California Desert Beekeeping????

Discussion in 'Beekeeping' started by ScorpionFlower, Aug 1, 2006.

  1. ScorpionFlower

    ScorpionFlower Insanity prevails

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    I've been doing alot of reading on beekeeping the last few days. However, no matter how many sites I read, I can't seem to find anything about beekeeping in the desert, the likelyhood of it working. I don't want to do anything large scaled, enought to help my garden pollinate as I think it's the lack of bugs in the garden that's keeping things from producing. I love the idea of home grown honey to use in cooking in place of refined sugar as well! Plus my daughter has shown interest in candlemaking. I'm not sure, however, if my personal home garden would support a hive. I don't have very many neighbors. The nearest is 1/4 mile away, but that's just one singlewide old trailer that nobody really lives in. The nearest neighbor with any kind of garden to speak up is 1/2 mile away. There aren't really any flowering plants around. Juniper trees, lots of bushes, and tumbleweeds. About the only natural growing flower I've seen around are the scorpionflowers (the origin of my screen name). But those only grow during spring and aren't around for very long. I'm also concerned about our high temperatures. We just had record highs over 113 about a week ago. It's very normal to reach 105-110 during the summer. Can a bee hive survive that kind of heat??? I would greatly appreciate any feedback.

    Scorpionflower
     
  2. alleyyooper

    alleyyooper keeper of the bees Staff Member Supporter

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  3. dcross

    dcross Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Yep, several desert beekeepers on beesource, they can handle high temps as long as they have access to water.

    Got any mesquite in your area? I had some fantastic mesquite honey once.
     
  4. ScorpionFlower

    ScorpionFlower Insanity prevails

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    Don't think so. I'm trying to remember the name of the bushes... Yucca???? Not sure if that's right. They give off a WONDERFUL sent when wet!! There really isn't much variety in the natural vegetation around my house, so that is why I was thinking of neighbor's yards, but I can only think of one neighbor who even has a garden. Everybody out here is on well water and most people don't bother with gardening here. Southern California mentality even in this rural environment. Not everybody does, but those that are rural minded around here pretty much keep to themselves and with houses being so far apart, you don't know what your neighbors are up to. Except when they practice shooting. Sound REALLY carries around here. I can hear my neighbor's generator running from a 1/2 mile away!
     
  5. KSALguy

    KSALguy Lost in the Wiregrass Supporter

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    any cactus? lots of native trees or scrub brush put out some kind of polon i think, and you could plant some sunflower seed,

    any wild flowers when the rains come? i am sure the bees know more about finding what they need than we do but thats just a few i can think of
     
  6. ScorpionFlower

    ScorpionFlower Insanity prevails

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    Actually, where I'm at, we don't have cactus contrary to what people may think. I have one that I planted though LOL. Wildflowers, nope, only the scorpionflowers. I still think they are the coolest flower I've ever seen!
     
  7. Cygnet

    Cygnet Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Any wild hives in the area? (Hint: ask the fire department about africanized swarms.)

    Leva
     
  8. ScorpionFlower

    ScorpionFlower Insanity prevails

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    No africanized swarms. It was discussed at the last community meeting. In attendence at these meetings are representatives from the local fire, police, highway patrol, etc etc etc. Someone had asked them the previous month and they came back and said "not in this district". I haven't once seen a bee around my house. We do get lots of flying ants during the early summer though. They're big, their bite hurts like heck, and are annoying as can be.
     
  9. dcross

    dcross Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I wouldn't worry about the forage, they'll probably find something. A garden won't really matter to them, they forage for several miles in every direction.
     
  10. ScorpionFlower

    ScorpionFlower Insanity prevails

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    K, now I get to go ahead and let DH know of my intentions for next spring. LOL. He's gonna LOVE this one! He already thinks I'm nuts, but once he sees the rewards of my work, he stops teasing me LOL. I'm the homesteader in the family, he just moves the hay bales for me and helps me put roofs on animal structures. LOL
     
  11. dcross

    dcross Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Avoid deep boxes, unless you like serious lifting.
     
  12. ScorpionFlower

    ScorpionFlower Insanity prevails

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    Thanks for the advice. If I can't lift a bale of alfalfa, I probably can't do heavy lifting, huh? lol
     
  13. alleyyooper

    alleyyooper keeper of the bees Staff Member Supporter

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    The medium boxes weigh about 65 pounds full, or about the same as a bale of hay.
    Go with the shallow boxes, getsd the weight down around 50 pounds.
    Personally I would go with the deep (90 pound) boxes for the brood when inspecting them just remove a frame at a time and place it in another deep along side.
    Less lifting that way. I would still go with the shallow for honey supers.

    :D Al
     
  14. dcross

    dcross Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Yeah, deeps aren't a problem if you never have to lift'em:)

    There's also 8 frame eqipment or long/trough hives.
     
  15. n7cos

    n7cos Member

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    Have kept Bees in Yuma, AZ. Usually hotter them what you are saying. No problem in keeping Bees as long as there is Water around. Plenty of Pollens for Bees and the Honey is a real nice lite color. And if there are any Citrus Trees around has a nice flavor. I always put my hives out in the desert under Tamarick or Palo Verde trees along the dry washes. Don't put them in the wash, a sudden rain or flash flood will take them out. If you have any other questions, send me an e-mail...
     
  16. ScorpionFlower

    ScorpionFlower Insanity prevails

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    We can't grow citrus here from what I'm told. Man, I wish!

    I told DH last night... sure enough, he gave me that "Oh God" look. I asked him what's wrong. "I don't like bugs" My god some men can be babies!!! At a friends house they had a gopher snake trying to get into the bedroom window. I had to pick it up and move it as the men wouldn't. I have to get rid of the gophers that try and dig into my garden as he doesn't want to hurt the poor things. I have to butcher as he won't kill "a pet". And now, he don't like bugs!!! Just wait till I tell the guys at his work this one! He's a big tall "manly" truck driver! Can I laugh now??