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Author Topic: New screen bottom board design  (Read 12794 times)
gaucho10
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« on: February 04, 2010, 05:55:31 PM »

OK folks...I have finished my new design of SBB which includes a removable upper screen tray for easy "dead bee" cleaning, has the regular varroa mite tray and is adaptable for my heating system tray.

http://yfrog.us/jysbbnewvideo2410z
« Last Edit: February 04, 2010, 06:23:41 PM by gaucho10 » Logged

My favorite comedy program used to be Glenn Beck--The only thing is that after I heard the same joke over and over again it became BOOOORING.....

People who have inspired me throughout my life---Pee-wee Herman, Adolph Hitler, George W. Bush, Glenn Beck.
Notice I did not say they were people who I admire !!!
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« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2010, 06:24:51 PM »

WOW!

For a guy that couldn't post a photo a couple of months ago to an awesome video now.  Nice job.  cheer

Looks like your getting as bad as me with your experiments too....  I like it...  I think the 9 watts will work well or you and I like the fact that the screen prevents the dead bees from falling on the heating element,  though your cord distributes the 9 watts over a larger area, unlike my night lights, so dead bees on it probably wouldn't be an issue anyway.

Thanks for sharing.... when will you have them for sale banana devil




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gaucho10
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« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2010, 06:33:12 PM »

Robo,

While you posted here I was in the process of correcting something in my post.  I am still having a hard time with the UL.  This was the 8th. or 9th, time.  I guess 10MB is a bit too big but I managed.  I didn't have a chance to discuss this so far but on the video I said 3Watts as opposed to 9 Watts.  I know that I can't speak English too well grin  it has something to do with that Bostonian accent.  Anyways...On my webpage I posted my original heat tape design but that was strictly for this season.  That design slides right over the SBB and it could get loaded with dead bees, etc.  This new design should take care of that but I wont find out until next winter.
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My favorite comedy program used to be Glenn Beck--The only thing is that after I heard the same joke over and over again it became BOOOORING.....

People who have inspired me throughout my life---Pee-wee Herman, Adolph Hitler, George W. Bush, Glenn Beck.
Notice I did not say they were people who I admire !!!
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« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2010, 07:22:24 PM »

Looks interesting, thanks for posting your creation.
3 watts per foot with 10 foot heat tape is a tad over 9 watts for the total length.
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« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2010, 10:13:26 PM »

Nice Job !! Rich. You have been busy this winter. That SBB is the King of multi purpose management boards. I guess for the summer you will have to make a water feature that doubles as A/C huh ?  grin Nice to see your experiments, so keep it up.
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gaucho10
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« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2010, 10:40:37 PM »

Sparky,

Don't push me or I will have to make it grin

I did not have time for the A/C but I did finish the "FORCED HOT WATER" system last week. evil



Just kidding....it is actually 20 ft. of heat tape running from one hive to the other.  The electric pipe is to keep the heat tape dry.  If I was running heat tape on a water pipe I would be insulating OVER the heat tape to maintain the heat.  In this case I just want to keep the tape dry.   It produces 3 Watts per foot of heat tape.  That's 20 ft. X 3W = 60 Watts of power for 3 hives.  Some people might think that it is too much electricity but I have been using a 50W lamp to keep my pond filtering system pipes from freezing for the past four years.  This is deffinitely cheaper and I don't have to keep a 50W lightbulb in a box grin
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My favorite comedy program used to be Glenn Beck--The only thing is that after I heard the same joke over and over again it became BOOOORING.....

People who have inspired me throughout my life---Pee-wee Herman, Adolph Hitler, George W. Bush, Glenn Beck.
Notice I did not say they were people who I admire !!!
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« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2010, 08:13:11 AM »

It looks like you got it going on.  In case you hadn't thought of this before - exterior grade rope lights make a good economical source of low level heat.  I use them as bottom heat for seed starting.  They're cheap, weather proof, and available right off the shelf.  You would probably have to do something to keep the light from bothering the bees, although some colors might not any way - red maybe.

They would also look festive on your hives. grin
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« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2010, 09:48:26 AM »

David LaFerney,

Sorry but I can't do that.....My bees are non-Christian cool
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My favorite comedy program used to be Glenn Beck--The only thing is that after I heard the same joke over and over again it became BOOOORING.....

