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Author Topic: Solar Ventilators  (Read 3535 times)
weBEE Jammin
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« on: October 18, 2009, 08:37:58 PM »

I started using solar ventilators on some of my hives this year and have seen an increase in honey on those hives. Is anyone else using them, and what changes have you seen?
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qa33010
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« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2009, 09:50:08 PM »

   What are they??? huh
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Everyone said it couldn't be done. But he with a chuckle replied, "I won't be one to say it is so, until I give it a try."  So he buckled right in with a trace of a grin.  If he had a worry he hid it and he started to sing as he tackled that thing that couldn't be done, and he did it.  (unknown)
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« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2009, 09:58:35 PM »

I started using solar ventilators on some of my hives this year and have seen an increase in honey on those hives.

How many hives?  How do you know it was the ventilators and not a better year for nectar?
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weBEE Jammin
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« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2009, 10:22:05 PM »

They are boxes with a fan mounted in them to circulate the air thru the hive, and powered by solar.
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weBEE Jammin
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« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2009, 10:38:46 PM »

I placed the ventilators on 2 of 9 hives in one area, and they produced the most honey w/ healthier bees.  It also helps dry the honey, moisture and cool the hives in the summer. This gives the bees more time to gather more honey, so they do not have to fan the honey, brood and pests.
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stoyanovs
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« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2009, 03:16:29 AM »

I started using solar ventilators on some of my hives this year and have seen an increase in honey on those hives. Is anyone else using them, and what changes have you seen?

Can you please share a photo?
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Robo
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« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2009, 06:26:36 AM »

Can you please share a photo?


Here is an example

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"Opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison


weBEE Jammin
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« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2009, 01:01:18 PM »

I was not able to post a picture yet because I am a new member. Mine are similar to the picture from Robo. They have 4" axial fans mounted on the bottom of the box, with screened damper vents on the end, powered by a 5A solar panel mounted high, and a temp switch that comes on at 90' F. It sure saves time for the bees to scavage for more honey & pollen. It helps dry out the moisture in the honey, and the girls do not have to spend all their time fanning the entrance and brood.
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« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2009, 01:35:23 PM »

You now have full rights to post pictures and links...
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"Opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison


BeeHopper
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« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2009, 02:16:18 PM »

At $120.95, I would be reluctant to buy one  Undecided I probably could make a cheaper version just as well. Please let us know how long it takes for such a unit to pay for itself per hive. I have no doubts that it is an effective piece of equipment in the area of hive ventilation, but bees have been doing it for eons and that's good enough for me.  grin
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weBEE Jammin
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« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2009, 12:14:41 PM »

You could build one pretty cheap with a few wood working skills. The cooling fan is one just like computer uses. The solar cell can be an old electric fence charger, and a temp switch to turn on at a certain temp can be purchased cheap at an electronic store. Cut out and Mount the fan and air dampers, then you are good to go. You have to be dedicated to your ladies to go through this much work to help them out.
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weBEE Jammin
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« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2009, 09:41:19 PM »

Beehopper, do you know a dealer that sells the solar ventilators? I am going to try and purchase or build at least one a year for my hives.
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BeeHopper
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« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2009, 02:21:08 AM »

Beehopper, do you know a dealer that sells the solar ventilators? I am going to try and purchase or build at least one a year for my hives.


The only place I know of : http://www.beecoolventilators.com/products.php
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weBEE Jammin
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« Reply #13 on: October 25, 2009, 03:14:58 PM »

Thank you BeeHopper, that is exactly what my first ventilator looks like. It also tells all the advantages it does for your bees and honey production.
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weBEE Jammin
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« Reply #14 on: October 29, 2009, 07:15:20 PM »

Is there any type of solar heaters, or plans to make one, to help the bees during the cold winters? Something like a heat tape or wrap that can be powered by the sun? My girls work hard enough already, I could help warm them in the winter time!
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weBEE Jammin
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« Reply #15 on: November 01, 2009, 11:40:54 AM »

I might add that I pull the ventilators off for the winter, and only use them in the heat of the summer. I also keep my screened bottom boards open all year for circulation.
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hankdog1
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« Reply #16 on: November 02, 2009, 02:57:25 AM »

Interesting little gadget there.  I suspect that you might be seeing more honey because it's ripening faster.  Wonder when someone is gonna come up with a machine that will email us a mite count, tell us when to super, and when to rob.  I sure hope someone is working on an iphone app for that lol.
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Take me to the land of milk and honey!!!
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« Reply #17 on: November 02, 2009, 04:35:19 AM »

webee jammin

Robo is doing some really cool stuff

check out this topic of robos or search "supplemental heat"

http://forum.beemaster.com/index.php/topic,11721.0.html

I am going to tamper with solar hive heating.  Not electrical heating but thermal.  I have no delusions of grandeur but I want to see what happens.

