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Beekeeping Locality

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All Beekeeping is Local

"In my earlier beekeeping years I was often sorely puzzled at the diametrically opposite views often expressed by the different correspondents for the bee journals. In extension of that state of mind I may say that at that time I did not dream of the wonderful differences of locality in its relation to the management of bees. I saw, measured weighted, compared, and considered all things apicultural by the standard of my own home--Genesee County, Michigan. It was not until I had seen the fields of New York white with buckwheat, admired the luxuriance of sweet-clover growth in the suburbs of Chicago, followed for miles the great irrigating ditches of Colorado, where they give lift to the royal purple of the alfalfa bloom, and climbed mountains in California, pulling myself up by grasping the sagebrush, that I fully realized the great amount of apicultural meaning stored up in that one little word--locality." --W.Z. Hutchinson, Advanced Bee Culture

It seems rather obvious that beekeeping in Florida won't be the same as beekeeping in Vermont, but what people don't seem to realize is that even in similar winter climates beekeeping is still local. The flows you have in Vermont are not the same as you have in Nebraska. The issues of things like condensation may be very dependent on local climate. For instance, when I was beekeeping in the panhandle of Nebraska, condensation was never a problem. But beekeeping in southeastern Nebraska it is. It's actually colder in the panhandle, and yet, because of differences in humidity, it is not a problem there. All of this seems rather obvious, and yet people continue to ask advice and give advice and contradict advice based on their local experiences without any consideration that warnings given by a beekeeper that they think are unwarranted may be in some locales and not in others. Of course this also applies to things like how many boxes and how much weight do they need to get through the winter and when to manage for swarming and when to start queens and when to do splits etc.

Michael Bush

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Copyright 2009 by Michael Bush

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