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Author Topic: Suitability of locality  (Read 1754 times)
fruitynewt
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Location: Sherwood Park, Alberta


« on: November 16, 2005, 06:38:00 PM »

Hi,

I live in central Alberta, Canada, to the East of Edmonton and I'm thinking of taking up beekeeping for a hobby. I don't know of anyone who keeps bees in my area although there's plenty of beekeepers in Alberta.

I live on a 3 acre lot surrounded mostly by bush. There is some agriculture close by, but this is characterized by grazing for horses and cattle. If anything these smallholding pastures are over-grazed and don't seem to support much in the way of flowers. The bush around me contains wild roses and some wild clover.

My question is this, how do I know if this type of environment contains sufficient flora to support one or more bee colonies? Can anyone offer some practical advice or do I simply have to find a local beekeeper?

Thanks

Rick.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2005, 07:56:01 PM »

I think you should try to find someone local.  But there are beekeepers that far North.  Any canola around?  Clover?
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
Apis629
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« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2005, 11:04:33 PM »

Almost anywhere outside the artic circle can support bees. (I'm not the greatest in geography...you're outside the artic circle, right?)
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Finsky
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« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2005, 01:05:16 AM »

Quote from: fruitynewt
Hi,

seem to support much in the way of flowers. The bush around me contains wild roses and some wild clover.

My question is this, how do I know if this type of environment contains sufficient flora to support one or more bee colonies? .


You are in Canada. It has true winter and cold spring.

A couple of acres means nothing to bees. They fly at the distance of 1-3 kilometres. When you calculate how many acres that radius has you see the meaning.

But at spring bees need willows. Often they are not able to fly long distances.  Some huge willow trees gives a lot of pollen. We have Salix caprea. It is a tree and the first one to give pollen. Some willow trees are 10 meters tall and even more.

There are too many better willows to flower. When you give fertilization to willow it flowers 3-4 fold more.

http://www.bioresurs.uu.se/myller/skog/skog_bild/hansalg.jpg

Weepy willow in Canada, but does it flower  a month later than the early ones?

 http://www.treecanada.ca/images/tree_images/large/Weeping%20Willow%20at%20sunset.jpg
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Jacmar
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« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2005, 09:04:55 AM »

Rick,
There is a fellow who lives in Beaumont Alta just out of Edmonton his name is Konrad Ilg. Do not have an address or phone number but maybe a search Through Altatel will give it you.

Jack
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fruitynewt
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Location: Sherwood Park, Alberta


« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2005, 11:04:18 AM »

Thanks for these rapid responses.... wow this board is active.

Yes I'm South of the Arctic circle and we have long winters and cold springs. They say alberta produces 40% of Canada's honey, and much of that from North of here. I guess my concern was that I don't live next to a canola farm or anything. We live in an area with willows but I read somewhere that the willows here flower early when it's still too cold for the bees to fly.

Thanks for the Beaumont connection - I'll give it a go although the agricultural landscape is a little different that side of Edmonton. I must also contact the local beekeeping society - they meet about an hours drive away but it would be worth attending a meeting.

Thanks again.

Rick.
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