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Author Topic: What we know about Alaska beekeeping?  (Read 3063 times)
Finski
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« on: February 02, 2013, 03:29:06 PM »


Snow queens: Breeding bees to survive Alaska winter

http://www.anchoragepress.com/news/snow-queens-breeding-bees-to-survive-alaska-winter/article_0c96914a-ddd9-11e1-b84e-001a4bcf887a.html

Next comes the question of food. What should the bees eat, when should you feed them, and how much. Elliot gives his hives each 100 pounds of pure sugar mixed with water into a thick syrup. He fills a special feeder box with the food, and they suck it up into their guts to take home and make into fake honey in the fall. Victors said they winter better on the pure sugar-honey because they don’t have to use energy to process the pollen. Malone said his bees do better when they have plenty of pollen with their honey in the winter.

Part of the reason is economic. Buying a package of bees is about $140. Buying 100 pounds of sugar at Costco is $60. Even with the cost of insulation, which can be used for many years, Victors said it’s cheaper to overwinter them.

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Finski
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« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2013, 03:36:47 PM »

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Finland is at same level as Alaska. Our hives consume winter sugar on average 20-25 kg/hive.

Insulation cost means nothing. The spring build up is so good that better honey yield brings insulation cost back in one year.

Polyhive box price is here 20 US $

Wintering hive needs 2 polyboxes and the rest can me simple wooden boxes.

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Finski
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« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2013, 03:40:19 PM »



..A national survey of managed honey bee 2010-11
winter colony losses in the USA:


Alaska, no data

A national survey of managed honey bee 2010-11 winter colony ...
www.ibra.org.uk/downloads/20120130.../downloa... - Käännä tämä sivu
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Finski
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« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2013, 03:47:15 PM »

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University of Fairbanks 2012

BEEKEEPING IN ALASKA
Alaska’s beekeeping season begins each spring with newly hived bees. The honey flow usually ends the middle of August, but many people wait until the first of September to kill their bees. Though several individuals have kept bees through the winter in recent years, and a few even had some live bees in the spring, as yet no truly economical or satisfactory over-wintering method has been successful. Additional trials are being conducted. Package bees, therefore, are ordered in mid-winter for late April/early May delivery.



     Beekeeping in Alaska - University of Alaska Fairbanks

www.uaf.edu/files/ces/...db/.../ABM-00230.pdf
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derekm
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« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2013, 06:01:12 PM »

when you know that its possible to insulate bees down to -20C  so that the dont even need to cluster using common materials it seems bizarre that its "un economic" to over winter.
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If they increased energy bill for your home by a factor of 4.5 would you consider that cruel? If so why are you doing that to your bees?
Bush_84
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« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2013, 08:17:24 PM »

It depends on what part of Alaska you are speaking of.  I have talked to multiple Minnesotans who used to live in Alaska who claim that Minnesota is colder than where they lived.  Now that's not to say that Minnesota is colder than all of alaska, but keep in mind that it's not uniform.  I have wintered bees here just fine.  I see no reason why you couldnt winter bees where a majority of the population lives in Alaska.  Unless there is something I don't know about the lack of sun. 
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Keeping bees since 2011.

Also please excuse the typos.  My iPad autocorrect can be brutal.
Finski
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« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2013, 03:55:29 AM »

  Unless there is something I don't know about the lack of sun. 

In Alaska winter is much longer

Agle of sun is lower and it is much colder then.

At the end of February angle is so low that it does not melt snow. In March  angle is so high that it can heat a bee on the snow and it can wake up from its choma.



I compared  our latitudes to Alaska. Anchorage is at same level as Helsinki but its temps are littel bit lower that here (Golf Stream)
Fairbanks has 63 latitude and in Finland  there are no professional beekeepers behind that line.

On latitude of 61 we have several beekeepers who has 500-1000 hives per company.

The growing zones of yield plants rules mostly how succesfull is beekeeping.
Canola is important yield plant in our country just there where are most beehives.
Canola zone is under 62 latitude.

OUr plant zones go from south east to west noth.  In summer Russian high pressures gives heat to east corner of Finland but the sea rules in south and west.


A good question! Why spring comes at same time every year during 30 year on my summer cottage property. Snow melts every year at the first half of April in there.  Even if weathers change why it is so steady. It is angle of sun which is allways the same.


And we need not go much more north when snow melts slower and slower.  200 km means much in snow melting and it is angle of sun which moves.
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Finski
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« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2013, 04:00:08 AM »

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Vegetation zones are the basic of succesfull beekeeping. Variation of mass bee plants gives the economical base.

Professional beekeepers situate on zone SB and there some hobby beekeepers on zone  MB

40 years ago canola was rare. Guys in south got quite poor honey yields on districts of corn cultivation area. Then came canola more and more usual.  Canola grows on zone SB





Professional beekeepers situate on zone SB and there some hobby beekeepers on zone  MB

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Finski
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« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2013, 04:07:18 AM »

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Vegetation zones of Alaska



Tundra of Alaska

« Last Edit: February 03, 2013, 04:18:11 AM by Finski » Logged

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Finski
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« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2013, 04:22:31 AM »

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Vegetation zones of Canada



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Finski
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« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2013, 06:29:40 AM »

Radiation per earth surface




Minnesota guys say that they have hard winter. Everything is so special like in UK. Nothing is so special like UK.

