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Range of bee pasture topography in your country


#1

Flowhives are now in service in so many countries. I would just like to see what is the landscape topography variations that your bees work in. I’ve included a few photos of variations in western Canada to get started…and any comments would be appreciated.

This photo illustrates a large alfalfa field we have bees next to…alfalfa is the most reliable of all nectar producing plants as it has a deep root system that allows it to flourish in hot, dry summers…honeybees can’t access the flowers for pollen. The area is comprised of huge fields to forage on…with wooded areas not too far away…a monotone landscape.

My brother in the next province over…hives working fireweed in the foresty cutblocks ( tree harvested areas). Note the heavy duty page wire enclosure to keep the black and grizzly bears out. Those harvested areas (cutblocks) bloom according to the elevation and to help the bees, he places his yards lower down…that way most of their flying empty is upwards, and they come down from above cutblocks loaded. It’s a strange sensation standing in his beeyards when the honey flow is on…it’s raining bees from above.

We used to work together in a bee operation we jointly owned. When he moved, he had to re-learn beekeeping for his mountainous area…swarming was a constant problem for him…and honey yields were smaller and less consistent…night and day difference. It surprised me just how different it was…


#2

Currently I have urban bees- and bees in the hills that surround my city, Adelaide.

Urban bees forage all year- and tend to do consistently well, as there is a great diversity of native and introduced flora- combined with irrigation. Here’s a hive in my urban jungle:

My hill apiaries are surrounded by national parks with eucalyptus forest- and mixed agriculture- fruit orchards, etc. Here the bees can go through extended dearths- and then sudden flows when certain eucalyptus species sporadically flower:

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Above is teetree of some type- otherwise called melaleuca- don’t know if that one is medicinal or not. Will get my honey tested.


#3

Wonderful photos Semaphore…and it appears that you need to put a leveling base structure under your hives…something we seldom do. Your area appears bee-friendly…and shrubs like melalueca and eucalyptus are so exotic to this outsider…as the only experience we have with melalueca and eucalyptus is from a hair shampoo bottle.:roll_eyes:


#4

thanks- to me your Canadian wilds look so… wild! There is a grandeur in your landscapes- snowy capped mountains, wild bears- also very exotic to me. My second photo is from the Adelaide hills- apparently in the ancient past those hills formed mountain range that was taller than today’s Himalaya - but over millions and millions of years it all eroded down to what we have today… unfortunately there are no snowy capped peaks- i really wish there were. Luckily for the city of Adelaide the soil eroded down onto the plains meaning Adelaide has relatively deep topsoils for South Australia- which is part of why our urban bees do so well here. On the other side of the ranges the topsoil is sometimes only a few feet deep, the landscape is dry and blasted.

as to bases: a lot of commercial beeks just put hives directly on the ground, or on wood pallets- so it isn’t a must. I am not entirely sure why I always do it- I think to make life a little harder for ants- and because it puts the hives at a nicer ergonomic level to work on. And of course you can level a stand easier than the ground.