It’s springtime, which means your bees are waking up. Photo supplied

Buzz on bees: Gardens in ‘continuous bloom’ make for happy bees

Some of you may have noticed the crocuses in bloom, daffodil shoots emerging from the soil or a honeybee lazily flying by your window – all beautiful indicators that spring is on its way!

As the snow melts from our gardens, we might start to think about this upcoming season. What to plant? Which veggies to grow?

As a beekeeper first, gardener second, my garden strategy is always tailored to the concept of continuous bloom – what can I plant that provides food for pollinators from early March all the way until late fall? Continuous bloom is an important concept because it provides a consistent food source for all pollinators from the time they emerge from ‘hibernation’ back to winter time again. For the honeybees, it is important because it reduces the amount of supplement feed beekeepers must provide to their colonies – this is when we feed our honeybees granulated sugar and pollen patties when no flowers are in bloom. In addition, you might want to think about plants that have long blooming periods, such as lavender and leaving weeds, such as dandelions and clover, as they tend to be an early food source for bees.

For those aspiring beekeepers, now is the best time to inquire about getting started. So where do you even begin? The Comox Valley Bee Club is a wonderful hub of knowledge. They hold meetings once a month with guest speakers, and at the end of April, they will be offering a beekeeping 101 course, which you can sign up by connecting with the president of the Comox Valley Bee Club or go to the Comox Valley Beekeepers Association Facebook for more information. There are also plenty of online forums for beekeeping, such as the Vancouver Island Beekeepers group, where a collective of beekeepers help each other problem-solve hive issues and answer general beekeeping questions.

Once you’ve started, where do you get the equipment and how do you find continuous support? Home Grown Bee is a beekeeping supplier in the Comox Valley (Merville) and has the equipment to get you started or help you grow your apiary. They also provide one-on-one education sessions held at your very own apiary to help you feel confident when inspecting your own hives. There is a strong beekeeping community in the Comox Valley and a supportive collective to help you as the beekeeping season progresses.

Happy spring and happy beekeeping.

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

VIDEO: Fire departments salute health care staff at hospital in Comox Valley

Trucks large and small drove by facility in procession, with siren and flashers on

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

Courtenay Easter Promenade has a homemade theme this year

Decorate your house; chance to win prizes

Woofy’s now selling Girl Guide Cookies

Another business has stepped up to help the Girl Guides sell their… Continue reading

Comox Valley handyDART offers free grocery delivery

The handyDART service in the Comox Valley is offering free deliveries for… Continue reading

‘Hold our line’: 29 new cases of COVID-19 announced in B.C.

Saturday’s number of new cases marks the lowest in weeks.

Comox Valley grocers going extra mile during coronavirus

We have had numerous requests to post a fluid article directing consumers… Continue reading

Two inmates found positive for COVID-19 at federal prison in B.C.; other tests pending

15 staff self-isolating waiting results, refusal to work notice sent, says correctional officer

Critic, workers’ group ‘disappointed’ Trudeau chose Amazon to distribute PPE

Amazon Canada said in an email to The Canadian Press that it is working with Canada Post, Purolator

Full World COVID-19 update: National Guard collect ventilators in New York; Spain, Italy improve

Comprehensive coronavirus update with news from around the world.

Federal NDP suggests universal benefit to streamline aid payments

Those who do not need money will repay at end of tax year

Saanich mayor receives his foster bees through pollinator rental program

‘I feel like I’m an adoptive father,’ Fred Haynes says of his rented mason bee colony

Nanaimo’s Harmac mill works to fill doubled pulp order for medical masks and gowns

Mill’s president says extra cleaning in place and workers are social distancing

Two people fined after B.C. police spot online ads re-selling 5,000 surgical, N95 masks

Police confiscated the masks, being sold at inflated prices, and now working with Fraser Health

Most Read