Beekeeping in Alaska

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by BeeHunter, Mar 29, 2011.

  1. BeeHunter

    BeeHunter New Member

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    Well I went off and moved to Alaska and hadn't planned on getting into bee's this season :( butttt A guy I now work with wanted to get into beekeeping soooo :eek: I decided to get me a hive so we can compare how our hives are doing. Its always nice to have a second hive or more nearby to compare how they are doing.
    Now my question is if there are any Alaska Beeks out there in the Anchorage area that has any helpful local input and info regarding clubs, places to get gear etc.
    We are going to get 5lb pkgs of Italian or New Carns to start. I hear there hasnt been much luck overwintering them but I always like a challenge! so anybody up north in AK or Canada shoot me any info you thing helpful up here in the midnight sun.
    I moved to Alaska to get me back into the Mtns I've lived here before and always liked it and my salary will double :thumbsup: the kids have all moved out so why not? I've been out fishing a couple times and caught some real nice Dolly Varden last week. Iddee, Jack, Rat theres a place to park if you ever get up here!
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    As much as I hate to refer to the BS forum,Dick Allen is from Anchorage. PM him and invite him over here.
     

  3. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    A lady I work with now (rearing queens) is a resident of Alaska (north of Anchorage I think???) she seems to suggest the bears and weather are quite formidable foes. From what I gather the best strategy is to plan to start up new each spring time with packages. There are a number of reasons biological and economic which I suspect makes the strategy something to consider.
     
  4. BeeHunter

    BeeHunter New Member

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    it will bee hard to let my girls die off ea. fall. I'll dig deeper and see what I can do. My beekeeping will bee different here since I dont have an orchard or crops up here yet. I have a lot of new things to learn here but thats why I like about bee's you never stop learning! I'll have my bee's on an airport right of way so hope the bears stay away from the noise!
    I hope its not considered "feeding" bears if I just sit out by my hives w/ my .338 Rem Ultra Mag. Hey actually this might work out better than originally thought out! anyone know of any good honey glazed bear recipes just in case?
     
  5. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    Zane, i don't have any bear meat recipes,just be careful and hope there not looking for a recipe for you. :mrgreen: Good Luck. Jack

    PS. been taking my 38 pistol with me in my out yards up north, they been seeing mountain lions in the area. :eek: I like to hunt, but don't like something hunting me. :lol:
     
  6. Zulu

    Zulu Member

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    38 is going to just piss them off , be like a bee sting to a mountain lion or a bear
     
  7. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Yeah, but that pile of manure Jack is going to leave will slow them down drastically... :wave: :lol: :lol:
     
  8. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    My old pappy told me years ago that a 22 bullet will kill anything on the face of the earth, if you hit it right. :thumbsup: Anyway the 38 special makes me feel safer, and like Iddee said, after a short run he's going to lose his appetite anyway. :mrgreen: Jack
     
  9. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    DON'T FEED THE BEARS.

    the female bee keeper I mentioned also said not to purchase the styrofoam boxes since at least with wood stuff you can recycle some of your equipment after a bear attack. the styrofoam stuff will leave your yard in a mess and you get the enviable job of cleaning up a million little bits of styrofoam.
     
  10. srvfantexasflood

    srvfantexasflood New Member

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    If memory serves me correctly, there was an article in the American Bee Journal, February 2011 issue, about beekeeping in Alaska. I can't put my hands on my copy, but the article was entitled something like America's Northern Most Beekeeper. This beekeeper was able to successfully overwinter his hive(s) because he had them up against his house in a structure that kind of looked like a pantry with pantry doors that open from the outside of the house. He also was allowing heat from the house to pass into the back of the "pantry" through a hole or a pipe or something. When the weather permitted, he simply opened the doors, allowing the bees to forage, etc. It was also mentioned that honey is Liquid Gold up there in Alaska.
     
  11. srvfantexasflood

    srvfantexasflood New Member

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    AH HA! :yahoo: I found my copy of the American Bee Journal, Vol. 151 No. 2. February, 2011. (Mixed in with a bunch of bee catalogs!) The article about beekeeping in Alaska is entitled America's Northernmost Beekeepers, by Stephen Petersen, on page 163. The overwintered hive I was referring to, in a previous post, is located 100 miles north of the arctic circle in Wiseman, AK. The hive is located in a lean to structure that sits up next to the family's lodge. Doors are removed in summer to allow for foraging and closed up for nearly 8 months in winter. The article gives detailed information about dimensions, insulation, vapor barriers, and materials used.
    American Bee Journal will allow you to access past issues of the magazine online. It might be a little premature to find this issue though.
    I hope this will be a help to BeeHunter.
     
  12. BeeHunter

    BeeHunter New Member

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    Thx SRVfan I'll research it. I bumped into a guy that uses a 2 queen method up here. He has had good success and claims alot more honey production per hive but more work keeping them from swarming, mabee next year I'll mess w/ it too.
     
  13. srvfantexasflood

    srvfantexasflood New Member

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    BeeHunter- How does a two queen method work? Does one have to keep them separated with queen excluders?
     
  14. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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  15. BeeHunter

    BeeHunter New Member

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    he puts a wall in between them in a deep w/ an empty super below then after a while he'll put on a super, once it fills up he swaps supers top to bottom adds a queen and an excluder and they all seem to get along. Ill try to find the link and paste it one day. I'm heading to my 1st AK meeting tonight so may learn more.
     
  16. BeeHunter

    BeeHunter New Member

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    Well we got our 10lbs of bee's today and went out to hive them. I was showing the newbee how I just pull the queen cage apart and set her in the hive. Guess what? She flew off!!!! I then put the other girls in their hive and started looking for my flighty queen!
    I found her after a little searching in my hive wagging her butt around or at least I'm pretty sure its her(I had ordered them marked for the new guy but they didnt do that :( ) She looked pretty small but she was young buy her wings where short and she acted different than the other girls around her. They didnt circle her completely either, just a little on the side. But these bee's have been flying around together w/ 400lbs of others this past day or 2 so who knows if they actually have her scent figured out yet? I'll start looking for eggs in a day or 2 and cross my fingers!

    Regarding the 2 queen method its on www.alaskabees.com home page in upper r/h corner.