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Discussion Starter #1
Hey All
I've been wondering if it's at all worthwhile to either the B's or myself to setup several hives here in Surrey, B.C. I have researched the art of beekeeping extensively and whenever someone does so it always ends up being a case of "A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing."
Hence this post! :)
Among the facts I've read included the little gem that B's don't enjoy rain.
Heh heh, since we get rain for 8 mo. out of the year (not every day but steadily enough), how do honeybees survive here when both the pollen and nectar are both constantly being washed away?
This isn't an idle question, I very seldom find honeybees in the garden and even the bumblebee and orchard bees are rare at best, although more common than the former. I saw many swarms in southern Ontario, but I don't recall ever seeing one here in the 30 yrs I've called the Lower Mainland home.
Last winter was great....for us. How did our local B's overwinter?

Rgds: Jeff
 

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There are several B.C. beekeeps on this forum. We have a lot of rain in FL too, but the bees don't seem to mind. They'll be OK! :D
 

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I know were your city is in B.C. nice place.
I as a beekeeper in the olympic rain forest do quite well. Just find a local beekeepers assco. in your area and they will help you out. best of luck and remember what works in Florida may not work were your at. Beekeeping is regional.
 

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Thanks Gents, I hope I can hear from some local beeks here. There isn't much in the way of groups, one blog from a couple keeping hb's up in the city and a second group dedicated to commercial beekeeping.
Otherwise, as Curly would say, "The place is desoited!!".

Rgds: Jeff
 

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Well here are some beeks here on this group that are up your way. Concrete-bees he is Just south of you in Washington. My self farther south. but willing to help.
 

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Hey All
I've been wondering if it's at all worthwhile to either the B's or myself to setup several hives here in Surrey, B.C.
Among the facts I've read included the little gem that B's don't enjoy rain.
Heh heh, since we get rain for 8 mo. out of the year how do honeybees survive here when both the pollen and nectar are both constantly being washed away?
I very seldom find honeybees in the garden and even the bumblebee and orchard bees are rare at best, How did our local B's overwinter?

Rgds: Jeff
I have kept HoneyBees in the rainy Pacific northwest for more years than I care to remember. Bottom line, although it may be a little extra effort on your part, keeping bees in this climate it very doable & worthwhile. The good thing about our weather is its very constant. The winters are mild and the temps don't have the wild extremes. Out here on the Olympic peninsula we have had the worst spring in terms of rainfall and cool days. My package bees that I started at the end of April are thriving. The biggest thing is keeping moisture buildup inside the hive in check and feeding them when they need it to get them through the days when they can't fly. I would recommend that you research the strains of bees to see which ones are better suited for your climate. Per advice from the local package bee provider I used Carniolans vs Italian bees this time as they seem to forage better on cool & rainy days. I believe Russian bees are a good choice for cool damp climates also. If your new to BeeKeeping I would suggest a Langstroth hive design, the most common and easy to use.

I don't think pollen and nectar is washed away, rather the bees just can't collect it on cool rainy days. My bees bring back plenty of both after its been raining for days straight.

Bees of all species are disappearing for many reasons. The Pacific NW is mason & bumble bee country but I agree there seems to be fewer of both. Many hobby Beeks that kept a few hives may have lost them to disease and never replace them so fewer honeybees in non agricultural areas. There are something like 40% less honeybees in North American from just 4/5 years ago. The good news. Many new beekeepers are taking up the hobby and this is partially credited with helping restore the populations, one hive at a time. With resourceful shopping, a $100 bucks will get you started in terms of equipment and gear. Then all's you'll need is a swarm of bees or to purchase a package of bees or a NUC hive and you'll be good to go.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the info and help Fellas. I'm fairly certain I have the basic nuts and bolts down as far as equipment and hive management is concerned. I was planning for a start next spring which will allow me to purchase and build necessary equipment. It would be nice to know local beekeeping methods, but there's always the "sink or swim" approach. :) Always at my best under a bit of pressure...that's me!
Some colony management necessities that I can think of offhand might be that the hives will be more active during the winter here with many more flight days available (for this far north anyway) therefore they'll probably need more food than a more dormant hive in a colder climate.
I did find out that we can only import B's from New Zealand and Australia. If that policy was to keep mites out then it's like closing the barn door after the horse has bolted.
I suppose it's possible that they're trying to limit the damage and that I can applaud.
Heh, our Government is sure to pass a law requiring all swarms to obtain visa's before entering the country! :)

Rgds: Jeff
 

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Some colony management necessities that I can think of offhand might be that the hives will be more active during the winter here with many more flight days available (for this far north anyway) therefore they'll probably need more food than a more dormant hive in a colder climate.
Rgds: Jeff
Actually, the general rule of thumb with many WA area beeks is that you need a minimum of about 75lbs of stores to get them through till end of February...any given winter will change that a bit, days below 30, etc. Although some people insulate their hives around here, and some don't... I've done both with comparable results.

It's also common to put some kind of supplemental emergency supply (sugar blocks or mountain camp method) when you tuck them in or on a hive check in January...some folks don't harvest until spring and leave an extra box on for them...it's all good, it's all local...

They may make a few cleansing flights more often when temps are near 50, but they don't really do any foraging with nothing to go after...:)

Good luck, have fun!
 

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Hey All
I've been wondering if it's at all worthwhile to either the B's or myself to setup several hives here in Surrey, B.C. I have researched the art of beekeeping extensively and whenever someone does so it always ends up being a case of "A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing."
Hence this post! :)
Among the facts I've read included the little gem that B's don't enjoy rain.
Heh heh, since we get rain for 8 mo. out of the year (not every day but steadily enough), how do honeybees survive here when both the pollen and nectar are both constantly being washed away?
This isn't an idle question, I very seldom find honeybees in the garden and even the bumblebee and orchard bees are rare at best, although more common than the former. I saw many swarms in southern Ontario, but I don't recall ever seeing one here in the 30 yrs I've called the Lower Mainland home.
Last winter was great....for us. How did our local B's overwinter?

Rgds: Jeff
I am but a stones throw away in Vancouver. New to bee keeping.

Bees over wintered without too much help from me. The season is short. Honey production not as high in some other regions. Still both fun and challenging.
 

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I'm in Ladner (South Delta) and started a couple hives this year as well (after extensive research!). You're probably in the exact same place I was a year ago ... leaning heavily towards it but still not 100% sure. I bought 2 New Zealand packages from UrbanBeeSupplies and they're both doing fantastic (well, one is going gangbusters and the other is just steadily progressing). I think we've had better spring than normal, so I probably got lucky ... but so far so good - and I would highly recommend it.

One other thing - I don't know how it could be different in Surrey / Vancouver or here in Ladner ... but I see a ton of bumblebees. They were all over my raspberries, they're ALL OVER the blackberries ... I see more bumblebees than honey bees frankly.
 

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Hi Jeff,
There are lots of people keeping bees in the lower mainland and on Vancouver Island. I see lots here on the forum. As well lots of us in the interior. I started this year with two packages from New Zealand and three nucs with long term local genetics from a local producer. The joy of the local producer was all the free advice that came with them. Take a course or join a club ,the BCHPA annual meeting is in Delta this year, it had tons of great information and seminars last year in Kelowna.
 
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