Presentation Type

Poster

Faculty Mentor’s Full Name

Anastasia Orkwiszewski

Faculty Mentor’s Department

Campus Dining/ UM Gardens

Abstract

Winterization techniques for populations of Apis mellifera ligustica and Apis mellifera carnica in western Montana

Agroecology

Abstract: The relationship between domestic honey bees (Apis mellifera ligustica and Apis mellifera carnica) and winter in a northern climate was studied to determine an effective, economical, and environmentally-sustainable method to keep the University of Montana Gardens’ colonies alive over the winter. Successfully winterizing bees would kickstart UM Gardens’ pollination and reduce the carbon impact from implementing new colonies every season, ultimately contributing to earlier, healthier and fuller plants and produce for the Food Zoo. The University currently owns two hives containing colonies of Apis mellifera ligustica and Apis mellifera carnica and has failed, thus far, to keep either colony strong enough to survive the winter. Keeping the honey bees alive over the winter will spare UM Gardens from having to buy new packages of bees every year, saving both money and start-up time. Established colonies lower the risk of implementing new colonies every season while reducing any footprint that shipping new bees across the country to Montana may have on the environment, which furthers UM Gardens’ mission of sustainability. I researched different types of winterization techniques from across the world by beekeepers in different climates, ultimately utilizing a combination of successful winterization techniques used by beekeepers in Alberta and Saskatchewan. These methods include using recycled wood chips and burlap for moisture absorption and reclaimed wood for the creation of candy boards. By applying sustainable and effective winterization techniques used in regions with similarly harsh winter climates, I designed and built my own system of winterization to keep the University of Montana’s bees alive over the winter. I applied my design to two hives by feeding the hives two different sugar mixes and building a windbreak. The results of this process will be fully revealed in spring 2020.

Category

Life Sciences

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Winterization techniques for populations of Apis mellifera ligustica and Apis mellifera carnica in western Montana

Winterization techniques for populations of Apis mellifera ligustica and Apis mellifera carnica in western Montana

Agroecology

Abstract: The relationship between domestic honey bees (Apis mellifera ligustica and Apis mellifera carnica) and winter in a northern climate was studied to determine an effective, economical, and environmentally-sustainable method to keep the University of Montana Gardens’ colonies alive over the winter. Successfully winterizing bees would kickstart UM Gardens’ pollination and reduce the carbon impact from implementing new colonies every season, ultimately contributing to earlier, healthier and fuller plants and produce for the Food Zoo. The University currently owns two hives containing colonies of Apis mellifera ligustica and Apis mellifera carnica and has failed, thus far, to keep either colony strong enough to survive the winter. Keeping the honey bees alive over the winter will spare UM Gardens from having to buy new packages of bees every year, saving both money and start-up time. Established colonies lower the risk of implementing new colonies every season while reducing any footprint that shipping new bees across the country to Montana may have on the environment, which furthers UM Gardens’ mission of sustainability. I researched different types of winterization techniques from across the world by beekeepers in different climates, ultimately utilizing a combination of successful winterization techniques used by beekeepers in Alberta and Saskatchewan. These methods include using recycled wood chips and burlap for moisture absorption and reclaimed wood for the creation of candy boards. By applying sustainable and effective winterization techniques used in regions with similarly harsh winter climates, I designed and built my own system of winterization to keep the University of Montana’s bees alive over the winter. I applied my design to two hives by feeding the hives two different sugar mixes and building a windbreak. The results of this process will be fully revealed in spring 2020.