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Western Nebraska, Eastern Wyoming Panhandle Beekeeping

Since I haven’t seen one pop up for my area. Anyone else on here from Western Nebraska or Eastern Wyoming (known locally as the Panhandle)?

Hope to find others, but if not I’m OK with that :smile:

I got the following names last night (from the Nebraska Beekeeper Association):

Brian Nilson
Brian and Janet Alberts have the class in Grand Island
Ron Babcock has a class in Hastings

The following is from another post on the forums by @pbrutz: Nebraska State Beekeeping group isn't helpful, ideas?

I had bees in Mitchell for a couple of decades and Laramie for a couple of years. I’m in eastern Nebraska now…

So if you want to talk about keeping bees in the panhandle, I’m available. I’m just not there now…

Thanks for the reply! Really? What a small world it really is. Any general advise and inisght would be great.

Most advice for a really cold climate will apply. The main difference between the Panhandle and places like, say Vermont, is that it’s dry there, and that actually helps with wintering as it cuts down on condensation. It actually gets a little less cold here in SE Nebraska, but it’s also more humid here and that can be a problem in winter. Your seasons will be a bit different, but more of an exaggeration of what we get here. You have more of a main flow followed by a dearth followed by a possible fall flow. We have a main flow that MIGHT be followed by a dearth and a likely fall flow. Getting a feel for the flows helps when beekeeping as you can plan better if you know the likely hood of anything. Unfortunately climate and weather have always been unpredictable everywhere, and more so in Nebraska, and more so in the Panhandle. We ordered some concrete in Mitchell at noon on a 65 F day and by the time it showed up (4pm) it was freezing in the chute before we could get it poured… so you have to contend with those kind of changes from time to time…

Yep the term is still true here of “wait a minute and the weather will change” and it is dead serious true.

It’s a bit late for to be seeing this post but if your nearby I’m over in the East side of Wyoming in the Lusk area. I had been learning from a Beekeeper in Nebraska ,but now I’m on my own and ha ve my own hives. Started with 4 this year, already collected honey, and am getting ready to get more tomorrow and on Monday. I lost one hive in the flood we had in June, but next year I might build up from 12-25 hives. I plan on going commercial so increase is a big part of my plans. So far I am the only one in the area with bees but I do have one friend who keeps a backyard hive just for him and his wife. My hives are out on ranches so I have good coverage for clover, alfalfa, and other weedy flowers. clover was crazy wild this year. I’m Tony

Never too late to post anywhere Tony. I am in Scottsbluff area, so not too far away. I’m going to currently be looking at being more of a “backyard” beekeeper for my family so I’m sure I will end up with several hives over time.
We live in the sandhills north of Scottsbluff actually with a lot of grass lands (tons of different wild flowers) so I am hoping it will be a good home for my bees when I do get them.
I got the name of an old (not doing it anymore) beekeeper my dad knew so I plan to talk with him as well as get some books and read this winter.

I’ve noticed a lot of difference in the weather between the valley (where Scottsbluff, Gering, Mitchell, etc. are) and up in the hills. A lot of weather bypasses the valley and a lot of the wind as well. You will need a windbreak more up in the hills and winter will be harder. You also get more snow. The grass lands do have a lot of wild flowers (if someone isn’t spraying to kill them) and some years the bees will do well (this year would be one of them I think as amazingly, everything is still green there right now) but some years you may have to feed and my not get much. You sometimes get a serious dearth in the middle of summer. I had bees in Mitchell and they always did well as long as the weren’t spraying for mosquitoes at 2:00 pm… but people watering their flowers helps too.

Yeah we get weather town doesn’t all the time. I plan to put my first hive inside my garden area near the building we put tools in so it should protect it from really bad winds, but sometimes we get that South and East wind…

No one around here sprays to kill any of the wild flows and I even leave tons of sunflows growing in front of my house.

Glad to say we always have open water (horse tank, chicken pens watering dish, goose pen pond and wating dish, etc.)

If you remember this area well, I am just north of Scottsbluff into Sioux County (NE about 5 miles of the large KSTF TV town off hwy 71).

Yes, I remember it very well. I’ve driven 71 from one end of the Nebraska to the other many times, even where it turned to gravel (don’t know if still does) when you are almost to South Dakota. I’ve been Antelope hunting up by you on the Spear Diamond, many years ago and made many a trip up 71 north of Scottsbluff. The wind is terrible a lot of the time… I’ve built a few houses up in the hills and wondered why anyone would put their house at the top of the hill where the wind is the worst…

Yeah I always wonder that too about houses on hills around here. All of our buildings are down inside of a horseshoe shaped canyon we live in, so we get some relief from wind, but not much.

I live in Casper and am wondering if anyone knows where I can purchase package bees that can be delivered to Casper or some place close. I keep going to Murdochs and they keep telling me they don’t know if they are going to order bees this year or not. I am thinking that I am about to run out of time to get some ordered before they are spoken for. I am wanting to place them in April.

Do you have Bomgaars near you? I know ours sells Beekeeping items and I think they will also order the NUC.

There is a Boomgarrs in Rawlins I deliver to, they sell beekeeping supplies, but said they can’t order bees. We also have a Tractor Supply here in Casper that sells supplies also, but they said they can’t order bees either. Getting frustrated.

Get online and order a package.

When I lived in Laramie I ordered packages mail order from B. Weaver. I imagine someone will ship packages there if you can’t find a local club bringing in nucs or packages.

I can probably help you out with getting bees. I get mine from a local commercial operator. If you can travel to eastern Wyoming and western Nebraska panhandle you could probably come with me or follow me out and help split bees. This way you get producing bees, mature queens or get five frames of bees and buy your own queens. I will have to ask my friend if he is okay with me bringing strangers to help but if you got a smoker, time and suit he might be okay with it. No promises, but I’d still have to ask but it’s how I get my bees by helping do splits. His new queens and bees come from Texas which is probably a good place to buy from. Just get online and look up nucs from texas.

How close to Scottsbluff is where you go Tony?

I’m about a 100 miles from SB, I think my friend is even further. He is about half way between Rapid City and Scottsbluff.