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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
    406

    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
    104

    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
    3,015

    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
    2,002

    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
    406

    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
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    671

    Default Re: Survival of bees in Kuwait

    Just wondering if the foragers can stand 50F and not parish? Assume they have ample water. If they can't survive, suspect it tough going.

    What temp is ground at say 8 ft deep? Temp in Alberta at 8 ft deep is about 39.5F year round. Could you house hives in an insulated building with bee entrances only to outside and use circulated water and rads with fans to cool interior of building. Water would be circulated through a long underground piping that cools the water.

    Works in Alberta for summer cooling and with a heat pump one can extract heat from the water for winter home heating. Just a thought as I know little about Kuwait.
    Last edited by mgolden; 01-08-2013 at 02:37 PM. Reason: spelling
    If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Rutherfordton nc
    Posts
    79

    Default Re: Survival of bees in Kuwait

    Cooler under ground

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Jackson, MO
    Posts
    586

    Default Re: Survival of bees in Kuwait

    Probably die from beating their little wings to nubs fanning the hive in that heat!

  12. #12
    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.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Belpre,Ohio, USA
    Posts
    1,299

    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

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Grey County, ON, Canada
    Posts
    104

    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

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,206

    Default Re: Survival of bees in Kuwait

    Atin, are there any caves in the area? In the American Bee Journal I remember seeing colonies of bees in some desert areas build in caves and on the underside of cliffs.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,992

    Default Re: Survival of bees in Kuwait

    Funny thing is bees are able to manage periods of cold weather seasons better than managing HOT weather seasons.
    The only thing that will help your bees tolerate the heat is shade and providing water. All their energy and resources will be spent trying to cool the hive down, and if all the energy is spent cooling the hives, little resources will be coming in and the brood nest will shrink if not stop.

    Your hive then is on a timeclock, with the brood nest small if not stopped and your bees still in full flight your average bee lifespan still remains at a 3 to 6 week span the hive population will crash


    I put my hives indoors to help manage the cold. To do the same with the bees to manage the heat would be very costly. You would need an air condition system to keep air temp down to 5 degrees C otherswise they would leave the hives in the shed.

    The secret with wintering hives is that the bees entering the winter are winter bees who has life spans of many months. They are able to sit in a hive for many months without flight allowing them to endure cold flightless weather. Once brood rearing resumes in the spring the bees timeclock starts up once again and normal colony function resumes.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland, Bladen County, NC, USA
    Posts
    3,015

    Default Re: Survival of bees in Kuwait

    In this country it is not unusual for beekeepers to load their bees up on a truck and transport them to warmer environments for the winter months. I wonder if the opposite is possible in Kuwait. How far would one have to move bees to get to a cooler environment for the summer months. 450 hives would make for a nice heavy truck load.
    “Don’t tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you have travelled.” - The Quran

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
    Posts
    2,002

    Default Re: Survival of bees in Kuwait

    Maybe the op can share some information about the honey market there.

    I think honey is very expensive there and gas/fuel/energy very cheap.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,992

    Default Re: Survival of bees in Kuwait

    Quote Originally Posted by hpm08161947 View Post
    In this country it is not unusual for beekeepers to load their bees up on a truck and transport them to warmer environments for the winter months. I wonder if the opposite is possible in Kuwait. How far would one have to move bees to get to a cooler environment for the summer months. 450 hives would make for a nice heavy truck load.
    thats sounds like the best idea yet. Got to think backwards with this situation
    I dont know of his country very well but thinking the security of his hives may be at risk if he takes them too far from his home
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,198

    Default Re: Survival of bees in Kuwait

    That was an interesting idea to migrate the bees to a higher elevation to avoid the hottest extremes. But, from the CIA World Factbook (no joke )

    Kuwait lowest point: Persian Gulf 0 m
    highest point: unnamed elevation 306 m
    https://www.cia.gov/library/publicat...elds/2020.html
    Thats only a little over 1000 ft elevation.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

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