WAS Beekeeping Region Spotlight - Yukon Territory (Canada)
Updated: Jan 30, 2022
Over the next few months, we will be highlighting WAS' diverse beekeeping regions.
Location: North of British-Columbia and east of Alaska
Description: More moose than people live here (41,000 people), in an area about the size of Spain.
Climate: Northern Yukon (>N62) have warmer summers and colder winters, Southern Yukon (N60) is more of an alpine climate with cooler summers and “milder” winters
Beekeeping:: 5 small sideliners with more than 10 hives with another 20-30 hobbyist beekeepers
Number of Hives: Est 150 colonies territory wide with overwintering success from 60-100%
Honey Production: 6000-8000 lbs (Mostly sold farm gate/markets)
Honey Types: Fireweed, Wildflower (Native Yukon) and Wildflower (Mix), Honeydew Honey (Forest)
Regulations: None, other than a couple of municipal bylaws. We are completely self-regulated
Beekeeping Season: May 1st to August 30th
Basic Hive Management: Standard Langstroth single and double brood colonies. We use a mix of both wooden and polystyrene equipment. Colonies must be wrapped/insulated to survive our winters.
Challenges: Due to our long winters and an early fall, getting large healthy clusters come spring is a challenge for some. Many of us get 80-100% wintering success due to ensuring strong healthy wintering colonies (low mites, healthy winter bees). We do this by ensuring we pull only honey super boxes and never touch honey from the brood boxes. We also start adding pollen patties early August which coincides with the natural drop in fresh pollen and our 1st frosts. Frost stressed plants is associated with an increase in rust spore collection by the bees just at the time when winter bees are being raised. We also have honeydew in most of our honeys. It is therefore important for us to feed sugar syrup to our bees to ensure the receding brood nest gets back filled with pure low ash content sugar syrup “honey”. August is also the main honeydew flow period.