After a long wait, A.B.C was able to successfully set up honeybees at the Sirois Head Quarters (SHQ). Wade from Forage Foods decided to use two different honeybee hive designs for their bee yard; the Top Bar hive (TBH) and the traditional Langstroth hive. The Top Bar hive design mimics a fallen over log and allows for easy access, a glass observation window, and kitchen-easy honey extraction methods. The Langstroth hive, often seen on the countryside, uses stacked boxes for easy and almost limitless expansion. Having both present in the yard offers a great opportunity to compare and educate about the differences between the hives.
The bees were moved to SHQ on Monday June 10th. The Langstroth hive was brought over a few days earlier from Tony Lalond’s apiary just east of Saskatoon. The hive was inspected by Geoff Wilson, Saskatchewan’s Provincial Apiculturist, before making the move to Alberta, and found to have no disease or health concerns. The Top Bar hive, on the other hand, was from A.B.C’s apiary, and holds a survivor colony and queen. This queen has lost her vigor over the past few weeks and is going to be observed to ensure that the hive remains successful. A.B.C is running a queen-rearing program this year and, if necessary, will provide new queen from Calgary winter-survivor genetics by the end of the month. In the meantime, A.B.C will take combs of brood (baby bees) from another colony to ensure that the colony continues to grow at a healthy rate.
These two hives had the awesome opportunity of being used in the June Field Day and Potluck, with over 30 new beekeepers in attendance. The hives were inspected, baby bees were seen emerging from cells, the Queen was observed laying eggs and, of course, honey was eaten. These two hives are a continuation of Forage’s dedication to supporting local food and educational development and access. We are very excited to see the colonies grow with the Forage and Sirois families! It is going to be an excellent summer of beekeeping!