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Author Topic: Bees fanning at night  (Read 979 times)

Offline clong

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Bees fanning at night
« on: March 26, 2019, 02:04:06 pm »
I have a fairly populous colony in Beemax 10-frame mediums.  There is a 4"x3/8" entrance.  No ventilation at the top. There are enough bees to occupy 3 of the boxes.  I recently added 2 more.

Twice in the last week or so, I have encountered the bees fanning at the entrance.  Should I consider providing top ventilation?

Based on Derek Mitchell's recent work, I am inclined to leave them as they are, but I would like to hear from others, especially those that use insulated hives.

I know he posted on here in the past.  Does anyone here know how to reach Derek?

Thanks.

Offline paus

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Re: Bees fanning at night
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2019, 03:18:38 pm »
I have found that a screened top board with vent holes stop bearding and entrance fanning.  There is a write up describing this in this same Equipment thread.  It works and add shavings or saw dust has many winter benefits.

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Bees fanning at night
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2019, 05:03:50 pm »
Paus,
I run all of my hives with STBs. I have learned by accident that they have the opposite effect. 2 years ago I brought my hives back to the farm and half of my hives had winter insulation boards still in the STBs. One hot day I noticed that half my hives were bearding. I checked to see what was different and the ones with insulation were not bearding and and the ones with open screens were bearding. I added insulation to all my hives and the bearding stopped. I now have insulation in the cover and in the STBs. I rarely see bearding now.
Jim

Offline clong

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Re: Bees fanning at night
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2019, 12:10:55 pm »
sawdstmakr and paus,

Thank you for the replies.  I didn't really consider the issue of bearding.

Since the bees are only fanning, I'm guessing that the bees need fresh air, not relief from heat.

I'll keep an eye on them.  It will warm up quite up bit this weekend.


Offline paus

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Re: Bees fanning at night
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2019, 07:10:05 pm »
Most of my telescoping covers are well insulated, but after Jim's observation I think I will leave a few of the top boards with the shavings in place this summer and see what happens.  This sounds like a good idea especially on splits and weak hives.

Offline derekm

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Re: Bees fanning at night
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2019, 03:07:19 pm »
I have a fairly populous colony in Beemax 10-frame mediums.  There is a 4"x3/8" entrance.  No ventilation at the top. There are enough bees to occupy 3 of the boxes.  I recently added 2 more.

Twice in the last week or so, I have encountered the bees fanning at the entrance.  Should I consider providing top ventilation?

Based on Derek Mitchell's recent work, I am inclined to leave them as they are, but I would like to hear from others, especially those that use insulated hives.

I know he posted on here in the past.  Does anyone here know how to reach Derek?

Thanks.
Safest bet is go with what bees in trees like - every time I investigate the their stuff with lots of engineering/physics I find they have a good solution already.
The engineering says giving top ventilation in insulated nests is  bad, worse than wooden hives.  Honey bees live in mega insulated nests - Trees  and guess what? swarms  actively Seek out bottom entrances over top entrances. 
 Fanning is part of their natural behaviour to move humidity  and  so I would leave them be.  They know what they are doing when in insulated nests.
I did an article on this in American bee journal in  2017.  Honey Bee Engineering: Top Ventilation and top Entrances
Listen to this podcast from Tom Seeley, about 40minutes in 
http://beekeepingtodaypodcast.com/dr-tom-d-seeley-honey-bees-in-the-wild-019
Anything else ?
If they increased energy bill for your home by a factor of 4.5 would you consider that cruel? If so why are you doing that to your bees?

Offline Sour Kraut

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Re: Bees fanning at night
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2019, 06:41:03 pm »
Your location would help to formulate a better answer (List Supervisors, can this be added ???)

But a 4 x 3/8 entrance with 3 mediums full of bees seems pretty small.




Offline clong

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Re: Bees fanning at night
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2019, 01:44:55 pm »
Based on Derek Mitchell's recent work, I am inclined to leave them as they are, but I would like to hear from others, especially those that use insulated hives.

I know he posted on here in the past.  Does anyone here know how to reach Derek?

Thanks.
Safest bet is go with what bees in trees like - every time I investigate the their stuff with lots of engineering/physics I find they have a good solution already.
The engineering says giving top ventilation in insulated nests is  bad, worse than wooden hives.  Honey bees live in mega insulated nests - Trees  and guess what? swarms  actively Seek out bottom entrances over top entrances. 
 Fanning is part of their natural behaviour to move humidity  and  so I would leave them be.  They know what they are doing when in insulated nests.
I did an article on this in American bee journal in  2017.  Honey Bee Engineering: Top Ventilation and top Entrances
Listen to this podcast from Tom Seeley, about 40minutes in 
http://beekeepingtodaypodcast.com/dr-tom-d-seeley-honey-bees-in-the-wild-019
Anything else ?
[/quote]

Mr. Mitchell,

Thank you so much for the reply.  I've gone through 3 winters with no top vent, but I've always flipped the inner cover to the vent-open side no later than June 1st.  But those were smaller hives.  In any case, you've persuaded me.  I'm going to stick it out with bottom ventilation only.

