Got Bees? Count your Blessings indeed.

The Spring Haskcaps or Honey Berries depending on what you call them are in full bloom finally, they are solidly 3 to 4 weeks behind as is everything.. however we have gone from cool to summer heat..  so all the different haskcaps have or are in bloom over the past ten days. It will be interesting to see if this effects fruit timing as they are to go over a two to six week period but with the closer bloom times, will have closer fruiting timings?  


Moving right along now the current are loaded indeed.. all the current bushes of different colors are massively covered..  In flower budding up stages are gooseberries, saskatoons, pincherries and the oldest of plums..  so its slowly but surely coming along now.. 


One of the biggest stories in our national news is about the Bees and the winter die off..  Its not just been a local die off, its been a national across the country die off..  The Honey bees I was hoping to get this year are a no go.. the person I had booked with does not have enough and I am to far down the list.. 

This last of honeybees that are ready to go for the spring has direct impacts not just on honey and honey costs down the road in the fall, not just on bee costs, the cost of a queen and nuc has doubled locally if you can find them and want or are willing to pay that price.. 

Its going to effect a ton of locally produced foods leading to even higher food costs..  as if we needed another player in this rising inflation. 

Like Cranberry’s with your Turkey Dinners or Orange Cranberry Jam? Looks like it could be a rough year for the largest producer area’s in the world in terms of pollination.. 

Every summer, he rents some 1,000 hives, which he sets up around the bogs where the cranberries grow.

The region where Decubber is located is sometimes referred to as Canada’s cranberry capital, and is one of the largest producers of the fruit in the world”

But its not just Cranberries.. o no.. its not!

Sébastien Laberge is a third-generation beekeeper and honey producer who runs La Miellerie St-Stanislas with his family in Saint-Stanislas-de-Kostka, Que., about an hour southwest of Montreal.

Laberge lost 70 per cent of his bees over the winter. That has been devastating for his business because half of his revenues come from renting out his bees to blueberry, apple and vegetable farms for pollination.

“We get calls every day for either blueberry, cranberry. We just don’t have any bees right now to contract out,” he said.”


One of the things we have talked about a lot over the past years is supporting native bees as well as small homesteaders supporting Mason Bees (both early and mid spring types) and Leaf Cutter Bee’s and lets me tell you, I am so happy to report that my yards, food forest and gardens are swarming with all kinds and sizes of natives. 


No mow may is a very real thing these days, are you waiting to mow? Hard to believe that its only be around for four years now as its very common to hear peaple talking about it.. Now more then ever with the honey bee overwintering and losses, we must plan and support our native bees. 


Just remember there are more then bees that are act as pollinators.. one of the worst is ants, they are not very good at it.. but they are on the list and expect that they do more then most folks think for certain plants at certain times.. thankfully there are lots more in the middle, not as good as bees, not as poorly at it as ants..  

Did your Honey Bees make the winter? How is your yard looking for natives this year? Are you looking and considering work arounds on certain things. 

Example:  If the price of cranberries gets to be to costly, I will replace them with High Bush Cranberries grown here on the farm or could be locally harvested in a forage way.. Many peaple have these bushes and consider them to be bird food so the odds are in your favor to finding them for harvests from folks that have no plans on using them for their own use. 




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5 Responses to Got Bees? Count your Blessings indeed.

  1. valbjerke says:

    My bees did not survive the winter either (first time ever). As I was out cleaning up and dismantling the hives, i was surrounded by hundreds of honey bees in my pussy willows over my head, collecting pollen. Happy to see somebody’s bees made it. I’m taking a break from honey bees regardless, as aside from the hives in the yard, all of my equipment was lost in the fire. Maybe will start up again in a few years.
    Cranberries aren’t available here except in the grocery for holidays…tho they do grow them in the lower mainland. I’ve got haskaps, also twin berries which can be added along with another fruit as an extender, saskatoons wild and some
    Wild blueberries. Also some raspberries planted, and some wild raspberries. It will be interesting to see how well they all do. My spruce trees are budding nicely, so I’ll probably make jelly from the buds. It goes good with game or other flavourful meat.

    • Very Sorry ValB that your bees did not make the winter but I agree, glad that you had all those honey bees collocting pollen.. Given the cost of the equipment, I can understand needing to take a break after the fire loss. Sounds like you have a good amount of fruit, hope they produce well for you..

  2. I am sorry to hear you won’t be able to get going with bees this year, I know that was something you were looking forward to. 😦
    Our getting-started-with-bees plan has been put off as well, or at least changed quite a bit. We will see what happens.

    • Sometimes you can make the plans but it does not mean that its going to happen the way you think.. There is nothing wrong with putting things off.. one of the things I see on so many homesteads blogs and groups is that they are always pushing for more, more more.. but those of us in here longer know, there is only so many hours in a day, only so many dollars in the bank and we do need to limit were our efforts go..

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