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Discussion Starter #21
Look into what the folks in northern Saskatchewan are doing to winter bees. Fairbanks may be a bit colder, but, probably not a heck of a lot. A beehive wont notice the difference between -40 and -50.

I sat beside a gal from Saskatchewan at the recent BCHPA agm. She talked about getting out to shovel snow after first snowfall. they winter outdoors, and after first real snowfall, they bury the hives with snow. I guess is kinda like an igloo at that point.

She did a presentation on how they manage the bee farm in Saskatchewan, it was fascinating. The video isn't online yet, but it should be in another month or so.

Bottom line, dont listen to the folks that say it cant be done.
I agree, it can be done. My challenge is the length of winter we face. Recent changes have led to it being easier, but we are still faced with the last day they fly being late September and then waiting for late March or early April before they can fly and cleanse. I think that the days in places like Saskatchewan are for a shorter period of time. There is hope that wintering them in a warmer area will lessen the impact of the weather and limit the honey/food they require, but time will tell what works and what don't.
 

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I agree, your problem isn't so much the cold as the length of winter and the shortness of the days.
People are doing it.

Beekeepers Gennady Chugarov and Valery Mararitsa have been raising bees in the experimental apiary for 8 years. Now we decided to enter the industrial level.

“We experimented with different types of bees, Central Russian and Carpathian took root here,” says Valery Mararitsa. “They work great!” There is such an indicator of the quality of honey - a diastatic number. The higher it is, the better the product. If this number is 7, then it is considered to be of high quality. Our northern honey has a diastatic number of 19!

In 2016, the polar beekeepers intend to expand the industrial production of honey in Umba - an apiary, where there will be about 200 hives. And not just an apiary, but the world's only scientific and production base for the development of beekeeping in the North. A land plot of 5 thousand square meters has already been allocated for these purposes. The sales market is primarily the Murmansk region. According to beekeepers, the Kola Peninsula can provide itself with honey.
Auto-translated from here:
https://www.kompravda.eu/daily/26464.7/3333672/

Here is where they are:
BeesInMurmanskRegionRussia..jpg

And of course, never discount Iceland - the got bees too.
 

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I'm certainly not saying it can't be done. I'm just pointing out the issues.
Sure; understood; the right bee in the US could be of the Russian/Carni origination stock.

A bonus - super long polar days in summer (bees will be working long hours) and very good, ecologically clean forage in general (e.g. fire weed).
Poly-based equipment solves many historic problems too.
 
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