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Author Topic: Ventilation  (Read 4351 times)
BigRog
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« on: September 15, 2004, 03:54:10 AM »

I have almost constant bearding on my hive. I am reding here that the 2 things that will affect this are 1. Space 2. Ventilation

As far as space goes I just put a third deep on the hive. Sat here the other night and assembled 10 frames with wax foundation. I enjoyed doing it and the foundation smells so good. Took me 2 hours, but I was also watching TV at the time.

Ventilation. How do I effectively increase ventilation without starting up other problems? The guy who has the supply house near me (Where I got my frames, smoker, foundation, api strips and menthol and spent 2 hours talking to me about beekeeping in VA) said that years ago he bough a bunch of hives and parts from the widow of a beekeeper who had died and there were holes drilled in the sides of the hives with corks for the holes. In warmer weather the holes are left open, in cold weather the holes are plugged. Sounds good to me.


Any suggestions? comments?
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Lesli
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« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2004, 07:01:12 AM »

I've drilled holes in some of my hive bodies just below the hand holds--but in front, not on the sides. The bees also use it as a second entrance.
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« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2004, 07:13:11 AM »

Rog:

Plugged holes are good BUT remember to have screening stapled on the inside to prevent the holes from being used as an entrance. Corks shrink too, so think of dowels with small wood strips that can be screwed into the hive over the dowel plugs to prevent them from falling out - the screen will stop them from falling in.

Most people just tilt the outer cover by sitting the front edge of the cover above the front edge of the inner cover  - raising the outer cover about 1.5 inches up and it will tilt to the rear for rain drainage. The actually allows a lot of air into the hive because of chimney effect drafting, with very little EXPOSED areas to be protected. Actually all protecting that could occur is done at the oval inner cover entrance.

Honestly, I like the holes better for long term solution, there is no need for guarding them and it just seems more effective. I've done this to the sides of the supers rather than the front, it reduces incoming bees from landing off target as the get a whiff of their hives.

Talk soon Smiley

BTW.... Still no swarming in C2, small beards only - nights are cooler and leaves are falling. What a difference a week makes. Also, you missed out on the testing of that lanch valve by just 4 days - they shot deadloads (30,000 pounders) off of that Mode 2 platform Tuesday - 12 shots in all. Plus, the Goodyear Blimp is in town. It came yesterday and stays three days. It stays at the twin wooden hangars 5&6.
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« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2004, 07:49:28 AM »

Quote from: beemaster

Plugged holes are good BUT remember to have screening stapled on the inside to prevent the holes from being used as an entrance.


I thought an extra entrance could be nice if the hive was strong enough.  Wouldn't this function just as the Imirie Shim, or is it different? Do you think it is bad in all occations with an extra hole entrance, or just as Rog's hive is not strong enough to defend an additional entrance?

eivindm
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golfpsycho
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« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2004, 09:04:11 AM »

My colonies were in full sun all day and I had quite a bit of late afternoon early evening bearding.  The quickest ventilation is to raise the outer cover as john suggests.  My preferred ventilation is just to offset the top most super about 3/8's of an inch.  They'll fan and guard the gap, and some use it as an entrance, but the heavy traffic was still at the bottom.  The humidity is very low here, while the temps are very high, and making both of those adjustments only reduced the bearding by about half.  I marked my queens, and when I took the honey off, they were all still here, so no swarms were cast.  I believe they just need some relief from the afternoon sun.  My colonies positioning was determined by the view.. or lack of it by the neighbors, but since I passed out the honey, I'm alot bolder.  They'll be in plain site getting shade from the snowball tree next year.
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Robo
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« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2004, 11:45:05 AM »

My experience has been that slatted racks or screened bottom boards drastically reduces, if not eliminates, bearding.  

Holes work fine,  but if screened, the bees will close them up with propolis.

The easiest/cheapest way to provide upper ventilation is to place 2 20" 1x1 across the inner cover (short way)  and place the outer cover on top, so that the lips rest on the 1x1s....
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leominsterbeeman
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« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2004, 07:47:54 PM »

To vent the hive...

I put 2 push pins into the back corners of the inner cover.  then put the outer cover back on.

Works for me.
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Kris^
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« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2004, 08:45:00 PM »

I built a vent box, about the size of a shallow super with two 1-1/2" holes drilled into the narrow ends and three into the long sides, screened off on the inside.  I place it above the inner cover and set the upper cover on top.  The bees go up into the space but don't built comb there and, paired with a screened bottom board, they haven't bearded much at all.

-- Kris
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« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2004, 10:19:04 PM »

I've tilted my top covers as John states above for the last couple of years and have had little bearding occur. I've also had no swarms issue from my hives either. I always try to stay ahead of my bees as far as their need for more space is concerned by adding on more supers.

