Beekeeping Basics Equipment Links Pests and Disease Swarms & Bee Catching

Learn to Keep Bees 2023

Two of EDBA’s senior beekeepers are once again looking to help train new beekeepers in 2023.

The course offered by Malcolm and Craig is not part of EDBA but with their mentorship program and years of experience, there is no better course in all of Alberta. We can’t recommend it enough! They will be running beginner beekeeper courses for the 8th year in NE and NW Edmonton.

The complete course costs $140 and will be given on 5 different occasions in 2023. You only need to attend one day. The dates are:

  • January 21, Saturday,  8:30am to 3:00pm
  • February 18, Saturday,  8:30am to 3:00pm
  • March 25, Saturday,  8:30am to 3:00pm
  • April 22, Saurday, 8:30am to 3:00pm
  • May 13, Saturday, 8:30am to 3:00pm

Graduates of the course can take part in the optional free mentoring sessions on most weeks from late May to early August. You can register for the course at

Topics covered include:

  1. Urban beekeeping regulations
  2. Location choices and Equipment
  3. Installing bees and queens
  4. What to check inside of a hive
  5. Swarm prevention/creating extra queens
  6. Basic Bee Biology
  7. Mentoring opportunities
  8. Wintering and Treatments
  9. 12 pages of information is provided to go along with slides (powerpoint) presented in class.

 You can register for the course at

Along with an EDBA membership, you are sure to learn enough to be a very responsible beekeeper and attending the mentoring sessions will give you the confidence needed.

Equipment Modifications & Building Bee Hives

Plants as a hive roof?

How about a roof for your bee hive with plants on it?  This sounds like an interesting idea.  What do you think?  Just one more thing to take care of?

Plants on the roof of your hive!
Plants on the roof of your hive!


Equipment Honey Meetings Members Only Modifications & Building Bee Hives

June Meeting Notes

The June 23rd, 2016 EDBA meeting was held at the SE Seniors Centre 9350 82 St.

About 30 people were present.  One person came from as far as Entwistle.

Craig Toth, our president, lead a discussion on the tasks needed to be done in the next 6 weeks. The focus was on seeing processes/tasks from the perspectives of new beekeepers.

Listed below is a fragmented summary of comments made:

  • Someone made the comment that bees need to create 6lb of honey in order to create one lb. of wax which the Coop is buying at $4 a pound.
  • People expressed surprise that the Coop was buying wax again.
  • Cor mentioned 2015 was the driest year he had ever seen and probably the strangest winter as beekeepers in some yards lost almost no hives but in other yards not far away (10-20 km. ? ) lost almost every hive. He reported that areas which were very dry last August didn’t have queens laying enough brood by late August and hence there was a large winter kill in those areas. Also in 2015 the dry conditions caused the moisture content of honey to be lower at 15%, not the usual 18%  ( 19% risk of fermentation starts ).
  • Honey with a moisture content of 15% crystalizes faster. The Coop and pet stores ( reptile section?) sell cheap ( $10 gauges ) to measure honey moisture content.
  • The wasps were also terrible last October, killing hives.
  • Eventually conversation drifted to the topic of the night.
  • When uncapping honey, it was suggested that a heat gun as an uncapper is better as it takes off little wax. A paint stripper put on low has a similar effect. Cor mentioned he had a Dakota uncapper.
  • Sara mentioned more honey can be gained by under-supering. Put the new box under the top box. This means the top third box has brood for a few weeks, which will eventually be replaced by honey. The new second box provides space for the queen. It takes bees 12-35 days to make wax.
  • After an August frost the bees start robbing.
  • Keen (?) in Vancouver sells cheap extractors. It’s also possible to buy food safe plastic extractors.
  • Toby suggested that using a food warmer and adding water can cause honey to warm up within 24 hours.
  • There is also a candle maker on 170St. who buys wax from beekeepers.
  • Cor reminded us of the technique of over lapping the third box slightly so bees can fly straight in faster than going through the bottom entrance.
  • It was mentioned that having a top entrance in spring/summer is not recommended as it brings in more daylight and causes the hive to be less warm =  more bees staying inside and fewer going out for honey.
  • submitted by Malcolm Connell
  • Edmonton Bee Forum currently has 172 members.
  • Edmonton Bee Meet Up currently has 92 members but is just used for meeting announcements.
Equipment News Pests and Disease

Our Club’s Microscope

EDBA Club Microscope News:
I hope this mild winter was healthy for your hives and your families.
First of all I would like Crystal Samborski – your new treasurer – for donating a huge box of microscope “goodies” which will be used by the club for many years to come- slides and sample bottles and cover slips to name just a few. Thank-you Crystal for your generous donation!
I hope this mild winter was healthy for your hives and your families. I will be bringing the club microscope to the March EDBA Meeting at Beemaid if anyone would like to look at hive samples of bees.
This is a good time to examine bees from a deadout hive or from the normal dead bee die out in front of the hive.
To view nosema spores it is not necessary to put the bees in alcohol if the bees were frozen before bringing the sample to the meeting. However if the bees have to be kept for a short time at room temperature ,add isopropyl alcohol to your sample.  Bring a sample of 5 bees to get an idea if your hives were infected with nosema.
Bring your bees in a sealable baggie or bottle labelled with your name and email address and hive identification. If time runs out I will add alcohol to the bees and examine them later and send you a photo.
Looking forward to seeing you at Beemaid,
Sara Willans