You’ve just finished assembling your woodenware beehive components and you want to know if you should paint them or not. Well I’ve made a new video to answer that question.

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The Beekeeping Handbook - A Practical Apiary Guide for the Yard, Garden, and Rooftop

I have just torn through another beekeeping book called The Beekeeping Handbook — A Practical Apiary Guide for the Yard, Garden, and Rooftop by Vivian Head. This book was released April 1, 2012 and so it is definitely hot off the press.

Vivan Head is a cook, gardener and bee enthusiast from East Sussex in the UK and she has provided an easy-to-read handbook for anyone interested in beekeeping. The book is fairly fast-paced, starting with a brief history of the honeybee and then a short anatomy lesson, then it jumps right into the basics of beekeeping by introducing tools and techniques needed to house your first colony of bees.

There is a great section of this book called “The Beekeeper’s Year” which is a great resource for beginner beekeepers. It outlines in some detail what tasks are required during each season to maintain a healthy hive. I have bookmarked every season and plan on returning to this book in the future to recap the seasonal tasks that I should be performing.

I have found Ms. Head’s system for logging hive inspections quite intriguing and may use a variation of her techniques this year. I agree that keeping an active and accurate log of your hives is very important and Head provides a breakdown of things that should be logged during each inspection.

There is quite a thorough and detailed breakdown of diseases and pests in this book. This will be an excellent resource to have available if/when problems arise in my apiary, although this particular section of the book is not quite as exciting to read as some of the other chapters like Getting your Bees and Harvesting Honey. There is even a brief section at the very end of the book devoted to rearing new queens, although I think this subject probably deserves more than a 3-page point-form breakdown. It serves more to whet your appetite than to be a complete guide to rearing queens.

At around $13CAD, this is a valuable up-to-date handbook that makes a great addition to any beekeeper’s library.

Purchase this book at

The Beekeeping Handbook: A Practical Apiary Guide for the Yard, Garden, and Rooftop
By: Vivian Head
Released April 1, 2012
Published by Fox Chapel Publishing

Five goals for years one

As I anxiously wait for my first bees to arrive, I’m consuming as many beekeeping resources as possible; books, videos, web sites, beekeeping association meetings, etc. I’m beefing up my knowledge so that when the nectar’s flowing and my bees take flight, I’m ready for whatever is thrown at me.

At the very beginning, before I knew anything about keeping bees, I envisioned having dozens of jars of honey and perhaps enough beeswax to make some lip balm or something. More recently, my thoughts have shifted slightly and I have some new goals for my first year as a beekeeper: Read the rest of this entry »

The top cover is a crucial component of any beehive. Often referred to as a “telescoping cover” because it extends past the main hive walls, it is this part that protects the bees and their comb from the elements like rain, snow, sleet and hail. It also allows the beekeeper to gain access to the hive for inspections.

In this video, I show you how to assemble a standard telescoping cover using a kit that includes four sides, a plywood top, and a metal cover. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave comments.


Here’s a recipe that was given to me by Sandra at last night’s Grand River Beekeepers’ Association meeting. It’s a twist on the standard recipe for Rice Krispie squares using cocoa and honey! Enjoy.

Photo of a delicious honey dessert

Chocolate Honey Rice Krispie Squares

  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 40 marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup liquid honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 6 cups Rice Krispies

Melt butter in a large pot. Add marshmallows and melt, stirring continuously.
Turn off heat and add all remaining ingredients. Mix well.
Press mixture into a greased 9″ x 13″ pan and allow to cool.