Keeping Bees in Northwest Minnesota
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Minnesota, USA
    Posts
    15

    Default Keeping Bees in Northwest Minnesota

    Are you keeping bees in Northern Minnesota?

    The few I know of either migrate south for the winter or kill off their bees at the fall honey harvest, and start new again each spring.

    I am working to successfully overwinter here as well as raise my own queens and looking for advise from others keeping bees in Northwest Minnesota or South Southeast Winnipeg, as I am only a couple hours from the border.

    Would like to find a overwintering bee keeper in my area to get queens from.

    We get no lake effect where I live. Way to far from any large lakes.

    Weather here in winter is very harsh most years. -30, -40 and at times we have been down to -50.

    I get a lot of wind at times in my area as well.

    Cold winter winds bite hard here.

    Do any true Minnesota bee keepers exist this far North?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Cloquet, MN
    Posts
    73

    Default Re: Keeping Bees in Northwest Minnesota

    Bill Reynolds is in Viking, MN has a FB page called Minnesota Beekeeping. Great page he is near Thief River Falls I think

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Cloquet, MN
    Posts
    73

    Default Re: Keeping Bees in Northwest Minnesota

    I'm in NE MN. Our club is NE MNbeekeepers. We have FB page and web site. I over winters 6 hives this year .

  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Minnesota, USA
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Keeping Bees in Northwest Minnesota

    I do not have Facebook. Does Bill have another site or means of contact?

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    international falls, Mn
    Posts
    699

    Default Re: Keeping Bees in Northwest Minnesota

    Welcome to BS Grounded.
    I'm in north-central MN. And am trying to overwinter bees here. I've been having mixed success in that regard, but I haven't bought bees in 4 years untill this spring. My carni/russian/mutts were laggards until recently and have since really poured it on, after I ordered packges and queens, I guess that's what makes them carni/russians...lol...
    I bet your in Grand Forks??? Lots of Canadian beeks north of you. And lots of secritive commercials in your area.

    ==McBee7==

    ps- I am taking my first shot at grafting queens-I hope it works
    Last edited by McBee7; 05-17-2017 at 06:51 PM. Reason: ps

  7. #6
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Minnesota, USA
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Keeping Bees in Northwest Minnesota

    McBee7:

    I am about an hour and a half east of Grand Forks, a hope skip and a jump from the Southwest corner of the Red Lake reservation.

    I suppose you could say I am in the Northwest corner of North central part of MN.

    I have yet to over winter bees up here, but have some new information to put to the test for success.

    Last summer I had both my hives abscond. They cleaned house and left. The one was clean as a whistle the other left a little nectar behind.

    Only a few dead bees that I would say died naturally.

    Never had any signs of robbing in either hive.

    No idea why they left.

    This year I starting out with 4 hives and planning to build up some nucs from a couple later in the season for over wintering.

    I am trying 7 over 7 with a couple of them this year also.

    So far they seem to be doing great.

    I set them up on Saturday and will leave them be till Sunday, to see what I have for newly capped brood in the empty drawn comb I placed next to the queen.

    Lots of pollen coming in all 4 hives, So I would say this is a good sign of plenty of open brood and a good laying queen.

    Sunday will tell the tale I suppose.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Minnesota, USA
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Keeping Bees in Northwest Minnesota

    McBee7:

    What have you been doing to over winter?

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    4,219

    Default Re: Keeping Bees in Northwest Minnesota

    I would look up what Ian has posted about indoor wintering. He has a very logical way of problem solving.

    Crazy Roland

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Alexandria, MN
    Posts
    723

    Default Re: Keeping Bees in Northwest Minnesota

    Quote Originally Posted by Roland View Post
    I would look up what Ian has posted about indoor wintering. He has a very logical way of problem solving.

    Crazy Roland
    I couldn't stress this enough. I turned a little garden shed into a winter bee house. It's a complicated ordeal, but can be done with simple tools/supplies. Could be as simple as an insulated box with a heater inside plugged into a thermocube. I have a topic somewhere about my bee house.
    Not Michael Bush. My name is Dan. Sorry for the confusion.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Minnesota, USA
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Keeping Bees in Northwest Minnesota

    Indoor wintering is not an option for me.

    I have considered the placement of a shed for overwinter already.

    Where I live a building permit is required, and any structure placed or build on my property requires a foundation according to the city ordinances where I live.

    I don't have the income for the added expense of putting a foundation under a garden shed.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Alexandria, MN
    Posts
    723

    Default Re: Keeping Bees in Northwest Minnesota

    Build an insulated box and put it in the garage. I don't recall the website but there's a Canadian guy who does this with his Nucs but keeps the box outside. I believe Michael bush has done something similar.
    Not Michael Bush. My name is Dan. Sorry for the confusion.

  13. #12
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Beausejour, MB
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Keeping Bees in Northwest Minnesota

    What I did was slide 2 single brood boxes together, and build a 2" rigid styrofoam box to slide over them. Had the bottom reduced to about 2" wide and a top entrance the same size.

    You have to feed them in fall so they back fill the brood box. I fed mine about 4 gallons.

    One of my hives was small, about 4 frames of bees, and they survived well.

    I live about 40 minutes north east of Winnipeg.

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    St. Michael, MN
    Posts
    692

    Default Re: Keeping Bees in Northwest Minnesota

    Quote Originally Posted by Grounded View Post
    Indoor wintering is not an option for me.

    I have considered the placement of a shed for overwinter already.

    Where I live a building permit is required, and any structure placed or build on my property requires a foundation according to the city ordinances where I live.

    I don't have the income for the added expense of putting a foundation under a garden shed.
    Check your ordinances again. Generally in MN, a shed of no more than 120 sq ft (10'x12') does not require a permit or a foundation. Setbacks from property line may apply, however.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Alexandria, MN
    Posts
    723

    Default Re: Keeping Bees in Northwest Minnesota

    Also keep in mind that if you do winter indoors in some fashion that it needs to be completely dark, insulated in order for heating to be effective, and ventilated. Bees still need to breathe.
    Not Michael Bush. My name is Dan. Sorry for the confusion.

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