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Author Topic: Looking for equipment in Southcentral Alaska  (Read 352 times)

Offline kayaks

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Looking for equipment in Southcentral Alaska
« on: May 27, 2015, 08:31:37 PM »
All,

A longshot, but if you have used beekeeping equipment for sale in Southcentral Alaska, I'd like to hear about it. With the extraordinary cost of shipping, it would be worth driving a few hours to purchase gear.

My profile lists our email address...

Thanks.

Online Eric Bosworth

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Re: Looking for equipment in Southcentral Alaska
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2015, 08:59:39 PM »
Just out of curiosity, how well do bees over winter in Alaska?

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Re: Looking for equipment in Southcentral Alaska
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2015, 01:46:20 PM »
Not well.

There is a lot of interest here in finding strains that do better through the winter. Valdez is very mild, but just driving away from the coast a hundred miles changes everything. It can be a 50 degree shift. Most beekeepers in the interior don't try to overwinter, they start over every year. I don't think it would be a problem in Southeast Alaska. Weather there is more like Vancouver or Seattle.

The body of my beehive is in our greenhouse, so I hope that helps with wintering. The Alaska Bee Initiative website link is below. They are trying to identify colonies that have survived and breed queens from that stock.

http://alaskabeeinitiative.com/
« Last Edit: May 29, 2015, 01:50:50 PM by kayaks »

Online Eric Bosworth

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Re: Looking for equipment in Southcentral Alaska
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2015, 10:09:45 PM »
How well does a greenhouse work in 24 hour darkness? I think I would try doing something to winter them indoors. On the mobile app I don't see location so I don't know how far south you are. Maybe the greenhouse will work. I would also recommend Russian bees. They seem to be the most winter hardy.

Online sawdstmakr

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Re: Looking for equipment in Southcentral Alaska
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2015, 10:44:24 PM »
Eric,
Keep in mind that the green house takes the wind factor out of the equation, except for the entrance. Also, just having a building over your head really makes a big difference in the temp. My work shop balances out the temperature between day and night.
Jim
"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain

Online Eric Bosworth

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Re: Looking for equipment in Southcentral Alaska
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2015, 09:15:27 AM »
Sawdstmakr yes, but does your workshop get only one or 2 hours of daylight?

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Re: Looking for equipment in Southcentral Alaska
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2015, 07:49:24 PM »
Putting the hive in the greenhouse is just to keep it out of the weather. It might help with animals, but a determined bear could get in there.

Valdez gets an average of 30 feet of snow every winter. We aren't real cold, but get lots of moisture. Rarely below 20 here. 350 miles north in Fairbanks, it can be -40 to our 20.

Grow mostly raspberries, so I'm interested in seeing if the bees improve our yields. I plan to take on a queen from the initiative.

Online Eric Bosworth

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Re: Looking for equipment in Southcentral Alaska
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2015, 08:47:00 PM »
I would be concerned about 30' of snow collapsing the greenhouse. The temps are a lot worse here... At least last winter anyway. We were around 0 a lot last winter.

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Re: Looking for equipment in Southcentral Alaska
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2015, 12:58:29 PM »
I would be concerned about 30' of snow collapsing the greenhouse. The temps are a lot worse here... At least last winter anyway. We were around 0 a lot last winter.

We are into our third winter with the greenhouse. I have a gravity fed pellet stove that I install in the greenhouse for the winter. I don't attempt to keep it warm all the time, but if it snows, I start it up and things warm up enough for the snow to slide off of it.

Online sawdstmakr

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Re: Looking for equipment in Southcentral Alaska
« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2015, 01:20:24 PM »
I would be concerned about 30' of snow collapsing the greenhouse. The temps are a lot worse here... At least last winter anyway. We were around 0 a lot last winter.


We are into our third winter with the greenhouse. I have a gravity fed pellet stove that I install in the greenhouse for the winter. I don't attempt to keep it warm all the time, but if it snows, I start it up and things warm up enough for the snow to slide off of it.
That is a pretty good idea to keep the snow off. If the entrance is not going out side, bee  sure to keep the temperature below 43 degrees or you will have bees trying to fly. I think you said they were outside. That would be good.
Jim
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Offline buzzbee

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Re: Looking for equipment in Southcentral Alaska
« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2015, 02:10:14 PM »
When I had the observation hive stocked, the tube outside was always open. I never had a problem with bees leaving the cozy house and flying out into the cold. They stayed fairly quiet most of the winter except for days they could make a break for the outdoors for evacuation runs.

Online sawdstmakr

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Re: Looking for equipment in Southcentral Alaska
« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2015, 09:59:32 PM »
When I had the observation hive stocked, the tube outside was always open. I never had a problem with bees leaving the cozy house and flying out into the cold. They stayed fairly quiet most of the winter except for days they could make a break for the outdoors for evacuation runs.

Buzzbee,
That is what I see in my observation hive.
Jim
"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain