Amma Toronto

Oct 27: Beekeeping Update - Getting Ready for Winter

Hives at Amma Canada Centre in fall

Keeping the hives healthy and cozy as winter approaches

Bees flying around open hiveFall is here, and winter will follow soon. The bee team is now in the phase of fall management, making sure our bee colonies are healthy and cozy through the winter months ahead. The team will soon be doing a final mite treatment, and wrapping the hives to protect the bees from the harsh winter winds. The bees will do the rest. They will keep the inside of their hive at around 35°C (90°F) by gathering into a cluster, and vibrating their bodies to create heat. Their goal is to sustain life and keep the queen and any brood (bee larvae) warm.

Unexpectedly, three of the five hives produced an excess of honey this year. What a gift!

Loading frame into honey extractorUsually, beekeepers do not extract any honey from a new hive in its first year, as typically the bees are not strong enough to make an excess of honey. However, the split hive and the hive created from the swarm did produce enough honey to allow the beekeepers to harvest some. By Amma’s Grace, the bees have given us approximately 140 pounds of honey! The honey was recently extracted, and is now being jarred. Part of the honey will be given to the local food bank in Georgetown, and to other food programs and soup kitchens. Devotees may also purchase honey, which many see as Amma’s prasad (blessed food). Proceeds from honey sales support beekeeping activities, with any surplus funds going to Amma's charitable programs. Honey sales info coming soon!

As Covid restrictions ease, the beekeepers hope to hold workshops and educational presentations in the Spring of 2022 to encourage newcomers (especially the younger generation) to come forward and enjoy beekeeping. Questions? Contact ammatoronto@ammagroups.org

Bee  safe and happy!

Honey draining from extractor into a filter