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Author Topic: Planning for Hurricanes  (Read 2701 times)
Two Bees
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« on: June 24, 2008, 07:24:45 AM »

For those of us that live relatively close to the Atlantic, what precautions or preparations should we be making just in case a hurricane heads our way later this summer?
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Vetch
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« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2008, 04:44:26 PM »

I've been wondering the same thing myself over the past few weeks.  The only thing I have seen that is remotely related are latches to fasten the sections of a hive together into one piece - might help somewhat in high winds, but not so much with really high winds.  Straps and anchors? 
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Moonshae
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« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2008, 06:13:16 PM »

I would close up the hives, strap them, and place them behind a windbreak or inside of a sturdy structure. I believe one of our members got his hives through a hurricane last year when it hit Jamaica.
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Two Bees
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« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2008, 07:01:26 PM »

I was thinking of strapping them to the 2x4 frame that I made for them.  I made a rectangular stand that is about 24 x 60 (so I can get three hives on it even though I only have two right now).  It stands about 12" high on 4x4 legs.

I am guessing that you might remove any feeder (I use one gallon jars) and strap those suckers down tight!

Would you put the entrance reducer back in on the small opening?
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sean
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« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2008, 09:05:20 AM »

ok. Having been through a category 4 or 5 hurricane without losing a hive directly because of it i can speak with relative authority.

I had about 25 hives at the time. I sealed the entrances with mesh and started to move them into an old building on the property but didnt finish(the last couple of hives got real testy. Anyway, those that i left out got through the hurricane quite ok.  plus those that i had by my mother's house(about a mile from the sea-on a hill) made it through as well. I have thus concluded,

1) the direct wind is not a problem once they are on a sturdy base and properly balanced ie. they are not leaning in any direction. remove any debris, chop tree limbs that might break/blow and hit the hives(this could cause them to topple over)

2) weigh down the top with concrete blocks or something similarly heavy( again make sure the base i ok. You dont want the hive sinking into the mud/sand/dirt at one end.

3) Ensure that they have enough stores to last for a few days(in case you cant get to them to release them immediately/soon after.

4) have sugar on hand to feed. heavy winds mean very few blooms which means very little food
 
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Two Bees
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« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2008, 12:46:19 PM »

Thanks, Sean!  Sounds like you had a pretty tough time but were able to come through it!  Congrats!
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greg spike
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« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2008, 01:36:27 PM »

If you're really worried about wind, you could use mobile home anchors.
 They're kinda like big corkscrews, to put in place use an auger to put holes on either side of your stands, then use the auger to corkscrew them deeper. Backfill the holes, and put aluminium straping between the two,and ratchet it down tight.
 Check your yellow pages for mobile home supply stores, i dont think they cost too much.

But, then again, if the wind is stong enough to knock over a full sized hive, glued together and at mid summer weight....You're probably doomed anyway.
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JP
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« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2008, 09:15:43 PM »

Here's a few before and after shots of some hives that were in my backyard during and after Katrina, we had a tornado that did damage to my shed, fence and trees, lost one hive due to a branch.










...JP
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Two Bees
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« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2008, 07:41:08 PM »

Thanks, JP!  Your set-up looks a lot more organized than mine!

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JP
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« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2008, 07:53:32 PM »

Thanks, JP!  Your set-up looks a lot more organized than mine!




This is how I do things now:


...JP
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"Good friends are as sweet as honey" Winne the Pooh

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Two Bees
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« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2008, 04:43:53 PM »

JP, how many hives do you have?  Still looks more organized than mine!

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JP
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« Reply #11 on: July 04, 2008, 10:28:14 AM »

JP, how many hives do you have?  Still looks more organized than mine!



I have 45 at my main beeyard and I'm trying not to keep too many at my house but...

That is difficult sometimes, I have one in a car speaker, one in a rubbermade container, three others I'm babysitting and keeping an eye on before I move them and the latest one in a squirrel box, oh, forgot the one in the nuc I removed yesterday.


...JP
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"Good friends are as sweet as honey" Winne the Pooh

My pictures can be viewed at http://picasaweb.google.com/pyxicephalus
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My Youtube videos can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=JPthebeeman&aq=f

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Michael Bush
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« Reply #12 on: July 04, 2008, 04:08:16 PM »

>what precautions or preparations should we be making just in case a hurricane heads our way later this summer?

Move?
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JP
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« Reply #13 on: July 04, 2008, 05:56:43 PM »

>what precautions or preparations should we be making just in case a hurricane heads our way later this summer?

Move?

There's no place like home, there's no place like home, there's...


...JP
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Two Bees
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« Reply #14 on: July 04, 2008, 06:38:43 PM »

I thought about moving to Oklahoma a few years ago............then my wife reminded me of the tornados!

I thought about moving to California a few years after that......then my wife reminded me of earthquakes!

Then we had Hurricane Fran in 1996...........really kicked butt and shut this town down for more than a week!

Then we had Hurricane Floyd in 1999...........most dang water ever seen 150 miles inland and was dubbed a 500 year flood (You know they will survey your land and note the 100 flood line on it?)  But a 500 year flood line!

So being curious, I asked the local corps of engineers how did they determine it was a 500 year flood?

