Beekeeping Workshop

Yesterday I attended a workshop on beekeeping at the Okanagan Bee Farm. It was a very informative four hours. For example, I learned the best success for over-wintering hives is to kill the poor queen each year in July. Isn’t that sad? But apparently it’ll help reduce mites, and secondly prevent swarming.

Chris Boulanger, the owner, said just kill the queen, and you can even throw her into the hive to show the other bees she’s dead. Then after a short while the bees select an egg and it receives royal jelly, and in two weeks you’ve got yourself a virgin queen. She then flies out and mates like mad, and returns to lay eggs faithfully until the next July when she’s murdered.

During the two weeks when the new queen’s developing, no eggs are being laid, and this breaks the mite’s life cycle, so it’s apparently a very green way to rid a hive of mites. I simply can’t recall how the regicide stops swarming, but it does.

Whether I’ll ever have honey remains to be seen, but all I can do is try. Next month I’ll get a hive of ‘nucs’ or baby bees, and then we’ll see what happens. All I know is every two weeks I have to put on my bee suit and inspect the frames, and I already feel a bit dizzy thinking about that part.

Mother’s Day was largely a success until I arrived home from Osoyoos. I had given Luke a ride here as he wanted to drive his terrible red car home. For some reason, early in the evening, I went into the garage and I noticed it was hot.

I went downstairs and told both kids about it, and they shrugged. I went back out and sleuthed around until I found the breakers for the base heaters were turned on! I then stormed downstairs and screamed at them that the electricity bill was going to kill me.

Neither had any idea how those breakers got turned on, so I went to bed in a funk. Just as I was falling asleep, I heard barking, got up, and saw all of the doors were open, and Luke was in the shop working on his car. Louie was out, barking like mad.

I had another screaming fit, got the dog, and went back to bed. Another Mother’s Day done.

A couple of days later I had a proper celebration. I took myself and Liz’ gift certificate to Art Knapps to shop around. I found a lovely bougainvillea that I plan to put out in the summer and then take inside as a house plant. I also got what’s called a hardy Chicago fig tree, so I hope that works out.

Do you love Dollarama? What a great chain that is. I needed a pot for the fig tree and didn’t want to get gouged so went there. I got a lovely pot for $3 and a handy plate to go under it with wheels for easy moving for $2. Hard to beat them for most things.

You know how some lakes “turn over” every spring and fall? I do the same with my shoes. I just moved my 20 pairs of winter shoes into my office closet, and the 20 pairs of sandals into my bedroom closet. I found a couple of pairs to return to thrift, so that’s always a bonus.