PDA

View Full Version : Desert beekeeping conclusions



rand
12-03-2010, 02:17 PM
- just information to people who think about beekeeping in the desert

After execly a year experience with raising bees in the desert
being a pioneer in my location, i came to a clear conclusion that
the tough area conditions makes desert beekeeping on the edge of profit in a good year or not profitable at all:

Very high tepratures
Less then 90 mm rain/year
Short blooming period
Not enough fauna
High maintenance costs
Very good conditions to Wax moth all over the year


Because i allready adict to beekeeping :o, i am thinking about new strategy
of buying NUCS every year, before spring starts, keep them till the end of spring and sell them as strong families, or combine each hive in the apiary with another hive, when they start to decline in June.

AmericasBeekeeper
12-03-2010, 04:55 PM
You have a good plan. Did you know archaeologists uncovered an apiary from the time of the King Solomon. It is the largest apiary and even rivals some today. So even though history has taken much of the glory and vegetation of that time, it shows that you can raise bees there.
http://archaeologynewsreport.blogspot.com/2009/12/beehives-in-ancient-near-east.html

Countryboy
12-03-2010, 09:21 PM
I recall reading about beekeepers in the southwest American desert. As long as their hives were close to a water source, they could be profitable. The more distance from water, the lower the profitability. Keep this in mind when selecting bee yards.

Have you considered migrating your hives to a different location with better pollen and nectar after your flow is over?

Many farmers buy a calf in the spring, feed it out over the summer and sell it in the fall. They find this works for them. Your idea of buying nucs, and selling full hives later sounds very similar.

rand
12-04-2010, 04:50 AM
You have a good plan. Did you know archaeologists uncovered an apiary from the time of the King Solomon. It is the largest apiary and even rivals some today. So even though history has taken much of the glory and vegetation of that time, it shows that you can raise bees there.
http://archaeologynewsreport.blogspot.com/2009/12/beehives-in-ancient-near-east.html

yes, i was reading about it and planning to visit there.

The interesting thing is that they found from DNA checks, the bees was imported from Turkey and wasn't the original species(Apis mellifera syriaca)
or other species from Egept or Iran, that was used in Israel
wich shows that beekeeping was much more sufisticated then reaserches knew it is.
I hope to visit there soon and share some pictures in this great forum.

Randi

rand
12-04-2010, 05:02 AM
I

Have you considered migrating your hives to a different location with better pollen and nectar after your flow is over?

.

First, thank you for your reply.

Yes i have considered migrating, but in my small scale operation that is a second job to my primary job at the university i don't have anough time to handle it, and because of a big chance that my hives will be stolen (big problem over here :( ), when they are not close to my site, i really don't have a choice rather then stay local.

I also think that my desert honey is better then other types ;)

Randi

beesohappy
12-21-2015, 08:39 PM
Hi Randi.

How's it going with the bees? Are you still keeping bees?

I'm curious because I'm moving to Parhump soon and plan on keeping my bees out there.

Thanks, Mike

beepro
12-23-2015, 01:12 AM
So what bee plants can you grow on the desert?
Are you using the ground water on a solar pump to
grow the alfalfa or some other nectar producing plants?

rand
12-28-2015, 02:35 AM
Hi Mike & Beepro

I am still keeping bees, now with a partner because of my allergy.

Things are going great, more than my expectations and the argriculture guides
that didn't gave me a chance to succeed in the desert from the begining....

If we are having a year with an average amount of rain (93 mm), and the rain
is spread normally from November to March (usually happened), so the desert
is blooming and the bees are happy and healthy...


1. We have more that the average amount of honey compare to others regions in Israel !

2 .We have a unique honey from Prosopis tree (white-yellow and naturally creamy) that people are waiting all season to buy

3. No sugar feeding at all (I am not taking honey from the nest and it is anough for the girls)

4. No re queening at all, we let them do the job....i think We are having more lost precent but not Significantly

5. Freezing the combs in big ice cream freezers, to prevent Wax Moth

6. We are not mixing honey combs with brood combs, also to prevent Wax Moth

7. the hives are in static location and we are not migrating them to other places (it could help but not critical)

beepro - About the plants in the desert:
i planted just trees - Ecalyptus (3 types) and Ziziphus that can handle with no irigation, their roots are going down
to underwater and i am helping them in the firsrt 2 years with manual irigation every two weeks in the summer
Most of the honey came from trees and not small wild flowers
that in my opinion, have the role in the our area to strength the hives before spring and in summer time
with pollen.....

Happy New year,
Randi

beepro
12-29-2015, 01:18 AM
It is nice to know that you have such a nice bee place in
the desert. I don't know why you don't want to requeen
them by grafting some queens. Here it is very common to
graft from the best queen. As long as you and the bees are
happy what am I to say, right. Good job. Keep it going!

rmcpb
12-29-2015, 04:35 AM
I don't know why you don't want to requeen
them by grafting some queens.

Maybe its to get the most sucessful genetic diversity. If a hive is successful then let it breed, otherwise pinch the queen. Grafting queens gives you a genetic bottleneck - BAD.

beepro
12-30-2015, 01:30 AM
I do not know how bad it is for the grafting.
To me it is a way to choose the genetic diversity.
Since a queen is mated with many drones the local
DCA should support this diversity unless you are in an
area that only have 2 types of bees either the Carnis or the Italians.
The Cordovan daughter once mated with the Carnis drones will give
you virgins that are Cordovan, carnis X Italians and sometime Italians queens.
In a case like this I can do a graft and chose the queen that I like such as the Cordovan.
If they make their own queen it is still the percentage of what the local drone bees will support.
If I don't pick the Cordovan daughters then after 4 generation they will lost this color or genetics here.
Though I cannot pick my own queens because they will. So I don't see how it is a
bottleneck situation. Mind explaining more to educate me a bit here?