Buzz on Bees: As spring arrives, so does our first nectar flow

Rachel Halliwell

Special to Black Press

Spring has sprung and as our plant shoots begin to emerge so do our local pollinators.

Some of you may have noticed queen bumblebees stumbling around, mason bees emerging from their cocoons or the popular honeybee buzzing from flower to flower. As the sun continues to shine and we continue to plant our favourite flowers, pollinator sightings will only increase.

I’m a beekeeper, and as my fellow beekeepers know, this is the perfect time to order your honeybees. Supporting local apiaries is the best way to acquire local genetic stock (bees that are acclimatized to the Island) and support our community at the same time. For the next month we are expected to be in our first nectar flow. This means that the flowers in bloom are providing our honeybees with sufficient amounts of two very important ingredients: pollen and nectar.

ALSO: Duchess of dirt – Spring finally in bloom

This is the time to ensure our honeybees have enough room to grow in population and enough room to store this sweet reward. By providing an extra box or extra frames in the hive, we give the bees more space and reduce the chances of the feared possibility of swarming. That event when half of your honeybees leave the beautiful home you’ve provided in search of more space – typically the highest branch of your neighbour’s tree.

In order to prevent such an event, more space in the hive is crucial.

I understand that not everyone is able to keep bees, but ultimately the best way to help our pollinators is to plant some of their favourite foods. This way, not only are you helping the popular honeybee, but our native pollinators as well. Some favourite bee foods are: heather, lupine, lavender, allium, lilacs, cosmos, marigold, rosemary and yes, dandelions.

I’d bee happy to answer any pollinator questions:

Rachel Halliwell is a Bee Master Certified beekeeper in the Comox Valley. Her website is

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

L’Arche Comox Valley community reeling over findings of inquiry into founder

The local L’Arche community is reeling in the wake of a report… Continue reading

Comox Valley Waldorf School closing

The Comox Valley Waldorf School (CVWS) is familiar with change. It has… Continue reading

Comox Valley students sparkle with gold at Skills Canada event

Valley secondary students captured gold in 13 of the 20 different trades and technology-based events.

VIU students pitch planning projects to Cumberland

Students looked at topics such as historical values and parking issues

Comox Valley ends tough VIJHL season with a win

Glacier Kings more than double last year’s win total but miss post-season

Annual Comox Valley fundraiser closing in on $100,000 goal

The Comox Valley Transition Society and the Dawn to Dawn Action on… Continue reading

VIDEO: B.C.’s seventh coronavirus patient at home in Fraser Health region

Canada in ‘containment’ as COVID-19 spreads in other countries

Canadian L’Arche group shocked by report that founder sexually abused women

A report by a French-based charity that helps people who are developmentally… Continue reading

B.C. takes over another Retirement Concepts senior care home

Summerland facility latest to have administrator appointed

RCMP pull office from Wet’suwet’en territory, but hereditary chiefs still want patrols to end

Chief says temporary closure of field office not enough as Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute drags on

Prescription opioids getting B.C. addicts off ‘poisoned’ street drugs

Minister Judy Darcy says Abbotsford pilot project working

Royals, Elvis, Captain Cook: Hundreds of wax figures find new life in B.C. man’s home

Former director of Victoria’s Royal London Wax Museum still hopes to revive wax figure tourism

Teck CEO says Frontier withdrawal a result of tensions over climate, reconciliation

Don Lindsay speaks at mining conference, a day after announcing suspension of oilsands project

Okanagan man swims across Columbia River to evade Trail police

RCMP Cpl. Devon Reid says the incident began the evening of Thursday, Feb. 20

Most Read