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Author Topic: Need another plan for insulating hives  (Read 1262 times)

Offline Acebird

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Re: Need another plan for insulating hives
« Reply #20 on: November 16, 2017, 10:01:25 pm »
Well that is a novel idea.  I have screen bottom boards so do you think I could put a slug of pollen sub in the tray underneath dusted with DE?
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Offline paus

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Re: Need another plan for insulating hives
« Reply #21 on: November 16, 2017, 10:07:09 pm »
Diatomaceous earth may work in place of cooking oil, much easier to dispose of it than a thick gooey mess of oil, dead SHB and SHB larva.  I was thinking of diluting the thick oil I strained with diesel but I thought twice, nope not a good idea.  I am going to try diatomaceous earth in some oil pans, after cleaning them, and see if there are as many dead SHB as in oil pans.  I lifted my hives near my home this afternoon and all are heavy but one, good shape for winter.

Offline paus

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Re: Need another plan for insulating hives
« Reply #22 on: November 16, 2017, 10:10:08 pm »
The pollen sub is what made me start the previous post and I forgot,  Yep the pollen sub is going in tomorrow.

Offline Van, Arkansas, USA

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Re: Need another plan for insulating hives
« Reply #23 on: November 17, 2017, 11:08:25 am »
Yes, Ace, ya know beetles luv sub pollen.  I have used oil in the past on sbb, turned into a complete mess.  The diaton earth has worked very well for me.  Once a shb touches the powder, the beetle will die on the bottom board so one can see progress

Diatomaceous earth is directly eaten, sold in health food stores, by some folks, not me.  I am just saying the product is safe for humans, NOT recommending to eat the stuff.
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Offline Acebird

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Re: Need another plan for insulating hives
« Reply #24 on: November 17, 2017, 11:19:24 am »
It is also used in filtration for pools so it is easy to get.
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Offline Robo

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Re: Need another plan for insulating hives
« Reply #25 on: November 19, 2017, 10:16:34 pm »

That's quite an impressive statement, caught my eye.  Ventilation question:  Will screened bottom boards work and achieve the same 1/3 store consumption?  I am considering purchase of the plastic hives you text about.


As the saying goes, "Your mileage may vary".   I'm thinking I may see a bigger benefit than you as my climate is a lot colder than yours so I have a lot more opportunity to gain.   

With that said,  I still think you will notice a difference even with screened bottom boards as long as you eliminate any other ventilation.  The bell jar principle is the key.  The ideal configuration is a round entrance 5-6 inches below the cluster which creates hydraulic resistance to the heat loss.  However in your climate I don't think it is that critical.
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Offline Acebird

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Re: Need another plan for insulating hives
« Reply #26 on: November 20, 2017, 09:51:47 am »
The bell jar principle is the key.  The ideal configuration is a round entrance 5-6 inches below the cluster which creates hydraulic resistance to the heat loss. 

Sealey seems to think natural hives have their entrance above the bottom.
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Offline little john

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Re: Need another plan for insulating hives
« Reply #27 on: November 20, 2017, 07:09:29 pm »

Sealey " ... inspected 49 entrances in 33 nests.  Knotholes (56%), tree cracks (32%) and holes among roots (12%) formed entrances. Most nests (79 %) had one entrance. The others (21%) had up to 5 entrance holes."

What Sealey did do (in 'The Nest of the Honey Bee', Sealey and Morse, 1976), was to present an idealised diagram of a tree nest, which many people have subsequently erroneously assumed to be some kind of blueprint from which to design beehives.

Sealey writes: "Nest entrances tended to be near the nest bottom. (29 entrances from 20 nests)(*). This predominance of bottom entrances is highly improbable (P <0.002) assuming entrance position relative to the cavity is random(**).  This non-random distribution can be explained in two ways. Either honey bees select cavities with bottom entrances, or fungal decay, which probably produces most tree cavities, tends to expand upward from its entry point into a tree." (***)

(*) Eh ?  Why not analyse the 49 entrances in 33 nests as before ?
(**) which it isn't - ask any tree surgeon.
(***) which is exactly the case.  ALL cavities created by wet rot due to rain-water ingress will develop openings towards the bottom, as wood rot develops much faster at the upper surface of the cavity where conditions are damp, but not flooded as tends to occur at the bottom of the cavity.

