Summer Doldrums

Making Money from Honey  
– a beekeeping course taught by Neil Bertram and Ron Miksha

Beekeeping can be fun and profitable.”

It’s July. Beekeeping time in the north.  During the past few weeks, I’ve been reviewing our course notes, re-writing the Making Money from Honey guide, and making some tweaks to our program.

Not much needs changed. Our feedback forms from the April class were very positive.  However, one person suggested that we spent too much time reviewing bee equipment. I think that’s a fair comment. I spoke for almost an hour on the types of equipment on the market, their various pros and cons, and the economic impact of selecting the wrong style of hive for your area. In the equipment lecture, I also talked about something that usually goes unspoken – even good beekeepers eventually die. Or get tired of bees. Or become allergic to stings. Or become too weak to lift honey supers.  When you buy your first boxes or expand your outfit, you have to consider the type of equipment that will sell best when it’s time for it to move on to new hands.  As you can see, between expansion and death, there is a lot to cover in the bee equipment section – but I’ll condense it into half an hour at our autumn offering.

Visitors at one of Neil's bee yards
                                                       Visitors at one of Neil’s bee yards

While I’ve been working on course revisions, my teaching partner (Neil Bertram) has been busy with his bees. It has turned into a honey of a year here in Alberta, Canada, with a bumper crop filling most beekeepers’ shops. Neil took a short break (if you can call it a break) and opened his honey house and apiaries to a tour that was made possible by the Calgary and District Beekeepers‘ summer program called Saturday at the Hive. You can see something about that event here.


Neil demonstrates exstracting
                                                         Neil demonstrates extracting

Keep following this site for our announcements for our fall courses, coming up in a few months!

The Fall 2016 session of Making Money from Honey is scheduled for Saturday, November 19.



Author: Ron Miksha

Ron Miksha is a bee ecologist working at the University of Calgary. He is also a geophysicist and does a bit of science writing and blogging. Ron has worked as a radio broadcaster, a beekeeper, and Earth scientist. (Ask him about seismic waves.) He's based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

2 thoughts on “Summer Doldrums”

  1. Hi Ron

    My professional beekeeping career as a beekeeper, researcher, author, university professor, and bee stunt man for Hollywood spans more than 69 years. Maybe you have a copy of my recent book, Honey Bee Hobbyist. I Just wanted to congratulate you for sharing your expertise via excellent and frequent beekeeping publications. Your recent article about “Smooth Honey” in the American Bee Journal (September 2016) caught my attention. E.J. Dyce was my major professor at Cornell where I received my PhD in 1959. Get this!!! The royalties from his patent for making granulated “Smooth Honey” financed a graduate assistant job that supported me through 4 years of graduate work.

    Keep up your good work!

    Norm Gary, Emeritus Professor of Entomology, University of California at Davis

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Dr Gary,
      Thank you, Professor Gary! Such kind words are appreciated so much!
      Of course, I know you. I remember hearing about you when my (much) older brother (Florida queen breeder) David Miksa was a high school summer techie at Cornell about 50 years ago. Your work with bees (and bees and clarinets) is legendary!
      Thanks so much for writing and for mentioning Honey Bee Hobbyist – it’s a good reminder to me that I want to order the book from Amazon (for other readers, here’s the link.)
      Since you have somehow found this rather obscure web blog site, you may like to catch up on my more frequent posts at
      Ron Miksha


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