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Author Topic: Winter temps in hive.  (Read 1447 times)

Offline beehappy1950

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Winter temps in hive.
« on: February 04, 2018, 09:13:34 pm »
What would be the perfect temp inside the box for bees to make it thru the winter best? Hope to have lots of ideas here.  I am kicking around heating each box separately. I heated some this winter but I think they were to tight. I lost some of them. I am waiting. Harold

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Winter temps in hive.
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2018, 11:32:40 pm »
I would say about 40 degrees. You want to keep them in the cluster.
Jim

Offline beehappy1950

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Re: Winter temps in hive.
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2018, 11:57:33 pm »
Sawdstmaker are they going to be able to move to new combs at that temp?

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Winter temps in hive.
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2018, 06:44:33 am »
My scout bees are flying at 45 degrees. I think they would be able to easily move the cluster at 40 degrees.
Hopefully MB will see this and give you an exact amount. I am pretty sure he has experimented with adding heat to the hive.
Jim

Offline Acebird

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Re: Winter temps in hive.
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2018, 09:27:35 am »
The cluster is well above 40 so moving is no problem if there isn't brood anchoring them.
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Offline beehappy1950

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Re: Winter temps in hive.
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2018, 10:01:20 am »
Thats what I thought I had them set on 43. I am not sending mine to Calif. anymore so would like to get them to live in Minn. I built boxes out of 2x12s. And made bottom boards 6 in. deep so to be able to build a trough in the middle 4in. deep and 5in. wide with screen on top of it to keep bees away from it for heater. I use a heating element out of a bunn coffee maker. They are 60 watt. Then I made a inner cover that is to thick when they are building comb. And a top cover that has 3 in of styfoam insulation in it. About as costly as our house we built. Ha. But at the price of bees now days better keep them alive. Hope I havent bored any body to death yet by inventing the wheel again. Harold

Offline beehappy1950

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Re: Winter temps in hive.
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2018, 10:26:45 am »
I used 2 thickness of 2xs so the hive walls are 3 in. thick.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Winter temps in hive.
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2018, 11:09:58 am »
40 F would be the max.  I think I'd be plenty happy with 20 F.  I don't want them active.  I've never seen anything that would keep them exactly one temperature so I would try to keep them above 20 F and if I can below 40 F.
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Offline beehappy1950

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Re: Winter temps in hive.
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2018, 12:10:35 pm »
I am using an STC-1000 thermostat. You can get them online for around 13 dollars apiece. The element is the same one that keeps your coffee warm. The STC is centigrade. There is another number for Fahrenheit. Maybe keeping them too warm you think. Maybe.

Offline beehappy1950

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Re: Winter temps in hive.
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2018, 12:12:43 pm »
Oh. These thermostats keep them within 1/2 degree.

Offline Acebird

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Re: Winter temps in hive.
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2018, 12:37:23 pm »
I used 2 thickness of 2xs so the hive walls are 3 in. thick.
I think you should do the opposite.  Buy or build standard 3/4 boxes and put four hives right tight together then line the outside of the hives with board insulation.  The four hives will have two common walls with adjacent hives.  They will cluster in one corner of each hive and share their own cluster heat.
I agree with MB that 8 frames might work out better because they will not want to move away from the common walls to access honey.
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Offline gww

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Re: Winter temps in hive.
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2018, 12:40:34 pm »
ace
Quote
I think you should do the opposite.  Buy or build standard 3/4 boxes and put four hives right tight together then line the outside of the hives with board insulation.  The four hives will have two common walls with adjacent hives.  They will cluster in one corner of each hive and share their own cluster heat.
I agree with MB that 8 frames might work out better because they will not want to move away from the common walls to access honey.
Ditto
gww

Offline beehappy1950

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Re: Winter temps in hive.
« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2018, 01:25:14 pm »
If I lived in NY or Missouri I could do that but in Minnesota we have temps as low as 60 below and 20 below might hang on for 2 to 3  weeks at a time. I want to be able to keep them in their regular spaces.

Offline beehappy1950

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Re: Winter temps in hive.
« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2018, 01:26:35 pm »
But I do thank you for your in put. Thanks

Offline Acebird

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Re: Winter temps in hive.
« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2018, 02:05:20 pm »
The issue with a heat source in close proximity to the hive is that the cluster may gravitate towards it and away from stores.  Is 60 watts enough for 60 below?
Brian Cardinal
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Offline beehappy1950

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Re: Winter temps in hive.
« Reply #15 on: February 05, 2018, 03:25:00 pm »
I tried it in the empty hive to see how fast it could heat a double and it does quite quickly.There isnt much space in a double.

Offline beehappy1950

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Re: Winter temps in hive.
« Reply #16 on: February 06, 2018, 04:16:55 pm »
If you consider about half of the space is taken up with bees, comb. It should help

Offline Bush_84

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Re: Winter temps in hive.
« Reply #17 on: February 07, 2018, 09:53:00 pm »
Hello my fellow Minnesotan. After experimenting with multiple methods of heating a hive I have found it best to just put them in a shed. If you have the ability to do so I?d read up on the subject for next winter. Canadian beekeepers seem to be the best at it.
Keeping bees since 2011.

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

Offline beehappy1950

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Re: Winter temps in hive.
« Reply #18 on: February 07, 2018, 10:30:22 pm »
I may do that next winter with some. I do have an old trailer house up here to put them in. Not sure when to put them in or take them out.

Offline beehappy1950

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Re: Winter temps in hive.
« Reply #19 on: February 07, 2018, 10:34:18 pm »
Bush_84 I see you are just south of me. What method do you use?