Apiary Elevation
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
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    Tucson, Arizona
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    47

    Default Apiary Elevation

    I'm trying to decide on a location for 1-possibly 2 locations for an apiary in southern Arizona. I would like to know the different temperaments of different subspecies of Apis Mellifera at different elevations. My local topography is between 2000'-9,000' altitude. Between those altitudes I see vast differences in the types and amounts of vegetation, between elevations. I also see big differences of 20-30 F* between those same elevations.

    Have you any advice or knowledge you can share with me before I apply for land permits?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    West Jordan, UT, USA
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    1,118

    Default Re: Apiary Elevation

    bees are amazingly adaptable. I have seen honey bees around Lake Yellowstone, ~7750 ft.. Generally speaking, Italians are considered warm weather bees and carniolans cold weather bees. But in the final analysis, they are mutts.

    If it were me, I would be looking for locally produced survivor stock, not necessarily a particular sub-specie of bee.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    853

    Default Re: Apiary Elevation

    My home yard is at 7K Ft. and a summer out yard at 10K Ft.and the bees are also Italian mutts. The availability of forage makes a difference but the elevation makes little difference as far as i can tell.

    Steve

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
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    Tucson, Arizona
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    47

    Default Re: Apiary Elevation

    Quote Originally Posted by Hops Brewster View Post
    bees are amazingly adaptable. I have seen honey bees around Lake Yellowstone, ~7750 ft.. Generally speaking, Italians are considered warm weather bees and carniolans cold weather bees. But in the final analysis, they are mutts.

    If it were me, I would be looking for locally produced survivor stock, not necessarily a particular sub-specie of bee.
    I don't doubt most locally produced survivor stock can adapt to the different elevations. My question is more about what those adaptations are.

    Are they calmer in the summer if they're on the cooler mountain? Do they survive winters better in the warmer valley? My intuition tells me this would be true. I just want to know if anyone has done anything similar.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
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    Tucson, Arizona
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    47

    Default Re: Apiary Elevation

    Quote Originally Posted by Bear Creek Steve View Post
    My home yard is at 7K Ft. and a summer out yard at 10K Ft.and the bees are also Italian mutts. The availability of forage makes a difference but the elevation makes little difference as far as i can tell.

    Steve
    By "summer out yard" I assume you move more hives there in summer, due to the greater availability of forage?

    That would probably work for my area too. The mountains have a lot more vegetation during the summer.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UT
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    1,104

    Default Re: Apiary Elevation

    My Grandfather was a commercial beekeeper in south eastern Arizona. He would truck them around Arizona for pollination in the spring at elevations from 1000 feet to 8,000 feet. When not pollinating he kept half his hives at 5600 feet and the other half at family property in the White mountains near Alpine, somewhere around 8,000 feet.

    He kept Italians/mutts.
    Zone 5B

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona
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    47

    Default Re: Apiary Elevation

    Quote Originally Posted by JConnolly View Post
    My Grandfather was a commercial beekeeper in south eastern Arizona. He would truck them around Arizona for pollination in the spring at elevations from 1000 feet to 8,000 feet. When not pollinating he kept half his hives at 5600 feet and the other half at family property in the White mountains near Alpine, somewhere around 8,000 feet.

    He kept Italians/mutts.
    Do you know if he simply moved them back to Alpine out of the convenience and cost of being on family property or for other reasons as well?

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