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Desert bee keeping


#1

Hiya all,

this has been a life long dream, to actually own a hive and keep them. Unfortunately I’ve never had the chance till now, with the Flow Hive I think I might be able to make it happen.

However due to my husbands work we live in the middle of a very hot arid desert. Its quite pleasant here in the winter months, but for 3-4 months its insanely hot.

Please advise me, show me the way lol.

Am I loosing my noggins? Or is this the best idea since buttered crumpets?


#2

I think I will put out an APB on that noggin…NO, not really. Bees are able to flourish in just about any climate. There are windbreaks and shade screens that would make it more amenable. I would strongly suggest you check with bee keepers in your area. They would have a MUCH better idea how you should proceed. Look for apiary supply stores. Bee Keeping clubs. Or contact your State Ag Dept and ask if there are registered hives in your vicinity.


#3

You haven’t given your location in your post or profile, but we have read on this forum that many Arizona beekeepers lost bees this year when temperatures soared above 115F. Some people recorded 130+ F at their apiaries. There are ways to keep a hive protected and cooled, but if you are regularly above 110 F, it is going to be hard on your hives.

The other thing to consider is how much forage there is around your hive. Will they be able to find enough nectar and pollen in that location? You may only be able to find that out from local beekeepers, unless somebody on this forum is in the same area as you.


#4

I’ve never had a crumpet let alone a buttered one, but it sounds wonderful. Anything made to hold butter is nice. Bees do fine in hot places IF they have ready access to water and, if it’s ridiculously hot, some shade during the heat of the day and if they don’t have too much ventilation to where they can’t cool the hive.


#5

Thanks so much for the support and vote of confidence. I’d serve you all buttered crumpets, they are amazing with drizzled Manuka or Acacia honey, if you ever happen to be in the middle of the Saudi Arabia.

The region is intensely hot, and to the eye barren. However It is really a paradox as there is water and many pockets of agriculture and planting, as well as a lot of oasis and pockets of greening the desert type projects. There are perspectives too that are not apparent at first…think St Exupery and you will get my drift…anyhoo

I know the bees would have to travel a bit but there is a wealth of nectar rich flora, including date palm orchards.

More to the point how have the Saudi Flow owners fared? Are there any?

Its about now I miss Blighty lol how easy would setting up a hive be? a doddle…What am I saying? honestly we are loving the adventure. I was bored to tears being in the rat run, not me at all… just couldn’t hack it.

Travel and living in another vastly different country is fun, if a bit of a challenge.

Where are you all based?

Thanks once again!


#6

I would love to take you up on that, but don’t worry, it is unlikely! :smile: As a transplanted Brit, living in a semi-desert, I understand a little of your climate, and a lot about buttered crumpets. You forgot to mention that they should always be hot - freshly toasted! The dimples in them are just built for butter. :imp: Unfortunately I now have bad IBS and I can’t eat wheat products. Gluten-free crumpets really don’t match up at all.

Sounds promising for the bees for forage, but now I know your location, I can speak Celsius too… I know that most Brits are bilingual, but younger folks usually talk Celsius/Centigrade (I am older…) :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: So @adagna has a Flow hive in Arizona which was exposed to 55C heat earlier this month, and they didn’t survive. It was devastating for him, but many other beekeepers had a similar issue. I think we have one other member on the forum who has a Flow hive in Saudi, but I don’t know if his hive is populated yet.

@Michael_Bush gave you some great ideas. You should be OK if you can provide whole day shade in the summer for the hive, plus a copious water supply very near to the hive (preferably a couple of meters or so, also shaded). Some good ways of providing shade are even tent like structures known as “sail shades” in the US - you can attach the ropes to buildings, poles or trees, and take them down when not needed. In my humble opinion, heat management will be key for the survival of your bees, but I don’t think you are crazy/mad/off your noggin… :blush:


#7

I have IBS too, or did. Just did the GAPs diet and a few changes to the old food regimen and it sorted everything out! I’m even looking into making sour dough crumpets…I will let you know how I get on. My poor American dh is addicted to the crumpets and since they are no where to be had here, I’ve got to make them. He thinks I should start a British version of IHOP LOL,he’s a bit shocked the Brits didn’t share this bit of culture. Funny man.

I can’t imagine the heartbreak of loosing ones hive, poor man. Thats the worry. If I can get enough research in, and find out the tips to keeping the bees happy and safe then I will proceed.

I have been looking at pre 1970 Saudi traditional buildings, and some of the things I noticed where that the even the animal structures were made of adobe. Im thinking of seeing how easy/difficult it would be to build an adobe shade structure, a few raised beds with nectar rich plants nearby and a sprinkler system.

Also I need to see how the open internal structure looks like for the Flow Hives and what temperatures are most ideal etc to the bees, we could then look at how far off the ground the hive needs to be placed and if it should be placed on a (constantly dampened) adobe brick etc…
So as you can see Ive got loads of questions in my mind…

I have four little ones and really want this to be joy for them to take part in, not tragic.

Thanks once again!


#8

I do well on the low FODMAP diet. I thought I was fructose-sensitive, but a recent re-challenge has shown otherwise, so I can eat honey - perhaps in moderation, but even so. :smile:

Your plan for buildings sounds awesome. I am very impressed with the way you are thinking. There are childrens’ size bee suits, veils and gloves available, so there should be opportunity for them to get up close and personal with the bees too.