His response was beautiful...............since no European had ever seen a flood that high since the Europeans have been here (since 1492), that is why the dubbed it a 500 year flood! 

They should have asked the Native Americans about it!
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"Don't know what I'd do without that boy......but I'm sure willin' to give it a try!"
J.D. Clampett commenting about Jethro Bodine.
ktadema
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« Reply #15 on: August 31, 2008, 11:40:22 PM »

JP, thanks for posting your pictures.  It looks like Gustav is going to miss my area, but hurricane season definitely gets us on the Gulf Coast thinking about what-ifs.  Good to see what someone did and exactly how they came out in the aftermath.
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Two Bees
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« Reply #16 on: September 02, 2008, 08:30:27 AM »

Lock'em down, boys and girls!  Looks like we have a train of storms and hurricanes headed for the east coast and gulf!

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"Don't know what I'd do without that boy......but I'm sure willin' to give it a try!"
J.D. Clampett commenting about Jethro Bodine.
tlynn
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« Reply #17 on: September 02, 2008, 06:38:37 PM »

We've been lucky here in the Tampa area.  About all we got from Gustav was some big waves to play in.

Having been through a few hurricanes myself, I'd say you'd be most likely to get hive damage from flying or falling debris - lawn furniture, roof tiles, limbs, etc. than the wind by itself blowing over the hives, especially if they are solidly based and weighted and low to the ground.  I'd make sure any trees in the hive vicinity are well trimmed and get any lawn furniture, pots, grills and such off the patio and out of the yard.  It's really impressive to see what can fly in 100 mph winds!  And it's scary as all heck because the rain turns into sort of a fog so it's hard to see objects flying! Great reason to be inside!!!  Of course there's probably nothing you can really do in a CAT 4 or 5 short of evacuating with them in the back of the truck.

Local beekeeper told me if a storm is approaching don't be popping tops.  They will know the storm is coming and will glue the hive together really well.  He says if it looks bad he'll set some drywall screws in the top board.
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ktadema
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« Reply #18 on: September 21, 2008, 01:54:26 AM »

My area took a direct hit from Ike last weekend.  I only have one hive, and I meant to move it onto an area of concrete up against my house, but since I was working shift work and trying to do a zillion things at once to prepare for the hurricane, I put off moving the bees until the monring of.  Much to my chagrine, I found that my hive was too heavy for me to move, and decided instead to pile up bags of dirt around it.  I think I used 5 x 50 pound bags and then put 4 bricks plus a stepping stone on top of my hive.  Lo and behold, my hive made it through 120 mph winds unscathed.  I may have simply been lucky, but I'll take it!
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Irwin
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howdy all


« Reply #19 on: September 21, 2008, 09:27:01 AM »

My area took a direct hit from Ike last weekend.  I only have one hive, and I meant to move it onto an area of concrete up against my house, but since I was working shift work and trying to do a zillion things at once to prepare for the hurricane, I put off moving the bees until the monring of.  Much to my chagrine, I found that my hive was too heavy for me to move, and decided instead to pile up bags of dirt around it.  I think I used 5 x 50 pound bags and then put 4 bricks plus a stepping stone on top of my hive.  Lo and behold, my hive made it through 120 mph winds unscathed.  I may have simply been lucky, but I'll take it!
Good for you. Sound's like you did the right thing.
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Keith13
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« Reply #20 on: September 22, 2008, 10:23:34 AM »

I lost a few hives because of Gustav but, with talking to the locals most believe a small tornado came through so probably anything I did would not have mattered. But in the future I plan to ratchet strap my tops, and hives down. 
I believe I can place a 2 ft 2x4 under my box then wrap a ratchet strap all the way around the entire hive. this way when you tighten the strap it will cinch the 2x4 tight up to the 2x6 stringers that the hives are sitting on thus holding the entire hive to the stand. My stand is cemented 4x4's with 2x6 stringers for the hives to sit on. I think with this set up I should be able to withstand some strong winds but probably not a tornado. 
Also I think for the people that use 4x4 and cinder blocks like JP they can probably use this method as well, it would lock everything together and at least make it a lot heavier

Keith
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IsleWx
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« Reply #21 on: September 26, 2008, 09:51:42 PM »

hi all,

We were at more or less ground zero for Ike.  I took out the pets but had to leave the hives.  I guess you never really expect the worst to happen.

They are lost, as was the house, along with pretty much everything else.  We'll be cleaning the slab off with a broom after the adjusters are out tomorrow.

On the bright side, we'll be rebuilding, and in the plan will be a raised terrace for the apiary, with protection from the north winter winds.  I'm thinking to start out with four packages.

Mp
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« Reply #22 on: September 27, 2008, 07:18:45 AM »

Sorry to here of your losses MP.Glad you made it through okay though!! Best wishes for your future and good luck with your new apiary. Send us some photos when it's done!
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« Reply #23 on: September 27, 2008, 07:27:11 AM »

I posted some pictures of my preparing for a hurricane a while back



I have upgraded slightly since then. I can't believe that was two years ago.

I use a method that is similar to JP's. I still strap around the entire box.I put the boxes close together and secure them to each other. I then use point to ground anchors in several locations. And the hives don't move. I usually only do this know if it is cat 4 or 5. For cat 3 or less I may just do some strapping on the bodies and one to the lid.

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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