Edmonton beekeeper builds a better beehive


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Categories: On The Farm

 

Frames in Bajer’s hives go into boxes that are smaller than the industry norm. While the volume of the hive and its weight doesn’t change, the beekeeper can handle the boxes more easily.

In April of this year, Edmonton city council amended its animal licensing and control bylaw to permit beekeeping in the city.

Edmonton is a good environment for keeping bees, said Bajer, who lives in McCauley.

“We typically think of cities as these barren concrete jungles without nature,” he said. But in reality, the biological diversity present in cities helps produce good honey.

“You can actually taste it, because you’re going to get pollen from willows, cherry trees, lilacs. There’s a little bit of something for the bees the entire growing season.”

Bajer said he tries to live as close as possible to nature in an urban environment. He wants his leafy backyard to feel like an oasis in the city.

“My ideal day is sitting on the deck with a glass of wine, just watching the bees go and forth.”

Bajer’s beehive design is his personal response to the needs of urban bees.

“First and foremost, beekeepers need to understand how bees behave, and to ensure that they have everything that they need in order to be able to do that.”

Honeybees are a joy to keep in the backyard simply for their buzzing presence and, on hot days, the smell of honey, wafting through the air within ten feet of the hive. They increase pollination in your yard and therefore increase your yields from fruit trees and vegetables. You may also harvest honey (gallons per year), beeswax, pollen, and propolis from the hive. Your own honey  will provide you a tasty treat for your home table as well as a gift for relatives, friends or neighbors. I never knew of anyone to turn down a free jar of honey ! 

Your first step is to learn all about honey bees. You need to learn about the three kinds of honey bees that you will find living inside a beehive - the Drone, the Worker and the Queen. Honey bees are highly specialized and a functioning hive needs each of the hive members to perform their job well, or the hive will not survive and prosper. They must work as a team and be willing to sacrifice themselves if need be to keep the hive alive and thriving.

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