Archives for posts with tag: honeybees

I can’t say that I’ve ever picked up a beekeeping book as well-researched as Farming for the Landless by Sarah Waring. I had the pleasure of reading this book recently and was surprised by the level of detail and supporting data found within the pages because not many beekeeping books cite as many real world studies and examples as Farming for the Landless.

This book is very focused on European beekeeping practices and politics, which I was not very familiar with (even though the bees that I–and most of us–keep are European honeybees). It doesn’t take long, while reading this book, to realize that many of the problems affecting bees are spread worldwide. Waring explores the lives of beekeepers big and small as well as agricultural scientists as she details many of the ailments currently threatening honeybees across the globe.

If you are a beginner beekeeper looking for an instructional “how-to” guide, this is likely not the book for you. However, if you are a beekeeper (or not) concerned about the health and survival of honeybees, then this book is likely one of most informative books you will find. Even if you never plan on keeping bees yourself, the information in this book will alter the way that you look at bees and open your eyes to the huge problems that the tiny honeybee is facing.

Farming for the Landless is an excellent book to add to your beekeeping library and Waring’s research and commitment to the study of honeybees shines through every page of this book.


Farming for the Landless
By Sarah Waring
Published April 2015
Platin Press


Missing Bees CCD Poster

Yesterday it was announced that Ontario will begin phasing out the use of Neonicotinoid (neonics) in farm settings in the province. This decision in the first of its kind in North America and is part of Ontario’s plan to ban neonics.

Under the new law, which takes effect July 1:

  • Starting in the 2016 season, farmers may only use neonic treated seeds on 50% of their corn and soybean fields.
  • In order to plant more than 50%, farmers must prove to the government that they have a pest problem and take a pest-management course.
  • In 2016, all farmers wanting to buy neonic-treated seeds will need to take the course and prove the existence of a pest problem.
  • Starting in August, all seed sellers must apply for new licensing to sell neonic-treated seeds and collect documentation from farmers when selling the seeds in the future.

The province of Ontario hopes to reduce the use of Neonicotinoid laden crops by 80% in 2017.

For more information, visit these news stories at Global News and CTV News.

Ontario Urban Honeybee Loss

A few weeks ago, the OBA sent out a survey to gather information about winter honeybee loss in Ontario. This survey was great, but may have unintentionally left out data from urban beekeepers–those who keep bees within city limits, etc.

If you consider yourself an urban beekeeper in Ontario, please take 3 minutes and fill out this survey on urban honeybee loss. Please do your best to spread this survey to anyone else you know who is keeping bees in an urban location. Please share on Facebook, Twitter, etc. Once the survey has circulated, I will be posting the results on my blog.

Thanks to Rick Beatty for the great idea and for help in preparing this survey.

Take a few minutes and watch this TED Talk. Anand Varma has some incredible imagery in his time lapse videos of a bee egg becoming a worker bee.

This talk discusses threats to bees, including Varroa Destructor mites. Look for more of Varma’s photographs in the May 2015 issue of National Geographic.

Ontario Beekeepers' Association

If you keep bees in Ontario, please take a few moments (literally 20 seconds) to fill out the Ontario Beekeepers’ Association’s 2015 winter loss survey. This is a quick and easy way for the OBA to have an idea of how Ontario honeybees did this past winter.

You can find the survey at