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Author Topic: Hive-o-laterns  (Read 1940 times)

Offline Kris^

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Hive-o-laterns
« on: April 22, 2009, 12:10:10 AM »
Woo-hoo!  I had 3 hives left going into winter and swore that if I couldn't get them to winter over, I was calling it quits.  I left plenty of honey on them and didn't feed syrup, and in early February I did what has been suggested by others, and put a 15 watt bulb in each.  It was humorous to walk through the backyard in the dead cld of winter and see the glow coming from the little entrances.  But wouldn't you know?  Now that the weather is turning, these hives are buzzing like crazy!  Even in good years, I've never had over-wintered hives this strong so early in the season.  The maples and pears and forsythia are in full bloom, and I wonder what kind of honey they make.   :?   Yeah, I'm putting more supers on this week to start building up the crop.

The past few years, in the weird late winters and springs with the frequent warm spells and cold snaps, I've lost so many hives due to them trying to keep brood warm when the weather turns bad.  Even with lots of food left in the hive.  I think these little bulbs have been the single cost effective tool to get the hives through winter.  Besides making sure they got enough to eat.

-- Kris
 

Offline JP

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Re: Hive-o-laterns
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2009, 12:41:53 AM »
Glad things are working out for you Kris, would hate to see you give up on the best hobby in the world.

Good to see you posting again!


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Offline steveb

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Re: Hive-o-laterns
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2009, 02:01:09 PM »
Where did you place the light? Only in February? Did the light run 24 hours per day or just at night?

Sounds like an interesting way to slightly warm the hive.

Offline Robo

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Re: Hive-o-laterns
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2009, 03:30:18 PM »
Kris,

Glad things worked out for you..  I'm a firm believer in power of supplemental heat.
"Opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison



Offline contactme_11

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Re: Hive-o-laterns
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2009, 03:53:38 PM »
Where did you place the light? Only in February? Did the light run 24 hours per day or just at night?

Sounds like an interesting way to slightly warm the hive.

I'd be interested in more info as well. Would'nt the light and heat cause early brood raising as well?

Offline Hethen57

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Re: Hive-o-laterns
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2009, 04:02:15 PM »
Seems like you could put some metal screen over the hole in your inner cover and somehow insulate the bulb within a shallow super.  I'll be interested to hear what she did, as "wintering" my bees has been my biggest concern.
-Mike
-Mike

Offline Robo

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Re: Hive-o-laterns
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2009, 05:01:02 PM »
"Opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison



Offline Hethen57

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Re: Hive-o-laterns
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2009, 06:19:06 PM »
Thanks Robo, that makes alot more sense to take advantage of the heat rising...I just didn't think you could fit the bulbs in the 3/4" space above the bottom board...but that would probably work best.
-Mike

Offline Kris^

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Re: Hive-o-laterns
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2009, 08:23:48 AM »
Robo is the one who gave me my inspiration.  I simplified the setup, using just one 15 watt instead of 2 7-watters.  And I just wired a socket on the end of a lamp cord and slid it in.  The slimmer bulbs slide in without much trouble.  I've had two burn out over the months, but just slide the assembly out, replace it, and push it back in.  And yes, the heat apparently does promote rainsing early brood, but I think that's part of the benefit.    I've put three supers on each and am beginning to watch for swarms.   :)

-- Kris
 

Offline Hethen57

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Re: Hive-o-laterns
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2009, 01:22:04 PM »
Kris, did you need to use a special bottom board or lift the hive body somehow to provide clearance for the light? 
-Mike
-Mike

Offline Kris^

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Re: Hive-o-laterns
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2009, 09:57:34 PM »
On one of them I had to lift the box a little to get the bulb through the entrance, because that bulb was a little rounder than the others.  Once they were inside, clearance was no problem.

-- Kris

 

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