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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Kuwait
    Posts
    3

    Default Survival of bees in Kuwait

    Dear Friends,
    I am a Beekeeper in Kuwait with around 450 hives, engaged in beekeeping for over 15 years.
    In Kuwait the maximum temperatures in summer months touch 50 degrees celsius and the temperature remains in the average range of 30 degrees to 48 degrees celsius for over 4 months.
    Most of my bees die during the tough summer months and I have to import fresh bee batches.
    Though there are limited forage areas for the bees, I have been unable to find a solution to protect bees during the high summer temperatures.
    I would request you to share from your experience some solution to protect bees during the high summer temperatures.

    Heartful thanks,
    Atin Rastogi
    Kuwait City
    Last edited by atinrastogi; 01-08-2013 at 06:17 AM. Reason: min temperature to maximum temperature

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Santa Rosa County, Florida
    Posts
    399

    Default Re: Survival of bees in Kuwait

    I would start with screened bottom boards and heavily insulated tops and west sides.You have probably already done that.Our maximum temps are 110 F and we don't get that often.I can not imagine keeping bees in temps over 120 degrees.Good luck to you and your bees.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Grey County, ON, Canada
    Posts
    101

    Default Re: Survival of bees in Kuwait

    I think you're going to have problems regardless of insulation/ventilation just because of the fact that the air temperature is so much higher than the bees would like to keep their cluster... I've done some reading and brood dies if it reaches 41.1 degrees celcius for an extended period. Their natural instinct is going to be to ventilate the entrances of the hive to cool it but this will only blow in more 50 degree celcius air. It sounds a little impractical but is there any way you could bury them in the ground with entrances still open so that they could breathe? Maybe some sort of an insulated roof over a 6 foot hole dug into the ground that could be removed in the cooler weather? That way you could still work the bees and they could still leave the hive with cooler air surrounding them. Also are these African or European honey bees?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Richmond, VA UNITED STATES
    Posts
    163

    Default Re: Survival of bees in Kuwait

    Artificial AC would be expensive and difficult. You may be able to put a false roof on above the primary roof, or shade them. The top of hive can get very hot. Many roofs are now coated with alumium, which in some cases can absorb heat as much as if they were painted black. I would suggest shade cloth above the hive - I did that in the summer with my hives and it helped.

    If you have a dry climate, but have access to water, I would also suggest misters. You can get misting hose, or mist emitters from greenhouse supply companies that mist water. The evaporative effect should cool the hive. Maybe fix one above the top fo the hive so the cooling affect would flow down.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland, Bladen County, NC, USA
    Posts
    2,982

    Default Re: Survival of bees in Kuwait

    FIrst of all, I would like to know why they die. Do they die from lack of water. Or does the brood simply cook. Are they in full shade? Has insulation been tried? Bees usually do a pretty good job of maintaining their environment, but I suppose 50F is getting a bit extreme, but I also bet there is a "work-around".
    “Don’t tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you have travelled.” - The Quran

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
    Posts
    1,960

    Default Re: Survival of bees in Kuwait

    Swamp coolers (evaporation units) work well in dessert like conditions. I think they can cool as much as 30 degrees this might get you through the hottest part of the day.

    It may sound crazy but could you set up a cooler unit to cellar the bees like some Canadian beekeepers do? You could then condense your 450 down to 200+ Nucs store during the summer and have a good start to build from. It might be cheaper than buying packages?
    I have no experience with this but it was just a thought.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Survival of bees in Kuwait

    To be sure....make sure they have access to plenty of water. When temps get high foraging shifts to water. Bees collect water, return to the hive and deposit droplets throughout the nest. Evaporating water will lower the temperature. Although our summer temps don't get as high as yours, it still gets well over 100F and the bees are able to keep the nest cool enough to survive....as long as they have plenty of water.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Santa Rosa County, Florida
    Posts
    399

    Default Re: Survival of bees in Kuwait

    RobWok has a good idea.We use shade cloth on our greenhouse and it drops the afternoon temperature by about 10F.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Kuwait
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Survival of bees in Kuwait

    Quote Originally Posted by hpm08161947 View Post
    FIrst of all, I would like to know why they die. Do they die from lack of water. Or does the brood simply cook. Are they in full shade? Has insulation been tried? Bees usually do a pretty good job of maintaining their environment, but I suppose 50F is getting a bit extreme, but I also bet there is a "work-around".
    Have experimented with housing bees in a shaded area, normally white tents,
    made available ample water, sugar syrup, bee pollen during the summer months when forage area considerably shrinks.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Belpre,Ohio, USA
    Posts
    1,282

    Default Re: Survival of bees in Kuwait

    I like the underground idea, I have seen it used in Alaska to protect bees from extreme cold, should work for extreme heat as well and is cost effective.
    Bill...in Southeast Ohio

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Grey County, ON, Canada
    Posts
    101

    Default Re: Survival of bees in Kuwait

    Yeah I think underground is the only way to get the air temp down... Gonna have to get it down to at least 40 for them to pull through

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Coffs Harbour, Australia
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Survival of bees in Kuwait

    We are beekeepers from Australia and this summer has been one our hottest for a long time.The temperature were our bees are in January was 50C in the shade.Bee Hives that we left a box of honey on was good but Bee Hives with a empty honey box on suffered the most.
    And in those temperatures you need to have water with in 100 metres or so.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,925

    Default Re: Survival of bees in Kuwait

    The bees are going to "swamp cool" the inside of the hive. I think all you can really do is try to cool the outside. First, of course, keep it in the shade and provide the bees water. But then you could set up some way to keep the outside of the hive moist. Maybe something on top that holds some water to evaporate it there. Maybe something porous on the sides that you can keep moist. If you had some kind of tub on top that had a slow leak on all four sides that would leak down on some cloth on the sides, you could keep evaporative cooling on the top and four sides... then you would just have to fill the tub every morning.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,929

    Default Re: Survival of bees in Kuwait

    If he's got 450 hives spread around, I don't think he can fill the tub every morning LOL

    It's a bit long term, but if it is possible to create groves of green trees, that may be some help.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    whatcom co, WA
    Posts
    110

    Default Re: Survival of bees in Kuwait

    Yes but it could be set up (if necessary).

    I think the combination of full shade/cover (Could just be posts, frame, and a tarp), water source for bees very close by... And...
    Michael Bush's "Bee swamp cooler".....

    An elevated water tank or pressure water supply (pump) hooked to "Soaker hose" (irrigation pipe / a type of garden hose perforated to slowly water plants) and wet burlap / cloth laid on the hives. Think about it as if setting up an irrigation system for plants, with 450 plant sites (top of each hive) to water. Not really that complex and cheap/readily available parts.

    Or manually dunk the cloth /burlap in water and put on hives every day. Would not take too long if all hives are in the same yard?

    If it works to hose down a semi load of bees to keep them from overheating while truck is stopped, I don't see why it wouldn't work for this.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,925

    Default Re: Survival of bees in Kuwait

    >If he's got 450 hives spread around, I don't think he can fill the tub every morning LOL

    Probably not... but that depends on cheap unskilled labor like sons and daughters... and how big the tub is and how fast it leaks is what determines how long it lasts...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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