You might find the following of some relevance to this topic:

"This dampness which causes what may be called a rot among the bees is one of the worst enemies with which the Apiarian in a cold climate, has to contend, as it weakens or destroys many of his best colonies. No extreme of cold ever experienced in latitudes where bees flourish, can destroy a strong colony well supplied with honey, except indirectly, by confining them to empty combs. They will survive our coldest winters, in thin hives raised on blocks to give a  freer admission of air, or even in suspended hives, without any bottom-board at  all.  Indeed, in cold weather, a very free admission of air is necessary in such  hives, to prevent the otherwise ruinous effects of frozen moisture; and hence the common remark that bees require as much or more air in winter than in summer."  Hive and the Honey Bee, Langstroth, 1853, p.117

LJ
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Offline Bush_84

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Re: Need another plan for insulating hives
« Reply #28 on: November 23, 2017, 12:00:45 am »
I?ll throw my two cents in. I have wintered bees in a garden shed for two years. I have had 100% survival rate. This winter will test that as I have a couple of light Nucs. Anyways...it?s insulated and vented. I used dryer vents to vent. One of them has an in-line fan that I run a couple of times per day. The ducts have a couple of 90degree turns to avoid light pollution. I use an oil filled radiator heater attached to a thermocube, which keeps temps between 35-45 f. If the weather warms enough in feb or March I open the doors to let them have heir cleansing flights. This method has served me well and I?d even go as far as saying that it?s the best beekeeping management decision I?ve ever made.
Keeping bees since 2011.

Also please excuse the typos.  My iPad autocorrect can be brutal.

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Need another plan for insulating hives
« Reply #29 on: November 23, 2017, 06:32:25 am »
Bush,
Congratulations, well done. Dadant tried to keep his bees in a shed and lost almost every one.
Jim
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Offline Acebird

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Re: Need another plan for insulating hives
« Reply #30 on: November 23, 2017, 08:41:54 am »
This method has served me well and I?d even go as far as saying that it?s the best beekeeping management decision I?ve ever made.

How big is your shed and how many hives do you overwinter?
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Offline Yukon Bees

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Re: Need another plan for insulating hives
« Reply #31 on: November 24, 2017, 01:59:59 am »
I have run Paradise Poly hives in the Yukon for the past 3 years with great success. I leave my bottom screen board open but block off the side opening with styrofoam. I installed some sensors (Temp/Humidity) this summer so I am comparing my values with another local beekeeper who runs insulated wood hives.
Observations so far: (Coldest Temp so far this winter is -36C)
Wood Vs Poly Hives Comparison
-Top Box Humidity levels very similar
-Lower Box Humidity Levels 15% lower in Poly
-Top Box Vs Lower Box Delta Temps (Wood ~20C) (Poly ~10C) - Notice much lower evening temps in Mt Lorne
- Little temp fluctuations in the poly hive is likely the tightening of the cluster as the temperature drops over night from 10PM to 6AM
-Notice the temp spike on Nov 22 - That's me cleaning out my top and bottom entrance (bees heat up by 10C). Now I know why it is recommended not to tap the hive in winter to see if they are still alive. Bees were present at the top entrance and lower entrance when I cleaned them out (outside temp was
-25C) telling me the cluster wasn't very tight and bees are still able to travel up and down the hive. As mentioned before 2 more sensors would be required to understand hive wall temps (cluster fringe temps).
[ You are not allowed to view attachments ]
Zone 1A - Paradise Honey Bee Boxes - Mid April 1st Willow pollen & last forage early September

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Need another plan for insulating hives
« Reply #32 on: November 24, 2017, 07:32:57 am »
Yukon,
Very interesting, thanks for sharing. Let us know what the spring results are.
Jim
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Offline Acebird

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Re: Need another plan for insulating hives
« Reply #33 on: November 24, 2017, 08:50:35 am »
Humidity is very hard to measure unless you have a clean environment.  Looks like some tanked out reading (straight lines).  It would help the American folks if you could pasted a Fahrenheit scale on the graph.
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Offline Yukon Bees

