Anybody Keeping Bees in Lake Tahoe/Sierras?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Redwood City, CA
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    129

    Default Anybody Keeping Bees in Lake Tahoe/Sierras?

    Thinking about taking 20 or so colonies up to Tahoe around the beginning of June. I am down in the SF Bay Area, and my nectar flow will end right around there. My thought was maybe I could put on a summer crop in the higher elevations. I've got some land near Sierraville that borders on grasslands vs where the mountains meet. I would think it would be decent forage, but wondering about my timing. Looking for first hand experience for the Tahoe/Sierra region. Elevation sits right around 5000ft, and yes, I am already looking into bear fencing + strobe alarms too… I don't want any part of that. Thanks.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Placer County, CA
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    442

    Default Re: Anybody Keeping Bees in Lake Tahoe/Sierras?

    I'm not that high up, but I've seen hives outside of Portola at roughly that elevation.
    On my 5th year with bees, 2 hives.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    Redwood City, CA
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    129

    Default Re: Anybody Keeping Bees in Lake Tahoe/Sierras?

    Thanks michkel. When does your main flow start/end?

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Placer County, CA
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    442

    Default Re: Anybody Keeping Bees in Lake Tahoe/Sierras?

    This year, it started in January with the Manzanita blooming. I believe the flow goes until early September-ish, ending with star thistle and rosemary. I'm at 2,600 feet and still pretty new to tracking the flow.

    If you could get your hives close to Beckwourth, there are huge fields of alfalfa right off of Hwy 70. I do know the mules ears, and lilacs are in bloom right now up there. (We spend time in Plumas County, great hiking country)

    Mules ear:
    http://lifeslittleletdownsspontaneit...sand-feet.html
    Last edited by michkel; 05-11-2015 at 02:33 PM.
    On my 5th year with bees, 2 hives.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    683

    Default Re: Anybody Keeping Bees in Lake Tahoe/Sierras?

    I do not have any hives up there but last summer did some scouting for bees up near Truckee.

    The bee populations I observed overwhelmingly congregate near water features and are almost never seen in the dry parts of the forest. I suspect that the dry summers favor bees with steady access to water and the plant life that accompanies that.

    If I were to put hives up there I would pick a location near water and point the entrances that way.

    Just my opinion, based on very limited observation by an amateur beek in a small area and with no scientific evidence to back that up.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Solano, California, USA
    Posts
    2,095

    Default Re: Anybody Keeping Bees in Lake Tahoe/Sierras?

    The old timers used to do it all the time... Sans the drought.. Good luck.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Redwood City, CA
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    129

    Default Re: Anybody Keeping Bees in Lake Tahoe/Sierras?

    I've got a nice spot with creeks running though the property outside of Sierraville. Should be plenty of water. We shall see how it goes!

    Honey4All, would you say my timing is close if the drought wasn't so bad? June-August for a hopeful honey crop?

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    683

    Default Re: Anybody Keeping Bees in Lake Tahoe/Sierras?

    Quote Originally Posted by Beetastic View Post
    I've got a nice spot with creeks running though the property outside of Sierraville. Should be plenty of water. We shall see how it goes!

    Honey4All, would you say my timing is close if the drought wasn't so bad? June-August for a hopeful honey crop?
    Did you ever follow through with this? I bought a place near Truckee and am thinking of doing the same.
    The bees are good at fixing my mistakes

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Merced County, CA, USA
    Posts
    33

    Default Re: Anybody Keeping Bees in Lake Tahoe/Sierras?

    There's a LOT of bears up there and they learn fast how to get a free meal. I have no idea if they are smart enough to knock a hive over once, but they'll be experts afterwards.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Placer County, CA
    Posts
    442

    Default Re: Anybody Keeping Bees in Lake Tahoe/Sierras?

    Ditto on LOTS of bears.
    On my 5th year with bees, 2 hives.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    683

    Default Re: Anybody Keeping Bees in Lake Tahoe/Sierras?

    Quote Originally Posted by Snaggy View Post
    There's a LOT of bears up there and they learn fast how to get a free meal. I have no idea if they are smart enough to knock a hive over once, but they'll be experts afterwards.
    Didn't think about that. Could do electric fencing but i'm in a residential neighborhood so would not want to attract bears.
    The bees are good at fixing my mistakes

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Plumas county, California, USA
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Anybody Keeping Bees in Lake Tahoe/Sierras?

    I live in Plumas county at the North end of the Sierra's. Where I'm at(3,500 feet) the commercial bee keepers start moving there hives here right around now.
    The bears will destroy your hives,(raccoon's can be a problem too) so do plan on an electric fence.
    Good luck, there is a lot of alfalfa and wild flowers in Sierra valley.

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