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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Gothenburg, Sweden
    Posts
    14

    Default Beekeeping and pollinating in high temperature areas

    Hi I live in Sweden (nothern Europe) and a question arose last night while talking to some friends...

    In the desert where daytime temperatures during summer can arise to 50+ celsius (122+ F) and 35+ celsius (95+ F) during winter man is now able to cultivate (right word?) thanks to atrificial watering but what about the bees?

    • Do you use a diffrent kind of bee that is more apt for the heat (not Apis Melifera) or do you do selective breeding and end up with a bee that works well in such heat?
    • How about wintering the bees do you do it or do they go all year around?
    • Anything else that should be done for the bees like put them in a well ventilated shaded area or such?


    I am not planing to keep bees in the desert I am just asking out of curiosity from me and my friends.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Palm Bay, FL, USA
    Posts
    2,312

    Default Re: Beekeeping and pollinating in high temperature areas

    Can't speak for desert areas but here in central and South Florida the bees work year round. We have only 5-6 days maximum of weather too cold for them to fly but usually it's shorts and tee shirt weather. We can get mated queens up until November. They start building up in January with a little feeding and have to be ready for citrus flow in late February to March. I would think that in desert areas they go all year round as long as there's something blooming.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Knox County, Ohio
    Posts
    2,709

    Default Re: Beekeeping and pollinating in high temperature areas

    I believe the experience of the Lusby's in the Arizona desert is that bees can handle the heat if they are close to a water source. If you provide them ample water, they can make honey.

    The poster Terry Smalls on here works for a beekeeping outfit that keeps bees in high temperature locations in California. It might be worthwhile to read some of his postings.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Gothenburg, Sweden
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Beekeeping and pollinating in high temperature areas

    I will thank you

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,030

    Default Re: Beekeeping and pollinating in high temperature areas

    Here in Tucson, Arizona, USA, beekeeping is unique. I've been beekeeping since I was ten years old, now, I'm fifty-three. I've kept them in California, Ohio, Virginia, Mississippi, Florida, New Mexico, and now Arizona. Each move has meant that I've had to learn a few new things about keeping bees.

    Here in Tucson, every year is different from the one before it. Some years we get rain, some we don't. If there is sufficient rain, and it comes often enough then there is usually always some forage available for the bees. Right now, Autumn, we haven't had much precipitation within ten miles of our location, though there has even been flooding in various other locations in this valley where Tucson is located, and forage is sporadic depending on moisture.

    For most of the past ten years I've witnessed an annual event, our local Mesquite honey flow which seemed to be consistent - independent of the weather (beginning about 15 April and ending about 15 July), until this season when it ended before the second week of June. So much for continuity. This Mesquite honey flow is like a torrent of nectar - if I have managed my hives well enough (and they are strong enough to bring in this nectar), there seems to be more than enough nectar to fill all my equipment with comb and honey - every season I increase the number of supers and frames I have available for this harvest, but, so far, I have always run out of equipment before the bees have run out of nectar.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Holtville, California
    Posts
    66

    Default Re: Beekeeping and pollinating in high temperature areas

    I live in the Imperial Valley it gets really hot in the summer 120+ sometimes, the winters are warm but come December and Jan. it can get cold at night. The bees will work a lot of the year but you still need to have surplus honey to overwinter because they won't be able to forage much come winter.

    Italians do good here and I find once you bring them here from else where the second/third generations are able to adapt better I am not sure if that is due to mating with feral drones which according to the county AHB program are 75% AHB. So I suppose the mutts are what do the best.

    I've been told that Russians did bad down here due to them laying most of the brood in the second chamber and the bees were unable to control the temp and the brood cooked and killed all of it.

    Shade is a must in my opinion or else the bees will spend all their time getting water and fanning the hive with their wings or if they are weak it can kill them. Anything to knock the sun off some use portable shades, build wooden sheds, or even throwing pallets on top of the hives or top boards to cover the entrance.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Bartonville, TX USA
    Posts
    456

    Default Re: Beekeeping and pollinating in high temperature areas

    see recent ABJ article on beekeeping in the middle east. There is a apis m. adapted to the dry heat conditions there.

    Also, keep in mind that some in arid regions beeks are operating at altitude. If you would like to find the best weather to live in go to the equator and then go up to a mile high city. Perfect weather year around.

    I am in a hot dry part of texas and yes depend on mesquite as well. We routinely have temps in the 100+ and during the heat of the day my pond is covered with activity of water collecting bees. During this heat there isn't much else for them to do as the nectar dries up as well.

    skol
    "Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes"
    Henry David Thoreau, Walden

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico
    Posts
    147

    Default Re: Beekeeping and pollinating in high temperature areas

    I'm near Hermosillo, Mexico which is about 4 hours south of Tucson.

    I've had my bees for about two weeks now. I never paid attention to the flowers out here very much but I've started since it's going to be important for me.

    My bees came from a split that was done in June or July. When I received the hive there was no comb in the super.

