As the title says…………I’m back after 5 very fast and busy years!
The bad news………The chickens are long gone and so is the dog. They all had wonderful lives filled with lots of pampering and care. Those 3 chickens and their most excellent protector made lasting memories which, to this day, come up often in conversation with family and friends. Those were good days indeed!
The good news……….I fell in love with honey bees back in 2015 and I haven’t looked back. I started out with two colonies that Spring and promised my wife that there would be no more. I broke that promise over FIFTY times and now keep my bees at 3 separate yards in Toronto.
I know to many, it may not seem like an ideal place to raise bees, but that notion is furthest from the truth. Cities, like Toronto, have banned pesticide use on lawns and there are enormous green spaces with lots and lots of wild flowers and tons and tons of bee friendly trees which all make for PLENTY of delicious honey and very healthy bees.
Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for our rural landscapes where monocrop culture and pesticide use are still heavily employed but that’s a story for another day.
As many of you know, the honey bee has had a rough ride for the last few decades and many hives do not survive winter. Here, in Ontario, average winter losses in the last 5 years range from 27%-45%. Thankfully, I can’t say the same and my over-winter losses are near or at zero each year. I’m proud of this accomplishment and have been teaching and speaking about how I tend my bees for the last few years.
Prior to Covid, those engagements were always in person, but now they are all virtual. But, there’s always a silver lining in those storm clouds and Covid has provided an opportunity for me to teach sustainable beekeeping to many people who could not geographically attend a workshop face to face.
I’ll be launching some dates for some virtual workshops in the coming days and I encourage you to have a peak if you’ve ever thought about becoming a beekeeper. I promise you’ll have a blast!