Backyard Gardening Tips for a Bee-Friendly Garden!

Spring is here, or is it?  As we look outside our windows, we see the wet snow coming down quickly.  Even though it is not a good sight to see, we are optimistic that the sunny and warmer forecast for next week will be truly here to stay!    We know that warmer weather is upon us so we are in planning mode to create a bee-friendly garden to encourage our pollinator friends to come by for a visit!

The planning really begins in the fall as we plant our spring bulbs which can include a variety of daffodils, crocuses and tulips.  We have started to these beautiful flowers emerge from the long winter.   This is a great sign that spring has arrived, despite the wet snow that is still coming down outside.  These flowers are not only a happy sign of spring but they are a great relief to the bees because it contains nectar and pollen, which is needed to feed the baby bees, the queen, and the workers bees inside the hive.

The Crocus Vernus (Crocus) flowers usually begin to emerge this time of year in April and often you can see them coming up through the spring snow.  They typically bloom for 2-3 weeks and on warm days the bees will find these flowers and collect the nectar from inside the flower.   It is considered one of the first true nectar plants in the spring.  So this is a very important bulb to plant in the fall to help the bees in the spring.

As we approach May, you may start to see the Taraxacum officinale Asteraceae (Dandelions) emerge.   We encourage you to pass on the word to your family, friends, and neighbours to keep those dandelions!!!!  This is a vital source of food for the bees to collect and take back to the hive to feed the baby bees.    It is often common for people to mow these dandelions with their grass or even pull the dandelions to remove or partially remove them all together.  But please, please do not mow or get rid of those dandelions.  It's unfortunate they have been labeled a weed, it is actually considered a plant and an important source of food for the bees.

As we look ahead at the season and summer, we are beginning to prepare our seeds to create a flower and vegetable filled garden that will help support the bees and other pollinators throughout the entire season.

Stay tuned as we start listing off some seeds that you can begin to plant to help the pollinators in the early spring and summer!



Spring has arrived!

Spring has finally arrived!  With the longer days and the warmer sunshine, we are gearing up for bee season.   We did our initial spring checks and the bees are looking great.  Unfortunately, we had one hive loss overwinter and are saddened to find this.  The other remaining hives are thriving and we are preparing to take our winter wraps off this week.  Right now, we are supplementing them with food to get them through until the dandelions emerge.  So please pass on the word to family, friends, and neighbours to keep the dandelions because this is vital source of food for the bees in early spring!   Stay tuned as we start looking at some gardening tips to help support the bees through the season!


We moved some of our bees to a new apiary!  Looks like they are settling in quite nicely!  


Should you mow your dandelions?

Our friends over at the Halifax Honeybee Society did an interview with the Weather Network on whether or not you should mow your dandelions.  We leave our dandelions because it is the bees first source of food coming out of winter.  It's important to help feed them until other sources of pollen and nectar are in bloom because they could be out of their winter honey reserves this time of year.  Check out their interview!   Great job to the Weather Network and the Halifax beekeepers for this great piece!



Today, we visited our apiary in Truro.  We had help from a lovely beekeeper in training, Trish.  She wasn't afraid to suit up and jump right in!  Trish is taking courses at Dalhousie University's Modern Beekeeping course and will be getting her first set of nucs this summer.  We are very excited for her!

Our goal today was to check on our queens and to monitor for swarms.

We found fresh eggs (looks like rice inside the middle of the cell) and larvae (a few day old egg) and some capped brood.  We managed to locate queens in half of our hives and the others we felt okay about as long as we saw the fresh eggs.

We did a few splits of hives that were very strong and most likely to swarm soon.  We hope to re-queen a few hives in the coming weeks.

Pollinator Garden!

We are working on a section of this blog to provide you with gardening tips on how to create a pollinator garden in your own backyard!  If you have any cool bee pictures that you'd like to share with us, please be sure to send it to us and we will be sure to include it in our blog!


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The bees are still looking good! And we have our extra little helper on standby if needed! 🐝👌🏻🐶
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