Snovember Fireside

November has come, the bees are in bed, and visions of spring shall dance through my head.....
We slide into the long winter, and the bees settle into a more dormant state. Do they hibernate? No....but they do move slower and they cluster around any remaining brood and the queen.
This central mass of bees will keep the surface of the comb they reside on at close to 30 degrees celsius. By shivering wing muscles, they generate warmth. (Think of it as rubbing your hands together...)
As the outside layer of the bees get cold, they rotate inwards to warm up while bees from the center take their place.
The entire cluster of bees will methodically move itself on to new frames honey when resources get low,as they patiently wait out the cold weather.
Winter is a time for repairing equipment, rendering and pouring wax, playing with recipes, and catching up on the paperwork any business gets inundated with over the course of a year. I ignore my desk too much in the summer months I'll admit, but outside beats inside any day so I'll take my lumps....
One of the inquiries I get a lot is how did I get into beekeeping, and more to the point how can *I* get into beekeeping? The timing of this question always comes late. too late. Sounds off, I know but preparation to get into beekeeping starts well......Now. Finding bees for sale in the spring can be impossible depending on how the winter goes. Reserving them now, guarantees your bees when you want them, not if you can find them. Purchasing and assembling and painting equipment is a winter activity. Location, location, location. Where are these bees going? Urban? Rural? Know now before your bees are in your hands.Β  Getting ahead of the bees needs are priority number one. Watching tutorials, attending lectures, finding a mentor, reading books and blogs are all important pre- experience preparation that will make beekeeping much less stressful and much more fun!
To nail down the theory portion:
The University of Manitoba offers a weekly 9 session course in the evenings starting January 2024. This also includes a field day, and a one year membership in the Red River Apiarists' Association. The RRAA is an educational based group that provides mentorship and workshops for hobbyist and sideliner beekeepers. Enrollment is open!Β 
You can check it out here:Β
After your enrolment you can join the RRAA!
If you need further direction, or have questions about urban beekeeping, please give me a call or an email ( 204-612-2337Β  /Β )
and I can help you navigate the first steps towards a rich and wonderful experience.
With the holidays fast approaching, the gifting season has begun! We are offering a gift-wrapped 4 pack of our 375g honey at a reduced price, AND we will tuck in a handwritten note for you as well!
You can check that out by clicking here.
Lets also remember those less fortunate with our community mixed case (click here!). Partial proceeds are donated to the Christmas Cheer board, and I match that amount personally as well to triple the contribution.
OurΒ 375g jars of flavoured honey are great for office gifts, basket making, and the little something for those that make your days a little easier.
Want to see us live and in action? November 23rs at the Club Regent Casino we are joining 40 other vendors for the return of the hugely successful "Crafts and Cocktails!"
Free admission,Β  lots of beverage companies with LOTS to sample, and the very best Manitoba Honey on the planet all displayed for your shopping pleasure. Come chat us up, see what's new, and meet me in person and chat about the bees!
Keep warm everyone! Be kind to one another, and in these times of conflict remember your humanity and know that people who are suffering are rarely the ones in control of what's going on around them.Β 
Try to do good things, and give what you can, when you can.
All the best,
John Russell
Warm foots in front of fireplace.