Trying in Fairbanks
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Fairbanks, AK
    Posts
    8

    Default Trying in Fairbanks

    Trying to get started beekeeping in Alaska, last year was my first year and I loved it, so this year I went with more hives. We normally can not overwinter bees here and have to euthanize the hive at the end of the season, then purchase packages every spring and ship them to Alaska. With temperature & climate changes we may have a better chance of over wintering. We have seen a few of our fellow Alaskans succeeding but that is the exception, although the numbers are increasing.

    My plan is to spend at awhile building up my experience, bee yard locations, and hives. Later I will try and over winter my hives. For Alaska our bees last flight is early October and they can fly again late March (maybe early April). So I hope to store my hives in a heated building with lights out. I think I can follow some of Ian Stepplers methods and keep a few hives, and increase my hive count over time. Then breed the queens that are successful with a few other beeks that are trying similar paths to have an Alaskan queen that over winters

    I won’t be posting here often, my holy grail is to overwinter bees in Alaska and it may take me years to reach that effort so bear with me

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
    Posts
    2,419

    Default Re: Trying in Fairbanks

    Here is a fresh video how a guy wintered his bees 190 days non-stop - not a problem.
    The goal was - 200 days, but the wintering building could not long stay cool enough (+20C outside).
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6HYCaIA0NSQ

    His experiment bees were locally adapted Carni hybrids (what he said).

    So, you need a conditioned and insulated building (not just a heated building).
    Run them at steady 45F (5C) that should do.

    No need to euthanize the bees.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    53,582

    Default Re: Trying in Fairbanks

    I'd talk to those people who are overwintering there and try their method first. The sooner you start trying to overwinter, the sooner you'll figure it out.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Fairbanks, AK
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Trying in Fairbanks

    Up until recently we were having our last flight in late August and not another flight until April. The season has gotten warmer and the bees better so and now our flights are from October and the last days of March. Over a month less.

    It’s getting better.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Fairbanks, AK
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Trying in Fairbanks

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    I'd talk to those people who are overwintering there and try their method first. The sooner you start trying to overwinter, the sooner you'll figure it out.

    Yes sir, and it is a small number who are trying, and a lesser number who succeed. But I will try this year and see how it goes

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    53,582

    Default Re: Trying in Fairbanks

    Talk to the people who are succeeding.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Fairbanks, AK
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Trying in Fairbanks

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    Talk to the people who are succeeding.
    Will do

  9. #8
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Mountain Village,Alaska
    Posts
    142

    Default Re: Trying in Fairbanks

    I have been successfully wintering hives in Western Alaska, I had both my hives survive this past winter. They can survive Alaska just fine. be sure to treat for mites, Use a quilt box of dry grass with a 3" shim, add sugar bricks, A inner cover with a screened feed jar hole, and upper entrance and wrap. Add sugar bricks once a month In the winter.

    Can PM me if you have any questions.
    Good luck

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Fairbanks, AK
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Trying in Fairbanks

    with our summer going full tilt i have not had much of a chance to check in. My hives, 12 in all, are doing good except for 1. that hive lost its queen, i just don't know what happened. So i added a frame of brood a week and now have several open queen cells on a frame, and I am waiting. we shall see

    How is the fire season treating you Jeff

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
    Posts
    2,419

    Default Re: Trying in Fairbanks

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoff907 View Post
    with our summer going full tilt .....
    Curious here.
    What are your main nectar sources?
    Probably some fire-weed is there.
    Anything else?
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Fairbanks, AK
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Trying in Fairbanks

    fireweed, vetch (which is invasive), some clover, and wildflowers that i am ashamed to say i would need to look up

  13. #12
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Mountain Village,Alaska
    Posts
    142

    Default Re: Trying in Fairbanks

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoff907 View Post
    with our summer going full tilt i have not had much of a chance to check in. My hives, 12 in all, are doing good except for 1. that hive lost its queen, i just don't know what happened. So i added a frame of brood a week and now have several open queen cells on a frame, and I am waiting. we shall see

    How is the fire season treating you Jeff
    My season is going great. I made three splits this summer, I have not been able to get packages shipped in here anymore, and was down to just one hive two years ago. Have five now.

    We had a nice summer for a change, and my bees got to fly most of the flow. Still have a couple weeks left of fireweed. Then treat, and feed for winter.






  14. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
    Posts
    2,419

    Default Re: Trying in Fairbanks

    Quote Originally Posted by yukonjeff View Post
    My season is going great. I made three splits this summer, I have not been able to get packages shipped in here anymore, .........
    This is the blessing in disguise.
    It is great that you are forced to start some local bee selection.
    I wish I had this (so the people around me stop buying bees shipped from elsewhere).
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

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