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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello.

A friend of mine revived my interest on beekeeping just recently and this time I am seriously considering of starting. I would like to know if the area that I am thinking to put the hives is appropriate. I am an "extra" beginner so any help will be much appreciated. The place that I am looking has a temperature that ranges from 10 - 20 degrees all year round with mountainous terrain. What do you think?
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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The bees certainly don't care about the terrain. I assume the tempratures of 10-20 degrees is Celsius? That would be 50-68 degrees Farenheit. I've raised bees in the panhandle of Nebraska, Eastern Nebraska, Laramie Wyoming (7200 feet elavation which is about 2200 meters) and Brighton Colorado. The most severe temprature range would be from -20 degrees F to +110 degrees F (-29 degrees C to 43.5 degrees C) and they flourished. People raise bees most everywhere from Canada to the south tip of South American and they do fine.
 

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Your temperature range isn't too different to mine, except that the range is a lot smaller. If you're in a mountainous area then you possibly haven't got too much intensive farming around, and you may have extensive areas of unimproved land. So much the better. One important consideration is, how long is the winter? If you have long periods when the bees can't fly, that will impact on the characteristics of a good bee for you. If you look for a local supplier you shouldn't go far wrong.

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Regards,

Robert Brenchley

[email protected]
Birmingham UK
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for your reply. Since i live in the tropic, we do not have winter in our area. We only have two seasons, wet and dry. But because of the high elevation we get that kind of temperature. Yes, that's Celcius. Now, that I am sure about it, the next step for me is to look think of what to do next. Any suggestion?
 

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>Thanks for your reply. Since i live in the tropic, we do not have winter in our area. We only have two seasons, wet and dry. But because of the high elevation we get that kind of temperature. Yes, that's Celcius. Now, that I am sure about it, the next step for me is to look think of what to do next. Any suggestion?

That depends on what you have to invest. Money, time, etc.

If you have money to invest, I'd buy the hive. Don't know what's available there, but most starter kits have the basics. You'll need a veil at least, and I prefer a bee suit too. You'll need a smoker, a hive tool, some hives, with bottom boards and lids.

If you don't have much money to invest but have time, I'd look for scrap lumber and build a trough top bar hive. There are plans on various sites, but here are a couple:
http://nanaimo.ark.com/~cberube/images/ktbhplan.gif

http://www.gsu.edu/~biojdsx/main.htm


I think an observation hive is most useful for learning about bees. There are plans on this site for one or they can be purchased.

Any old pry bar will do for a hive tool, but one of my favorites is an old cleaver that I sharpened on the end. It works for scraping and fits in my pocket nicely.

I've used army surplus mosquitoe veils before and they work as long as the bees aren't in a real bad mood, in which case you can just leave them alone.

You can get by without a smoker. Some people use an old spray bottle (window cleaner bottle etc.) and spray water on the bees. Others use suger water in the bottle. Some use a cigar and let the smoke drift into the entrance when they want to smoke the hive. I've also seen a bundle of grass lit on the end and blowing on it to move the smoke. But a smoker is really nice.

Then when you have a hive and tools, you need bees. I don't know where you get them there. Here you can order them mail order or get them out of a tree etc. If you want to steal some, you need to find somwhere with bees in a tree or old building. Removing them is tough without a bee suit. Thousands of angry bees will get into your clothes, and even with a bee suit they will eventually get in. If you can find a swarm and knock it out of the tree or sweep it off of whatever it's on, into the hive, this usually works to hive them. Sometimes you have to do it several times and make sure you sweep off the straglers so you get the queen in the hive.

Once you have bees in the hive you can let them fend for themselves or you can feed them sugar water to get them started. It will help them draw comb if you have the syrup. You can look at various feeders and come up with one that will work for you. There are all kinds of plans on this site.

Good luck.
 
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