee Maid Coop as well.

If you want to catch your own swarms, make sure to get a few pro tips from an article Malcom wrote last year.

And remember, beekeepers won’t help you relocate a dozen bumblebees.  😉

How to Keep Honey Bees

For the third year we are are offering thebee-with-question-marks-300x193 beginning bee course at a great price.  It comes with free mentoring sessions included in the spring and summer. This course is sanctioned by the City of Edmonton.

The courses are from from 8:30am to 1:30pm on these Saturdays:

Beginning Beekeeper Course (January)

Beginning Beekeeper Course (February)

Beginning Beekeeper Course (March)

Beginning Beekeeper Course (April)

Beginning Beekeeper Course (May)

Topics covered include:

  1. Urban beekeeping rules
  2. Location choices
  3. Installing bees and queens
  4. What to check inside hives
  5. Swarm prevention/creating extra queens
  6. Mentoring opportunities
  7. Wintering/treatments

To sign up please contact by email:  connellmjm@hotmail.com for location and course cost.


How to Export 196% more honey with only 13% more colonies…

Prof. Norberto García from Argentina gave an informative presentation at the 80th Annual Alberta Beekeepers Commission AGM & Convention,  regarding the fall of honey prices and adulteration of honey.

Prof. Garcia teaches Apiculture at the UNIVERSIDAD NACIONAL DEL SUR in Bahía Blanca, Argentina. He is also Senior Consultant of NEXCO S.A., the main Argentine honey exporter.

He is the current president of the International Honey Exporters Organization (IHEO) and Member of the Board of Directors of TRUE SOURCE HONEY (U.S.A), representing NEXCO S.A. He also chairs the Working Group on Adulteration of Bee Products of APIMONDIA.

Prof. García has worked intensely during recent years to create awareness on the problems of honey adulteration in different national and international meetings.

Please find below a link to this presentation


Figure 4 is said to be the most telling. How do you increase colony numbers by 13% but increase honey exports by 196%?

The research concludes “…that fraud mechanisms are responsible for the injection of a very important volume of cheap “manufactured” and diluted honeys to the market. The use of adulteration by various means becomes the method by which circumvention can be disguised and market share is increased.”

Northern Alberta Scientists Looking at Bees dying.

Our very own President, Craig Toth got some media attention with his work helping northern Alberta scientists.

CraigToth BK

Why are the bees dying? Northern Alberta scientists are helping find the answer


CarlosCastillo NBDC

The experiment in progress:

Experiment     CraigsYardofBees

If anyone has been to Craig’s beeyard, this should bring back memories:


Honey Birds

Ever heard of a honey bird?  Nasty pieces of work if you ask me because they are all brood parasites that lay one egg in a nest of another species.  Honeyguide nestlings have been known to physically eject their host’s chicks from the nest and they have hooks on their beaks with which they puncture the hosts’ eggs or kill the nestlings.

Honeyguides are named for a remarkable habit seen in one or two species: they guide humans to bee colonies. Once the hive is open and the honey is taken, the bird feeds on the remaining wax and larvae.


They are among the few birds that feed regularly on wax—beeswax in most species.



Do Bees Dream of Electric Flowers?

A new study suggests that bees can store information in long-term memory while they sleep, just like humans do when we dream.


Similar to our circadian rhythm, honeybees sleep between five and eight hours a day. And, in the case of forager bees, this occurs in day-night cycles, with more rest at night when darkness prevents their excursions for pollen and nectar.

Without a good night’s sleep, then, honeybees start to forget the activities that should be second nature to them. And in a study released in 2015, Randolf Menzel and his colleagues from the Free University of Berlin provided a possible explanation as to why this might be.

Fanning Bees

Queen Calendar

To use the attached Queen Calendar you need to input, on the left hand side, the date you grafted and then it auto fills in everything else to tell you what days everything is happening and what you need to do.
There is also a spot on the right for you to input different graft dates just to keep track of everything on one page, although anything you input there won’t actually change anything.

I’ve locked the rest of the work sheet, but if you feel the need to edit, the password is bees.

Hope you like it!

Thanks to Craig Skarsen for sharing this.

Words are like bees, some create honey while others leave a sting.