    Since we've had some decent rainfall this year and good humidity everything is still really green. It seems like everything flowers at different times here too so that should be really good for the bees.

    I was glad to read your post Joseph as you are very close to where I am and your climate and plant varieties are very similar if not exactly the same as mine.

    My bees are kept out at an acreage that I recently purchased and there are a lot of people out there with fruit trees, one of the closest lots to mine has about 30 orange trees but there are many more in the area as well. I am thinking that the orange trees will be the next really large source of nectar for the bees.

    I don't know where there are any large sources of beekeeping equipment here for beekeeping let alone a queen so I'll be building all my equipment.

    Since I am so new to beekeeping I am a little worried as I only have one hive. I would like to start another and want to do a split as soon as I possibly can. When do you usually do your splits?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,030

    Default Re: Beekeeping and pollinating in high temperature areas

    Howdy Cactii,
    I make splits, raise queens and create Nucs from late January or early February until sometime in late October or early November. I take a break from doing it when the nights get cold enough that we get a little frost. I've got a good batch of queen cells going right now and I'm going to use them to requeen most of my present hives and Nucs, then I'll feed them plenty of pollen substitute and thin sugar syrup to inspire them to keep building. I want my full-size hives to be strong enough in April to provide bees and brood for building more splits and Nucs as well as to harvest plenty of Mesquite honey. I only take a little of the honey from the bees for myself and to share with family and friends. The majority I use to build splits, Nucs, and raise queens; it helps reduce the need to feed sugar. It's curious how most of my full-size hives have a fairly sizeable reserves of honey, while most of the Nucs are very light. I'm thinking the hives are probably stealing from the Nucs.

    About every ten years we get enough rain in Winter to turn the desert green with normally unseen wildflowers. When this happens I stop feeding and start giving the bees extra room for growth. I also see an amazing diversity of pollens being harvested by the bees. I always look forward to Winter in the hopes that they will be like that.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Valley Center, CA
    Posts
    190

    Default Re: Beekeeping and pollinating in high temperature areas

    We take most of out bees out to the Imperial Valley every summer for the alfalfa pollination. It get's very, very hot. If a frame is left out in the sun the wax will quickly melt & run into the dirt.

    Tuttle is right, shade is a must. Most of our colonies are under cloth shades stretched over steel frames. If space doesn't permit this, we cover them with wood slat shades.

    Imperial Valley is lined with irrigation canals, so the bees always have a nearby source of water to cool the hive. During the peak of summer it is common for the bees to stop flying by 2:00 - 3:00 PM. That's when we stop, too.

    After a few cases of heat stroke years ago, many years before I started, we use mediums instead of deeps for supers. Handling deeps loaded with honey is just too heavy in the valley heat.

    KI6FCI

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,030

    Default Re: Beekeeping and pollinating in high temperature areas

    I guess I could have mentioned earlier about shading (I should have).

    My Nuc yard is entirely beneath a very large Mesquite tree and on the Northern side of the tree it abuts my home, on the West and South are stands of Bamboo, and on the East I have a vertical wall of shade cloth.

    My regular yard is on the North side of a large shed, and is enclosed in a wall of shade cloth on the East, West, and North, with another piece of shade cloth stretched across the top of the entire Apiary.

    I've had accidents where simply moving a Nuc into the main Apiary, without giving it additional shade has resulted in total meltdown. I no longer move bees from under the Mesquite during the HOT time of year.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Valley Center, CA
    Posts
    190

    Default Re: Beekeeping and pollinating in high temperature areas

    A few things i forgot to include:

    We adjust the amount of syrup in our pollen substitute mixture for expected temperatures. If we used the same mix locally that we use in the valley it would be as hard as a rock here. Our local mix would be so thin in the valley that we couldn't use it. Too runny, we would have to spoon it out.

    We have to keep an eye on each other. Most of the guys I work with have the Machismo attitude that comes from their culture. They resist admitting that that are suffering from heat stress. I've seen them struggling & have almost had to order them into an air conditioned truck to cool off. This, worse than stings, bothers me. As a Driver, I have a position of responsibility in the company. More is expected from me. Cultural differences can make that tough. So much to learn...
    KI6FCI

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Holtville, California
    Posts
    66

    Default Re: Beekeeping and pollinating in high temperature areas

    Hey Terry, I was just curious as to what company you work for? Is it Chapparelle? Where are most of the bee sheds located in the valley? I didn't think that any other beekeepers from the Valley where on here pretty cool to find out that you work down there.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Valley Center, CA
    Posts
    190

    Default Re: Beekeeping and pollinating in high temperature areas

    Hey Tuttle,

    I work for Farmer Bees (Dave Farmer). Most of our bees are around NAF El Centro. We had bees on the east side last year, but not right now.

    James, David, Greg & Adan from Chaparral Honey are all friends from church. David Winter referred me to Dave, which is how I became a beek.
    KI6FCI

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