BUT the energy of sun ..........

Minnesota day lenght in 21.6   is 15 hours 36 minutes  and sun angle 68 degree.

Finland Tampere day lenght is 19 hours  and sun angle 52 degree. Difference is 16 degrees.


Today  

Minnesota day lenght  10,0 hour
Tampere .....................8,0 hour

UK ............9h 18m  


Minnesota sun angle ....29 degree
Tampere......................12 degree
UK............................ ..22°

In December sun angle is in Tampere 5 degree and day lenght  5 h 25 min

In Minnesota  21.12.   sun angle is 22 degree and day lenght  8 hours.

We have in Tampere same sun angle in March what Minnesota has in December.



in Minnesota sun angle 21.3. is 46 degrees and we have that in May.

.

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« Last Edit: February 03, 2013, 06:40:33 AM by Finski » Logged

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Finski
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« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2013, 06:31:33 AM »

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« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2013, 08:29:00 AM »

There is more weather influence other than sun angle and latitude. Locations away from large bodies of water have a great effect as well as elevations. Minnesota is at the northern edge of the great plains and as such situated where large columns of Arctic air are pushed through this region by the Northern branch of the Jet Stream winds. Ahh yes,being east or west of that nasty jet stream can wildly change your weather,.
Finski,there are places in Alaska warmer than Minnesota at times. When the jet stream is strong it sends very cold air as far south as mississippi and Florida and has caused freezing of citrus crops. There is not a blanket assumption to be made about winter strictly based on sun angle and latitude.
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« Reply #13 on: February 03, 2013, 08:36:10 AM »

http://graphical.weather.gov/
Minnesota is located where the cold colors are. look at the smae photo of Alaska today  at lower left of page.
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Finski
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« Reply #14 on: February 03, 2013, 08:55:11 AM »

There is not a blanket assumption to be made about winter strictly based on sun angle and latitude.

Yeah! I know that. I have studied geograhy in university.

But the degrees of cold does not explain beekeeping.

Like Englismen say that they have everything great in their country. Bees forage nectar in December and pollen in January, but their honey yield is only 15 kg when I have 60-80kg.

Hobby beekeepers write so much rubbish that my eyes cannot stand it.


But I clearly understand that beekeepers in USA do not want to learn anything because thay have everything just great.




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Finski
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« Reply #15 on: February 03, 2013, 08:58:57 AM »

There is more weather influence other than sun angle and latitude.


Yes, but you are wrong. It is angle of sun which makes the climate belts.

How do you explain that they have corn fields in Minnesota  and in Finland we need 3 months longer summer that we could keep maize here.

Minnesota cornfield. We must go very far to south that we meet this scenery.

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« Reply #16 on: February 03, 2013, 09:12:28 AM »

Still does not discount harsh winter. It may not be as long but can still be very harsh.Corn is very reliant upon growing degree days. The hot days of summer(Northern jet stream receded) can make up for lost time.
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« Reply #17 on: February 03, 2013, 09:17:36 AM »

http://www.finland.climatemps.com/
ltitude; 51 m (167 ft).
The average temperature in Finland is 4.8 °C (41 °F).
The range of average monthly temperatures is 24 °C.
The warmest average max/ high temperature is 22 °C (72 °F) in July.
The coolest average min/ low temperature is -9 °C (16 °F) in January & February.
Finland receives on average 688 mm (27.1 in) of precipitation annually or 57 mm (2.3 in) each month.
On balance there are 191 days annually on which greater than 0.1 mm (0.004 in) of precipitation (rain, sleet, snow or hail) occurs or 16 days on an average month.
The month with the driest weather is March when on balance 36 mm (1.4 in) of rain, sleet, hail or snow falls across 14 days.
The month with the wettest weather is October when on balance 73 mm (2.9 in) of rain, sleet, hail or snow falls across 18 days.
Mean relative humidity for an average year is recorded as 79.9% and on a monthly basis it ranges from 64% in May, June to 91% in December.
Hours of sunshine range between 0.6 hours per day in December and 9.8 hours per day in June.
On balance there are 1802 sunshine hours annually and approximately 4.9 sunlight hours for each day.
On balance there are 137 days annually with measurable frost and in January there are on average 28 days with frost.

http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/img/documentlibrary/clim81supp3/tempnormal_hires.jpg
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« Reply #18 on: February 03, 2013, 09:19:54 AM »

http://climate.umn.edu/doc/journal/arctic_blast1301.htm
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Finski
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« Reply #19 on: February 03, 2013, 09:36:59 AM »

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Those average numbers tell nothing even to me.  What is average Finland?   I suppose that it is Helsinki, in the south tip of country.


What was new to me is that Alaska is surrounded by tundra against sea coast. We have huge wheat fields against coast.

To vegetation "summary of growth days" is important when we calculate when crop will rippen.

I can se now that Alaska is very different from Finland. Alaska resembles more Siberian at latitude of 60-65 degree.

Sea coat belt in Finland , wheat fields




Sea cost belt in Alaska, at same altitude as those Finnish fields. Hooper Bay



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