Cover of the Travelling Beehive

The Travelling Beehive is a stunningly beautiful book about beekeeping that I had the pleasure of reading last week. The book was originally written in Spanish by Elena Garcia and Manuel Ángel Rosado and is illustrated by Juan Hernaz. At this time, there is no English print version available, however, the electronic version is available for free!

The Travelling Beehive is geared towards school-aged children but would be great for anyone (child or not) curious about bees. It explains beekeeping in a very accurate and entertaining way. It also does an excellent job of describing pollination and some of the problems that are affecting honeybees and other pollinators in the world today. There’s even a free Teacher’s Guide available which will help to introduce this book to classrooms around the world. I have included a gallery below of some of the illustrations which are truly the bee’s knees. (Yes, I went there.)

I must admit, I did find a few spelling mistakes in the current edition of this book, but overall it is very well translated from Spanish. The Spanish print version will be distributed to schools and libraries in Spain this fall. Hopefully one day the English print version will also make its way to North America. In the meantime, here are links to the ways you can read the electronic version of the book.

Note: It’s a bit tricky to read the full-width online version as the pages are very wide and the text very small. I found it easiest to download the PDF version and read on my iPad.

Read electronic versions for free

For teachers interested in the Teacher’s Guide

Today I started an experiment with foundationless frames in my Langstroth hive. Specifically, I have installed a third deep box on my hive and intentionally left every second frame mostly empty. The only foundation that exists is a very small strip of wax foundation that I added to the top of each frame which should guide the bees into drawing out comb completely on their own.

Here’s a short video of what the frames look like now, and I will post an update in a week or two when they are drawn out.

 

Urban Farm and Beehives has published part one of a couple blog posts with great tips for beginner beekeepers. Included in the first 5 tips is a helpful hint from yours truly. Check out the beginner tips here: 10 Best Beekeeping Tips for Beginners (Part 1)

Quirks and Quarks is one of my favourite radio shows on the CBC. Two years ago, host Bob McDonald interviewed Dr. Laurence Packer — bee researcher and author of the book called Keeping the Bees.

The 15-minute interview is quite compelling. It starts with a history of bees and the different types of bees throughout the world. Packer and McDonald then discuss Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) as well as the potential causes and effects of CCD on us as humans.

I also found it interesting that there is a type of bumble bee that is possibly extinct and hasn’t been seen in quite some time in South-Western Ontario.

This is a great episode of Quirks and Quarks and I hope that you give it a listen. Click the image below.

Title for link

If you would like to purchase Dr. Packer’s book, here is a link to purchase through Amazon:

Keeping the Bees
By: Laurence Packer
Published May 2011

Man and woman in a moon

Honeymoons are commonly known as the time period following a wedding where a bride and groom spend time together. Often the newlyweds will travel together and spend anywhere from a few days to a few weeks enjoying each other’s company. But where does the term “honeymoon” come from?

According to my sources, the term Honeymoon originates in Europe and refers to the time after a marriage where the newlyweds are sent off for a full lunar month (one moon) with a large supply of mead given by the bride’s father. Mead is one of the earliest forms of alcohol and is made by fermenting honey and water; similar to wine.

The French term for “Honeymoon” is “Lune de miel” which is literally “Moon of honey”.

Now I wish that I had been given a month’s worth of mead for my honeymoon. Time to make a phone call to my father-in-law.