Over the last several days, regardless of the temperature there have been approximately the same number of bees fanning at the entrance (4-8 bees) with more just inside.

The only question now is, without the chimney effect to remove some of the moisture, how do they get the water out of the hive?  Is it all by simple air exchange?  Do they use condensation as well?

I"ve read most of your articles and papers.  Based largely on your writings, all my Langstroth boxes are insulated now.

Thanks again.

Sour Kraut,  Location is just west of Richmond, VA

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Bees fanning at night
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2019, 03:15:21 pm »
Don?t,
Little John from the UK posted a thread here on BeeMaster several years ago about how the bees use water evaporation to cool hives. Basically he explained that the first thing that happens when water evaporates is that it is heavier than air and it sinks inside the hive. It isn?t until it reaches Ambient air temperature that it rises.
If I can find the post I will add a link.
Jim Altmiller
« Last Edit: May 31, 2019, 04:39:02 pm by sawdstmakr »

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Bees fanning at night
« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2019, 03:18:47 pm »

Offline derekm

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Re: Bees fanning at night
« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2019, 04:37:04 pm »
If you read Prof TomSeeley's  new book "The lives of bees" you will see he
's for bottom entrances and FWIW he describes some of my work.
If they increased energy bill for your home by a factor of 4.5 would you consider that cruel? If so why are you doing that to your bees?

Offline derekm

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Re: Bees fanning at night
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2019, 11:16:36 am »
There is also a paper on humidity, entrance sizes and insulation
Mitchell, D. (2019). Nectar, Humidity, Honey bees (Apis mellifera) and Varroa in summer: A theoretical thermofluid analysis of the fate of water vapour from honey ripening and its implications on the control of Varroa destructor. Journal of the Royal Society, Interface, 22 May. https://doi.org/10.1098/rsif.2019.0048
If they increased energy bill for your home by a factor of 4.5 would you consider that cruel? If so why are you doing that to your bees?

Offline clong

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Re: Bees fanning at night
« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2019, 11:17:09 am »
There is also a paper on humidity, entrance sizes and insulation
Mitchell, D. (2019). Nectar, Humidity, Honey bees (Apis mellifera) and Varroa in summer: A theoretical thermofluid analysis of the fate of water vapour from honey ripening and its implications on the control of Varroa destructor. Journal of the Royal Society, Interface, 22 May. https://doi.org/10.1098/rsif.2019.0048

Mr. Mitchell,

I'm currently reading through Tom Seeley's latest book.  I'm on chapter 9, "Temperature Control" where he discusses your findings.

Recently, I've wondered if well-insulated hives help the bees to manage/tolerate varroa better.  Last winter, the hives that survived were all insulated.  I can't fathom how, but perhaps the bees can. I look forward to reading your latest paper.

Thanks.

Offline derekm

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Re: Bees fanning at night
« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2019, 06:27:49 pm »
There is also a paper on humidity, entrance sizes and insulation
Mitchell, D. (2019). Nectar, Humidity, Honey bees (Apis mellifera) and Varroa in summer: A theoretical thermofluid analysis of the fate of water vapour from honey ripening and its implications on the control of Varroa destructor. Journal of the Royal Society, Interface, 22 May. https://doi.org/10.1098/rsif.2019.0048

Mr. Mitchell,

I'm currently reading through Tom Seeley's latest book.  I'm on chapter 9, "Temperature Control" where he discusses your findings.

Recently, I've wondered if well-insulated hives help the bees to manage/tolerate varroa better.  Last winter, the hives that survived were all insulated.  I can't fathom how, but perhaps the bees can. I look forward to reading your latest paper.

Thanks.
On one level the more  energy the bees dont lose the more they have to do things like grooming.  The less energy lost from the hive the higher the humidity and varroa dont breed well above 80% RH at 34C.
If they increased energy bill for your home by a factor of 4.5 would you consider that cruel? If so why are you doing that to your bees?

Offline FloridaGardener

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Re: Bees fanning at night
« Reply #14 on: December 08, 2019, 02:37:36 pm »
Here's what's happening in autumn weather, 35-55F at night and 55-75F daytime.

I've set my hives fairly close together since our temps began to drop. On one side of the smallest colony, I put insulating foam board (as pictured above in the wrapped hive).  This one has a standard bottom entrance, a quilt box on top, and a screened bottom board with a closed hatch allowing just a wisp of air.

Most of the other hives have top entrances in a 3/4" eke, same quiltbox, same SBB "basement."
No outside fanning, no loud humming from the bees.

HOWEVER: The insulation is trapping a good deal of moisture between the outside of the hive and the foam board.  The paint is getting mildew. One hive without the quilt box also keeps a lot of water between the lid and a foam board on top.

Q:  Why is so much water trapped by the foam board? Is this what happens for others, or is it our local humidity and temps? Thanks.