I like Kris^s idea with the vent box and may try it on a couple of hives next year but I'm not sure that I want to introduce another item that I have to remove whenever I decide to get into my bees. I may just make a deeper top cover with the vents and lower support blocks incorporated into it and replace it with a regular top cover come wintertime.
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golfpsycho
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« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2004, 11:05:37 PM »

I've had slatted racks before.. I don't think I got the advertised results.  I got some screened bottom boards, but have not put them on.  ( lazy old bugger)  I originally planned to put them on and leave them open all winter.. but I just never seemed to get around to it.  Even with the covers lifted, and the super shifted it was just too hot.  They are on a cement pad.. full sun.. and next to the weather side of a garage, and I was sweating like the fat boy I am any time I worked them.  They are very very strong, If I had a little more experience in this climate, I would probably have ordered some queens and broke them down into multiple splits.  We'll see what happens when the snow flys.  44 degrees this morning at 0445.... 83 at 1500....
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« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2004, 08:36:42 PM »

Quote from: carbide

I like Kris^s idea with the vent box and may try it on a couple of hives next year but I'm not sure that I want to introduce another item that I have to remove whenever I decide to get into my bees. I may just make a deeper top cover with the vents and lower support blocks incorporated into it and replace it with a regular top cover come wintertime.


Carbide,
 
I would suggest going with the extra medium super sized ventilation box and stick with the normal cover.  I found the bigger, bulkier cover a pain to deal with.  Where as the ventilation box (empty medium super) is easy to remove/add above the inner cover.  It also provides a nice place to stack supers when your digging down thru the hive.    Besides, aren't you really adding another piece if now you have to have two covers for each hive.

If you do go with the additional upper ventilation, the single hole in the inner cover really isn't sufficient.  You should add at least one more.  In fact,  I have been making the two oval holes perpendicular to the frames instead of parallel, which allows better air movement up thru the frames. This also allows for feeding through one and still have some ventilation thru the other.
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« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2004, 10:07:04 PM »

Robo,

In your first post on this topic you suggested using 2 - 20" long 1x1 strips on top of the inner cover for the top cover to rest on thus providing a 3/4" x 18 - 3/8" opening along each side of the hive. What, if any, drawbacks have you observed by using this method of upper ventilation?
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Robo
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« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2004, 10:33:12 PM »

Yes,

I suggest that because I thought Rog was looking for a quick fix. That is what I used before going with the ventilation box.  

I found it to work quite well actually.  It does allow them to use it as an entrance, but if you don't mind that, I found no other draw backs.  

It seemed like they would use it like a deck almost.  Quite interesting to go out in the evening and see the whole top of the inner cover covered with bees.  Never did I have them beard down the side, they always stayed under the cover.
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Kris^
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« Reply #13 on: September 18, 2004, 10:46:21 AM »

Quote from: Robo
It seemed like they would use it like a deck almost.  Quite interesting to go out in the evening and see the whole top of the inner cover covered with bees.  Never did I have them beard down the side, they always stayed under the cover.


My bees use the top of the inner cover as a sort of "penthouse deck" too, sometimes with the heat and high humidity covering the whole thing.  Rooftop horizontal bearding???   huh

-- Kris
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« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2004, 11:17:52 PM »

Have you guys looked at the DE hive Mod-kit. i have talked to a few older beekeeper in my area and they say they cost to mush for a comercial bee keeper but they have some and love them , here a site that tells about them. one guy said he made something close to it after he bought his . thay all love them, said it does cut down on swarming and hives produce more honey, one guy even said he put 1 langstroth hive with the mod-kit beside a regular langstroth hive and watch for a month and said you could see the difference when it got hot and the numbers of bees fanning in the regular hive were 4 times as many. All these guys use Langstroth hives.


http://www.beeworks.com/ModKit.htm
http://www.beeworks.com/ModKitdetails.htm
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golfpsycho
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« Reply #15 on: September 20, 2004, 11:06:33 AM »

I've read about the DE hives, and they sound very interesting.  Lots of interesting ideas, and all reports seem to be positive.  At the same time, I've captured swarms in cardboard boxes, and kept them there (with some brood comb) for a month.  I'm not so sure the bees are as particular as we seem to be.  You find them in cracks in large rocks, holes in trees, old tires, and occasionally, building comb in the open.  I'm a firm believer in standard sizes as a matter of economy, and management.  I'd like to try them, but they are a little pricey.  Guess I'll have the winter to mull it over.  37 degrees and snow down to 5200 feet this morning.  Summers over and fall is fading fast.
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