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Bees in the north

 
Posts: 49
Location: Whitehorse, YT; hardiness zone 1b (Can)
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Hiya

I'm hoping to start a few colonies next spring (yep, planning faaaar ahead), but conditions in the sub-Arctic are very different from balmy southern Ontario.

I'm planning to go with the top-bar hive again.

Any suggestions for supporting the bees in this environment? There is a conventional hive at the nearby community garden, but the colony is lost. Other than that, there don't seem to be many beekeepers up here.

Thank you.
 
master pollinator
Posts: 925
Location: Canadian Prairies - Zone 3b
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Greetings from balmy Zone 3b.

I have no specific advice, but I'll add a vote of confidence: from what I've seen, a Yukoner routinely figures out ways to make something work, especially when everybody else says it's impossible. It's in the DNA.
 
Posts: 61
Location: Lincoln, RI
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EL,  South facing and earth sheltered?  Maybe.  I went with Phil Chandler's eco-floor on my top bars (mesh bottom filled with forest debris).  Not sure if you could do that up north, or how the interior temp/humidity would be affected.
 
Posts: 83
Location: Ontario, Canada
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For up in Whitehorse I would suggest you look into tree beekeeping. Much thicker walls. Warmer hives in winter. As long as you can protect them from the cold and from the conventional farmers in the area. You don’t want any spray going your way. I think you are much safer up north. You can protect your hives better from glyphosate. Plant lots of flowers!
 
El Rowlatt
Posts: 49
Location: Whitehorse, YT; hardiness zone 1b (Can)
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Douglas Alpenstock wrote:Greetings from balmy Zone 3b.

I have no specific advice, but I'll add a vote of confidence: from what I've seen, a Yukoner routinely figures out ways to make something work, especially when everybody else says it's impossible. It's in the DNA.



 
El Rowlatt
Posts: 49
Location: Whitehorse, YT; hardiness zone 1b (Can)
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Frank Spezzano wrote:EL,  South facing and earth sheltered?  Maybe.  I went with Phil Chandler's eco-floor on my top bars (mesh bottom filled with forest debris).  Not sure if you could do that up north, or how the interior temp/humidity would be affected.



Earth-sheltered is an interesting idea. I'm already figuring out how to install an Oehler-style inground greenhouse, and maybe something with bees can happen alongside.
 
El Rowlatt
Posts: 49
Location: Whitehorse, YT; hardiness zone 1b (Can)
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Mary-Ellen Zands wrote:For up in Whitehorse I would suggest you look into tree beekeeping. Much thicker walls. Warmer hives in winter. As long as you can protect them from the cold and from the conventional farmers in the area. You don’t want any spray going your way. I think you are much safer up north. You can protect your hives better from glyphosate. Plant lots of flowers!



Hm, thank you for this. There aren't that many larger deciduous trees up here to section and use (or coniferous ones); the trees around Whitehorse were all logged a century ago to feed the paddle-wheelers of the Klondike gold rush and, well, they grow back really slowly. But it's an interesting idea.
 
pollinator
Posts: 314
Location: Yukon Territory, Canada. Zone 1a
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Hi El.
I'm a member of the Yukon Bee Club. I suggest you check out our web page. If you do the Facebook thing, then the club's founder, Etienne, does an amazing job of recoding and sharing his knowledge through the bee club Facebook group.
He usually puts on courses in the Spring, out at the Mt Lorne Community Centre.
 
El Rowlatt
Posts: 49
Location: Whitehorse, YT; hardiness zone 1b (Can)
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Chris Sturgeon wrote:Hi El.
I'm a member of the Yukon Bee Club. I suggest you check out our web page. If you do the Facebook thing, then the club's founder, Etienne, does an amazing job of recoding and sharing his knowledge through the bee club Facebook group.
He usually puts on courses in the Spring, out at the Mt Lorne Community Centre.



Hey, brilliant!!

Thank you!
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