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Alaska Bee Initiative yard upgrade

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Can you help us create an Alaska-hardy honeybee? Alaska Bee Initiative is a group of dedicated beekeepers and scientists who are working to develop a strain of honeybee that is reliably hardy in Alaska. In the past, Alaskan beekeepers tended to kill their bees in the fall, because the colonies rarely survived. However, because of the cost to replace bee colonies and the desire to foster sustainable beekeeping in Alaska, more and more Alaska beekeepers are trying to winter over their bees.

In order to improve the stock of Alaskan honeybees, we are breeding queens exclusively from surviving colonies. In order to do this, we are developing isolated bee yards where there are no other honeybees, so that we can insure that our queens are mated only to surviving drones.

In the 2016-17 winter, moose destroyed our electric-only fence. Our fence was a four-foot tall electric fence (as shown below) 

We need to replace the last year's fence with something much more sturdy. Because these isolation yards are in wilderness areas, we need to construct them so that they are bear-proof and also moose-proof. This requires sturdy, six-foot tall fencing, with an outer electric fence to deter wildlife from attempting to enter.

The money we receive from our GoFundMe campaign will be used for the following items:

* Wood and steel fence posts
* 6-foot tall agricultural fencing
* Solar panel 
* Battery
* Electric Fence Charger
* Assorted lumber for on-site storage shed

We would also gladly accept donations of any of these items in lieu of a cash donation.

If there are funds left over after these items are acquired, we would use the additional funds for:

* Land Use Permit fees
* Import promising queens for future breeding programs.

We need to have the bee yard ready for colonies to be on-site by June 20, 2017. Some of our work can be deferred until later in the season, but we do need to have a sturdy, wildlife-proof enclosure in place before we can place bees on site.

We believe that this is a very important project. Alaskan beekeepers import several thousand bee colonies into Alaska each year. Creating a sustainable population of honeybees in Alaska is a very worthy goal.


Wigi Tozzi
Anchorage, AK

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