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Author Topic: What have I done to my observation hive?  (Read 1362 times)
twb
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« on: June 19, 2008, 03:38:54 PM »

I disconnected my obs hive the night before a honey bee talk.  After the talk I reconnected about one half hour before sunset and the bees seemed lethargic all night.  Now, the next day I see solid dead bees along the bottom of the hive up to the bottom of the lowest frame.  Why?  How do I remedy?
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"Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones."  Proverbs 16:24

Sincerely,
TWB
Moonshae
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« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2008, 08:37:40 PM »

Did they get too hot? Sounds like a lot of bees died during the time they were sealed in, and the housekeepers couldn't get them out. Is the entrance clear?
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twb
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« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2008, 06:59:51 AM »

I suspected over heating too.  I disconnected again and opened the hive and cleared all dead bees and added some holes for ventilation.  Now, after putting the bees back in I still have some moisture on the glass(lexan) and I am stumped.  I have another talk in two days too.  More ideas anyone?
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"Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones."  Proverbs 16:24

Sincerely,
TWB
BearCreekBees
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« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2008, 07:15:28 AM »

No ideas yet, but a few questions.

What kind of OH are you using? Is it a portable unit which you carried away to the talk? Have you got any photos you could post?
How many ventilation holes are in it now, how large are they, and where are they located?

I know someone here can help you, just need a little more info.

Hate to see you lose any more bees!
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Ross
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« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2008, 08:32:49 AM »

If you are holding moisture, you still don't have enough ventilation.  Are you going to try to over winter in there?  If so, you will likely have to put a lot of ventilation now, then seal some this winter.
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twb
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« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2008, 10:34:29 AM »




The hive is three deeps.  The vent holes are 3/8".  Three on one side and four on the other(by top frame).  Two on one side and three on the other by lower end of middle frame.  Plus the tiny holes I drilled with the bees still in the unit.  I did a few small holes on the lid, too.  Even the entry tube had moisture in it this AM.  It was 59F.  Now at 70F the moisture is all cleared.  Pic #1 shows a bit of moisture on the edge of a frame.  There was more moisture than what you see here.

Bees uncapped some brood, more drone than worker but some of both.  Stress I suppose?  It is yet to be determined who is more stressed, the bees or the beekeeper Undecided Smiley.  I got it to show at my talks this summer and to enjoy at home but so far it seems to be too tough on the bees to close it up.  Hopefully we will be able to work the "bugs" out.  I'd love to overwinter in the obs hive but for now I am most concerned about oversummering.
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"Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones."  Proverbs 16:24

Sincerely,
TWB
BearCreekBees
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« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2008, 11:14:53 AM »

I think some additional ventilation is in order.

As a reference, on the type of OH you are using, I have holes large enough to accommodate a regular-mouth canning jar with a feeder lid on it. I put two of these holes on the top, then attach wire screen from the inside. In addition, I have four 1" holes running down each side. If I had thought it out I would have put an 1/8" wire screen bottom board on it as well- good for more ventilation, but also for debris- the bees can haul the debris out of the entrance, but they sure seem to expend a lot of energy doing it.

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twb
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« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2008, 01:24:14 PM »

Thanks for your ideas.  I have two talks next week and then a week off so I may add more holes during that time off.  Any other thoughts and ideas from others will be kindly accepted.  When I purchased it I asked about ventilation and he said he has never had a problem.  Well, I guess I do.
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"Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones."  Proverbs 16:24

Sincerely,
TWB
Ross
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« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2008, 01:32:35 PM »

Drill some 1" or larger holes top and bottom and screen them.  Add a sliding/rotating cover so you can close off some in cold weather.  Remember, when you close the entrance you have removed most of the incoming air.
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www.myoldtools.com
Those who don't read good books have no advantage over those who can't---Mark Twain
twb
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« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2008, 07:21:37 PM »

Thankyou.  Oh, to be a woodworker.  It would sure come in handy with beekeeping.
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"Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones."  Proverbs 16:24

Sincerely,
TWB
HAB
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« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2008, 07:42:45 PM »

Are you keeping it in an Air Cnoditioned room with an entry/exit tube to the out dors.  If so and the out side of the glass is much cooler than the inside and you have high outside humidity you will have a lot condensation. The Bees will raise the humidity in the hive also.
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