http://forum.beemaster.com/index.php/topic,25350.0.html

I have found a better way to gain solar heat than I had imagined in the posted link above.

check this out.

http://www.engadget.com/2007/04/30/diy-solar-heater-constructed-with-aluminum-cans/

and search you tube
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« Reply #18 on: November 02, 2009, 04:42:53 AM »

this is the link I ment to give you

http://greenterrafirma.com/solar-air-heating.html
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« Reply #19 on: November 02, 2009, 07:25:58 AM »

this is the link I ment to give you

http://greenterrafirma.com/solar-air-heating.html


Very cool.  I can see a soda can array sucking cold air from the bottom entrance  grin   Keep us posted on your experiment....
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"Opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison


weBEE Jammin
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« Reply #20 on: November 02, 2009, 08:49:21 PM »

Great ideas.! I think I will try and build an aluminum can heater to try myself. I will try to add axial fans to force the air through. I'm like Robo and like to build things to help my ladies out. Thanks guys and gals.
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« Reply #21 on: November 02, 2009, 11:54:33 PM »

I have several ideas and one is having a small can heater hang on front of hive instead of on top.  I am not sure where to put the intake though unless through the inner cover hole and out the entrance like you say.  I think if one did circulate the air that way one could also make the device a dehumidifier as well and have some type of weep hole. 

We'll see what happens I guess.  So many ideas, so little time.
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The moment a person forms a theory, his imagination sees in every object only the traits which favor that theory

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weBEE Jammin
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« Reply #22 on: November 04, 2009, 08:06:55 PM »

I usually drill a 3/4' hole in the fronts of my hive bodies and supers for better air movement and entrance for the upper boxes. I guess that could be used as the inlets on top, since hot air rises. I can't wait to start building. Tell me about your results.
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rdy-b
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« Reply #23 on: November 04, 2009, 08:22:37 PM »

I have seen these used on hive tops - http://store.sundancesolar.com/ststsove.html   cheesy RDY-B
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weBEE Jammin
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« Reply #24 on: November 05, 2009, 09:59:24 AM »

Those are more economical! I am going to try one of the plastic ones for $60 + shipping. They seam simple and easy installation in a 5" diameter hole. Have you talked to anyone using them about results or how well they work? They say they have to be in direct sunlight to work, so not on cloudy days. Thanx rdy-b.
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rdy-b
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« Reply #25 on: November 06, 2009, 12:58:04 AM »

my take on the hole thing is -i could understand the need for venting if there was a moisture problem-and like you say -it takes a sunyday for the solar vents to work-someone got a deal on this vents and they got a large portion of the bee club to buy also and the price went down with the larger order-seams to me also that you need a teliscopic top for these to work best -my tops are all migratory - Smiley RDY-B
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weBEE Jammin
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« Reply #26 on: November 07, 2009, 09:09:53 PM »

It also gives the girls more time for foraging instead of spending their life fanning the hive on the porch on scorching hot days. I also heard it helps control beetles and wax moths.
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weBEE Jammin
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« Reply #27 on: November 10, 2009, 10:05:31 PM »

rdy-b, do the bees not propolise your migratory tops and seal off the air movement through your hives? That would be another reason to try a ventilator?
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rdy-b
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« Reply #28 on: November 10, 2009, 11:01:21 PM »

they do a good job with the propollies seal -when it is left to the bees they do a very technical-central air system moving
air in and out of the hive -to maintain temp and humidity-they bring in the right amount of moisture-and evaporate the right amount depending on there needs-they do a balancing act to maintain the colony environment they need for conditions present -cant help but think sometimes our best intentions upset the balance-remember rule #1 let the Bees be Bees-I suppose a case could be made that if conditions are overwhelming-(such as moisture ) that the solar vents help restore that balance but so will a Popsicle stick wedged under the lid  cheesy Wink RDY-B
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« Reply #29 on: November 11, 2009, 07:34:23 AM »

they do a good job with the propollies seal -when it is left to the bees they do a very technical-central air system moving air in and out of the hive -to maintain temp and humidity-they bring in the right amount of moisture-and evaporate the right amount depending on there needs-they do a balancing act to maintain the colony environment they need for conditions present -cant help but think sometimes our best intentions upset the balance-remember rule #1 let the Bees be Bees

Amen....

I've been observing a lot of feral survivor colonies over the years,  and I have yet to find one that isn't sealed up as tight as can be.  If heat and humidity retention was not important to them,  why would they go through all the effort?   Some of the strongest colonies I have seen have been ferals.  I think sometimes we need to step back and learn from the bees instead of always thinking we know what is best for them Lips Sealed
« Last Edit: November 12, 2009, 06:21:48 PM by Robo » Logged

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weBEE Jammin
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« Reply #30 on: November 12, 2009, 06:20:05 PM »

That enforces the saying- "Bees do what bees want to do, when bees want to do it!"
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