New to bee keeping in Quebec City

Greetings from Quebec City, Canada,
Urban bee keeping here!
My home is surrounded by 12 ft cedar hedges that I hope will keep my immediate neighbors happy. I’ve picked out this corner of my yard for the hive, as it gets little traffic, and if I face the hive toward an almost never used side yard, they should have a peaceful flight path. Feedback welcome and desired!

A beekeeping friend of mine in Utah told me about a method he is using with success against the Varroa mites - an oxalic acid vaporizer treatment a couple times in the spring and fall about 10 days apart. Oxalic acid is what is found naturally in leafy green vegetables and is not toxic.

I’m learning all I can. I know it is late in the seaston here, so I’m wondering if I should wait till Spring (May) here to start with bees.


I also recommend considering pointing your hive so the entrance receives morning to midday sun, which will help them with warming up early as possible every day.

Good to know about what others recommend re varroa treatment.

There’s a great Flow Ambassador in Montreal, Jean-Francois, you can look up his details on this map. He’d be a great resource for understanding more about starting a hive this time of year in your location.

Sounds like you’re off to a great start!

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I did reach out but no reply yet. I installed my first nuc last week. They seem to be doing well except for the presence of some ants. This was my fault because I put some sugar syrup in ziplock bags in the roof and one leaked :tired_face:. A little drip was all it took. I first tried cinnamon powder but lost a bee or 2 in it (I probably used too much, just around each leg of the hive). Next I tried putting Vaseline on each leg. I watched all day, flicking the occasional ant off the hive. Finally I saw an ant scale the leg, right over the Vaseline. :face_exhaling: My next idea is to make a moat of oil with tuna can sized glass dishes. I think they had creme brule in them at one time. I hope no bees fall in. :face_with_diagonal_mouth:

Hmmm, sorry you haven’t heard from Jean-Francois.

For me personally, I don’t fuss too much over ants as they generally just nest on the outside of the hive where they don’t interfere with the bees. If I inspect, I might brush the ants and the eggs away. I notice a huge influx of them when it rains a lot and I assume they’re that desperate for a dry home because they keep coming up and just end up leaving them. This is until the ant population gets so high that they start getting inside the hive and I consider other solutions.

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First hive inspection since installing a nuc two and a half weeks ago. Im on my own, so I couldn’t take pictures, and really need feedback. This is what I saw:

  1. 3 completely empty frames to one side and one on the other.
  2. One frame with 30% new empty comb.
  3. One frame with empty comb on one side and nothing on the other. This was one from the nuc with a comb board.
  4. 1 nuc frame with some spotty capped brood on one side and empty comb on the other… Might have been partially filled with nectar.
  5. I nuc frame with mostly capped brood and 3 or so uncapped… with white larvae in there on one side and spotty capped brood on the other with a lot of empty cells. I saw no eggs anywhere. I did briefly hold them up in the sun.
  6. One nuc frame of mostly capped honey
  7. One nuc frame with some capped brood on one side in the middle and up in the corner some greyish capped cells. The rest of of the cells and other side either looked empty or partially filled with nectar.
  8. No drone brood cells
  9. No queen looking cells
  10. Some comb built on the bottom of a few frames which I left alone.
    The floor looked clean except for something that looked like a dead wasp. I hoped it wasn’t the queen.
    I never saw the queen.
    I scraped the propolis off the top of the frames and the inside of the top board. I tried really hard to be slow and gentle.

They were not too agitated. I squirted some “bee calm” sugar water lightly on the frames and a bit on the bees. I put an empty frame between the honey frame and a nectar/spotty brood frame but otherwise didn’t mix them up.

I refilled their syrup feeder. They have been really taking that in.

They have this month and most of September to prepare for winter. I hope they can do it. Hope the queen was ok.