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Re: Need another plan for insulating hives
« Reply #34 on: November 25, 2017, 01:57:25 pm »
Here is a reference... http://www.thecalculatorsite.com/images/articles/fahrenheit-to-celsius/thermometer-readings.jpg

The plots are x-y charts based on hourly data. Wood top box just had it's sensor added a couple of weeks ago.
Zone 1A - Paradise Honey Bee Boxes - Mid April 1st Willow pollen & last forage early September

Offline Bush_84

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Re: Need another plan for insulating hives
« Reply #35 on: November 26, 2017, 11:31:47 pm »
This method has served me well and I?d even go as far as saying that it?s the best beekeeping management decision I?ve ever made.

How big is your shed and how many hives do you overwinter?

While o have never officially measured it I?d guess 8x10. So not a huge space but a huge space is not needed. I have had 3-4 most years. I have 10 this year.
Keeping bees since 2011.

Also please excuse the typos.  My iPad autocorrect can be brutal.

Offline little john

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Re: Need another plan for insulating hives
« Reply #36 on: November 27, 2017, 05:20:59 am »
This method has served me well and I?d even go as far as saying that it?s the best beekeeping management decision I?ve ever made.

How big is your shed and how many hives do you overwinter?

While o have never officially measured it I?d guess 8x10. So not a huge space but a huge space is not needed. I have had 3-4 most years. I have 10 this year.

You know, it may just be the case that you're doing something very prudent and sensible to ensure colony survival, other than installing them within your shed set-up - for it's possible that you may be a more skillful beekeeper than you realise.

Should you ever feel up to running an experiment, it would be interesting to see how one or two of your colonies fared if kept outside of the shed, but given a modest amount of conventional passive protection instead, an approach which scientists call 'testing the null hypothesis'.

LJ
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Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Need another plan for insulating hives
« Reply #37 on: November 27, 2017, 09:04:37 am »
Put all the hives up against each other.  Then insulate the group with your straw bales.
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Offline Bush_84

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Re: Need another plan for insulating hives
« Reply #38 on: November 28, 2017, 09:09:44 pm »
This method has served me well and I?d even go as far as saying that it?s the best beekeeping management decision I?ve ever made.

How big is your shed and how many hives do you overwinter?

While o have never officially measured it I?d guess 8x10. So not a huge space but a huge space is not needed. I have had 3-4 most years. I have 10 this year.

You know, it may just be the case that you're doing something very prudent and sensible to ensure colony survival, other than installing them within your shed set-up - for it's possible that you may be a more skillful beekeeper than you realise.

Should you ever feel up to running an experiment, it would be interesting to see how one or two of your colonies fared if kept outside of the shed, but given a modest amount of conventional passive protection instead, an approach which scientists call 'testing the null hypothesis'.

LJ

If my operation ever outgrew my shed I?d be all in for something like that. I guess I have been gradually growing as a beekeeper but I never had much luck in my Minnesota winters until I put bees in a shed. Keep in mind however that Minnesota has some of the worst winters in the USA. These interventions would not be needed for much of the rest of our country. I moved to my current house about 3-4 years ago and bees were outside at my old place. Once I moved here things have been different.

Here is my thought on my winter weather according to my experience and what I?ve read. Most say cold won?t kill bees but moisture will. I have cold and dry winters. I mountain cam all my hives so most moisture gets absorbed by the sugar. I still use an upper entrance but wouldn?t if I kept bees outside. So moisture is not a concern. Cold is. My reading has revealed that 35-45 is the sweet spot. A litttle bit colder wouldn?t really do much harm but prolonged cold will. Bees have a shorter summer lifespan due to increased workload. Colder temps require increased work from bees to stay warm. This results in increase honey consumption and bee mortality as increased physical stress results in shorter life span. Outside my strong hives were left with little honey and small clusters come March. A one week subzero freeze would finish them off. In my shed I have friggin drones in March. My weaker hives are still weaker but survive. Why? They have decreased winter decline and honey to get the,pm through until summer.

So excessive?  Ya probably but it has worked thus far.
Keeping bees since 2011.

Also please excuse the typos.  My iPad autocorrect can be brutal.