The Buzz: Summer 2022


Hivelights: Building Back
Beeyard Basics: Raising Queens
Buzzworthy: Honey Harvest is Here
Combing Soon: Fall Education
Sweet Beesus: Recipes Dripping with Goodness
Video: Piping and Quacking

Hivelights: Building Back

What a crazy bee season this has been!

The honey harvest is more than a month behind and there is not near as much honey as previous years. That’s because of our late start to spring and also, I’ve been splitting colonies to build back the number of hives in my bee yard after the sting of spring losses.

Building back strong, healthy hives has definitely been my focus and I knew going into the season that this would result in less honey, which is just fine with me. Healthy, happy bees is what matters!

My bees are finally strong, but now they seem to think it’s early July as they continue to fill honey supers, are in the mood for swarming and reluctant to cap the honey,  a sign that it is ready to harvest!

This is a problem for late August because we need to be wrapping up the season to get the bees ready for winter, not starting out! It’s hard to decide what to do in these circumstances. 

Usually I let the bees guide my decisions, but since the risk of not being ready for winter is huge, I chose not to add more boxes. I want them to cap what they already have so I can remove the boxes to get down to one brood box for winter.

Apparently this was a mistake on my part and the colonies did not like my decision. I ended up with a late season swarm because they felt a lack of space. 

I saw them leave the hive and land in a tree way too high and out of my reach. So I quickly set up a bait hive hoping that the bees would move into this lovely new home and then watched them with an eagle eye to what they were going to do next. Many scout bees were investigating my set up as an option, but sadly they did not move in. When I saw them on the move again, I chased them — barefoot, pjs, bedhead and all — into Assiniboine park, looking like a lunatic. I had my eye on them for a while and then, whoosh, they were gone. To find out more about swarming, read Beeyard Basics: Intracacies of Swarming from our Spring 2022 edition.

While this is a sign of a strong, healthy hive, when it happens this late in the season, there is typically not enough time for them to build up enough strength for the winter – so I will be checking the hives and combining the weaker ones over the next few weeks to make sure each hive has enough winter bees and resources to survive our long, harsh winter.

Anyway, as you may now start to guess, it has been a roller-coaster, and the ride’s not done yet! I will continue to do my very best for these magnificent insects, and then cross my fingers and hope that it has been enough.

Good thing I am passionate about beekeeping and love them as much as I do, they are a lot of work!

Beeyard Basics: Raising Queens

Raising baby queens gives me such joy and is my absolute favourite part of beekeeping!

It also allows me to be self-sufficient in my bee yard. I was able to build back my colonies without having to depend on resources from other beekeepers, which can get expensive.

This is my third successful year using the Jenter method. I haven’t mastered it by far, but am definitely getting the hang of it and learning more about queen genetics and selection as I go.

Timing is everything when it comes to raising queens successfully!

Below is a brief visual overview of the simplified main steps involved in raising queens using the Jenter method:

Insert Jenter frame into hive for bees to prepare.

Queen is caught and caged to lay for 24 hrs.

Worker bees can come and go as they please.

Must be sure to find eggs before you release the queen into the hive.

After three days, transfer the plugs with larva into cell cups. Look for smallest larva you can find!

Put cell cups into bar frame to insert into builder hive.

If you are using original hive as builder — make a queenless nucleus colony, put in original laying queen and this her 5 kms away.

Check five days later to see if bees are drawing out queen cells.

The bees should be happily tending to the queens in their cells.

Five days later, move cells to queenless mating nucs or mating boxes.

Check to see that the new queens have emerged.

New queens will go on mating flights around day 24 and 25. Check for eggs about 10 days later.

Celebrate your success!!!

Here’s a short video of a new queen emerging in my hand!!


Buzzworthy: Honey Harvest 


Straight from our hives to your table — you can soon enjoy this small-batch, artesenal, premium honey! 

Our honey has a unique and delicious taste because of its proximity to Assiniboine Forest, Assiniboine Park, Assiniboine River, the Leo Mol Gardens, Canada’s Diversity Gardens and more.

I am filling waitlist orders first and then will post once complete! To get on the waitlist for this batch (or maybe next), send an email with your order to!

I’ll send an email once it’s ready, probably later this week! 🙌🐝🍯 

To find out more about the process of harvesting honey, read Beeyard Basics: Honey Harvest from our Summer 2021 edition.


Combing Soon: Fall Programs and More


Stay tuned for upcoming workshops including the Nucs & Knowledge program, Intro to Beekeeping, online sessions and more. COMING SOON!

Sweet Beesus: Recipes Dripping with Goodness 

Sweet Cornbread

A sweet cornbread that will crumble in your hand and melt in your mouth.

Prep: 8 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Yield: 8 servings


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9×9 inch baking pan.

In a large bowl, stir together flour, cornmeal, sugar and baking powder. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Add the cream, oil, honey and eggs; stir to combine. Pour batter into prepared baking pan.

Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of pan comes out clean.

Source: allrecipes

Video: Piping and Quacking

Listen to this high, shrill, loud, tooting sound. It’s a war cry to the other virgin queens that are about to emerge from their cells — a signal that this queen is ready to fight for the honour of being the one-and-only in this hive.

To make the sound, she presses her thorax tight down against the comb and vibrates her strong thoracic wing muscles. The comb acts as a sounding board, amplifying the sound and sending vibrations through the hive.

It was truly amazing to hear — and surprisingly loud. If you listen closely, you can also hear the queens still in their cells respond with a shorter sound without the long toot. This is referred to as quacking.

Sooo exciting that I caught this on video to share with you!!!



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