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Author Topic: Hives in shade - Has anyone tried a heliostat?  (Read 265 times)

Offline Garigal

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Hives in shade - Has anyone tried a heliostat?
« on: June 25, 2020, 05:00:23 am »
Hey,

My hives are currently located in a mostly full sun position as SHB is quite bad here, but I would like to use another area which is much more accessible but is on the south-western side of the house and gets very little direct sun except in the afternoon, even less in winter.

I had been thinking of how to use mirrors to bounce some light onto my hives where they are currently located during winter, which led me to discover this home heliostat:

https://www.wikoda.com/

I could mount it so it would direct continuous sunlight all day if required.

Has anyone ever tried anything like this to direct some light and heat onto their hives when they're in a less than ideal location?

Offline Honeyeater

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Re: Hives in shade - Has anyone tried a heliostat?
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2020, 05:53:29 am »
Hey mate. That heliostat surely looks interesting.

I'm not really qualified to help you much, but from my few years of experience here in Perth, where we don't even have the bugs you have over there, I found that hives perform better in full sun. I was going to say that you can always put shade over hives if you want to, but can't put sun on a shady hive.

Well I'm wrong, and I bet that will work quite well if you have no other options, and you can live with a large shiny disc in your back yard. But will it reflect much heat in winter, or just light?

Offline Garigal

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Re: Hives in shade - Has anyone tried a heliostat?
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2020, 06:22:08 am »
Hey mate. That heliostat surely looks interesting.

I'm not really qualified to help you much, but from my few years of experience here in Perth, where we don't even have the bugs you have over there, I found that hives perform better in full sun. I was going to say that you can always put shade over hives if you want to, but can't put sun on a shady hive.

Well I'm wrong, and I bet that will work quite well if you have no other options, and you can live with a large shiny disc in your back yard. But will it reflect much heat in winter, or just light?

I'm not sure about the heat, as some mirrors are 'tuned' to only reflect certain wavelengths and heat is infrared, I assume it would but I have sent them an email to ask, I'll let you know what they say. It doesn't have any magnifying effect as far as I can tell so it shouldn't set anything on fire haha.

I would consider getting one to illuminate some parts of my house like the videos as the front is south facing & where most of the windows are.

I thought something like this would be ridiculously expensive but it's not too bad for what it can do, there's a massive one hanging off the top of a skyscraper here in Sydney to illuminate the giant green wall up the whole side.

Offline Honeyeater

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Re: Hives in shade - Has anyone tried a heliostat?
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2020, 06:43:28 am »
It doesn't have any magnifying effect as far as I can tell so it shouldn't set anything on fire haha.


Looks like it is a flat disc. Shouldn't be a fire hazard  :angry:

Last week my wife was getting the clothes off the clothes line, and she was putting them in a large stainless steel bowl. It was in the sun, and in a matter of minutes, a sock started smoking. The round shiny bowl acted like a lens and a hot spot formed on the clothes. This happened in just a minute or two.

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Hives in shade - Has anyone tried a heliostat?
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2020, 11:18:08 am »
Investigators have shown that small hive beetles fly before or just after dusk and odors from adult bees and various hive products (honey, pollen) are attractive to flying small hive beetles (Elzen and Neumann 2004). If that is so, will your mirror effect still be effective? I do not know.

If sunlight is the deterrent to SHB. What is it that detours beetles from entering a sunlit hive especially if beetles fly as described above? I am not disputing the sunlit claim because I can also see a difference in shade placed hives and sunlit hives. I do not know why sunlight is the deterrent. Does anyone know the answer to this?

A couple years ago a red light theory was said to stop SHB. This light was sunlit. Supposed to work in shade as it allowed enough sunlight to enter the hive. This was some sort of plastic (red see through dome) hive top. Supposedly hives placed in shade were the primary use for this product.  I ask questions to the designer As I was very interested yet concerned of overheating the hive and the plastic red tent fading. I never received a response. Keep us updated on this idea.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2020, 11:37:57 am by Ben Framed »
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Offline Garigal

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Re: Hives in shade - Has anyone tried a heliostat?
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2020, 07:19:46 am »
I've never heard of sunlight being a deterrent to SHB apart from them preferring darkness, but I just assumed that hives in a sunny spot are generally stronger and healthier than ones in a shady damp spot and so can cope with SHB better.

One of the best ways of flushing the adult beetles down into the usually undermounted beetle traps is to take the lid off and let the sun in for a few minutes, I've been thinking of exploiting this by placing LED strips under the hive lid to periodically drive the beetles out of the hive.

P.S. I've seen beetles turn up at all hours but yes mostly at dusk.