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Author Topic: high altitude bee keepers  (Read 689 times)

Offline undertherock

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high altitude bee keepers
« on: February 18, 2013, 11:20:53 AM »
just wondering  if there are any other bee keeper who live at higher altitudes?I live pretty high up approx. 9,000 ft. in the Colorado Rockies next to Pikes Peak.Summers are shorter and cooler than most (late may through Aug) and if you live higher up do you wrap your hives and with what materials?I have one hive and am looking to start two more this spring.

Offline rwurster

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Re: high altitude bee keepers
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2013, 06:54:41 PM »
I keep some between Rye and Beulah at 9100 ft. and don't bother wrapping.  I don't lose any more than I do at 4700 ft. to the elements, bears are another story.
Zone 5a @ 4700 ft. High Desert
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Offline undertherock

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Re: high altitude bee keepers
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2013, 08:11:44 PM »
I have my hive inside an electric fence I did have a bear visit us several times but it never got at the hive. I wrapped the hive in small bubble wrap then in black plastic with a top entrance as well as a bottom entrance. They started the winter with about 100lbs. of honey as stores. They seem to be very happy and are flying when the temps reach around 45 degrees looking for water and doing hive cleaning as well. There are not alot of people doing bees up here so I thought maybe someone else might have more ideas.

Offline undertherock

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Re: high altitude bee keepers
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2013, 08:15:09 PM »
do you feed the bees during the winter months? If so with what and how?

Offline Bush_84

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Re: high altitude bee keepers
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2013, 11:01:16 AM »
Fondant or dry sugar would be your best bet for feeding.  There are quite a few that insulate and wrap their hives.  I am going to try some nightlight/Christmas lights for spring heat.  Also going to winter nucs next winter using heat.
Keeping bees since 2011.

Also please excuse the typos.  My iPad autocorrect can be brutal.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: high altitude bee keepers
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2013, 04:29:37 PM »
I had them in Laramie at 7,200... not as high as 9,000 by any means... I didn't wrap.  I did make sure they had a large cluster going into winter and combined if they did not.  The small clusters just don't make it through those -40 F nights...
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My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen

Offline rwurster

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Re: high altitude bee keepers
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2013, 02:31:26 AM »
I don't feed my bees, the hives in the mountains always do significantly better than my hives do on the plains.  I don't feed in my apiary either :)
Zone 5a @ 4700 ft. High Desert
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Offline derekm

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Re: high altitude bee keepers
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2013, 05:46:24 AM »
At 9000 ft probably in the "Montane" zone. So not too disimilar to Northern Europe. Consider N .European practices of high insulation hives with bottom only entrances.
Feral bees in your area will overwinter in tree hollows which are considerably warmer than even a styrofoam hive.
With enough insulation you should be able to half  or even quarter the winter stores consumption.
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?