People who have inspired me throughout my life---Pee-wee Herman, Adolph Hitler, George W. Bush, Glenn Beck.
Notice I did not say they were people who I admire !!!
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« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2010, 10:29:19 PM »

The thing I like about the heat tape vs light bulbs in this case is that you are not introducing light that may cause the bees to cover the source with propolis. I guess that you could also put some sort of a heat sink above to block the light if you use the rope lights as David suggested.
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gaucho10
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« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2010, 12:36:17 AM »

I am not an expert in "introduced" heating.  This is only an experiment on my part.  I never before used heat in a hive.  So far it seems that it is working properly.  Since 2008 I have been using IPM and this was something I wanted to check out.  I know that there are other people doing this but I don't exactly know what type of material or equipment they are using nor do I know their results.  I read about the light bulb use and I just happened to have the "heat tape" in-hand so I decided to try it.  Holyday lights might work just as well.  I am also not concerned with the amount of electric use.  This is a small operation I have here and if this can help my bees stay well through the winter I can get them started strong in the spring and get some "splits".  Last two seasons I started out with all new equipment and my bees spent a lot of energy and food drawing out new comb so my honey production was low.  Hopefully this spring they will take off strong if Mother Nature allows it.  I have only 3 hives right now and my plan is to stay with 6-9 hives max.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2010, 07:55:39 AM by gaucho10 » Logged

My favorite comedy program used to be Glenn Beck--The only thing is that after I heard the same joke over and over again it became BOOOORING.....

People who have inspired me throughout my life---Pee-wee Herman, Adolph Hitler, George W. Bush, Glenn Beck.
Notice I did not say they were people who I admire !!!
gaucho10
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« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2010, 12:42:08 AM »

Sparky,

Another point that I forgot to mention is that if you plan to use some form of extra heat (light bulbs, heat tape, etc.) you will probably do it only during the cold weather.  Here in NE bees don't do much propolizing during the cold weather.  They are too bussy trying to stay warm.  But as Robo stated previously, and I agree, is the fact that with my "new" SBB the heat tape (or light) stays underneath the screen.  The most that could happen is that you get some wax droppings on the tape.  The temperature does not go any higher than 50 deg. F so it won't burn.  Also, the heat tape is on a galvanized 1/2" screen so most of the stuff will continue to fall to the bottom tray.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2010, 07:57:23 AM by gaucho10 » Logged

My favorite comedy program used to be Glenn Beck--The only thing is that after I heard the same joke over and over again it became BOOOORING.....

People who have inspired me throughout my life---Pee-wee Herman, Adolph Hitler, George W. Bush, Glenn Beck.
Notice I did not say they were people who I admire !!!
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« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2010, 07:27:42 AM »

In the 5+ years I've been using light bulbs, I have not experienced any issues.  I've never had the bees attempt to block or avoid the light in any way. Not only have I seen the bees actually cluster around the lights when it is really cold,  but it is not uncommon for the queen to move right down to the bottom of the frames directly over the light to start laying.   I'm not trying to say heat tape or light ropes don't have their advantages,  but just want to put to bed the myth about light being an issue. The one advantage of the night lights is I can outfit a hive for less than $2.  I don't think you can come anywhere close to that with the heat tape/rope lights. When your doing more than a couple hives,  cost adds up quickly.




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gaucho10
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« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2010, 08:06:23 AM »

Robo,  do you keep the lights on 24/7 during the winter?  Did you ever measure any heat difference/change with the use and without the use of the light?  I did not have a chance to experiment too much with my bees this year because I started late in the season and I did not want to disturb them.  I did manage to find a warm(er) day in the Fall where I was able to SLIDE my new ventilated inner cover over one of the hives.  I also did manage to install the heat tapes into all three hives with minimal disturbance to the hives.  Next Fall I will be better prepared to take better stats on my experiments/hobby grin
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My favorite comedy program used to be Glenn Beck--The only thing is that after I heard the same joke over and over again it became BOOOORING.....

People who have inspired me throughout my life---Pee-wee Herman, Adolph Hitler, George W. Bush, Glenn Beck.
Notice I did not say they were people who I admire !!!
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« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2010, 08:41:29 PM »

Rich, you and Robo live way north of me and I can see more of a need to have supplemental heat of some sort with the kinds of winters that you guys experience. This year has dumped a bunch more snow on us than normal. If I would put heat in my hives it would be ambient controlled to turn on only when needed. My closest hives to a power source is about 75 yards away and I do not see me digging up the yard to run electric to those hives when the other locations are much farther away and they might feel left out and go on strike.  Wink If I ever put heat in them it will have to be solar and I don't have to tell you the expenses in setting that up to provide heat even when the sun is down. I am intrigued by both yours, Rich and Robo's experiments though. That been said I would like to ask Robo a couple of questions. (1) How long on average do the 7W bulbs last ? (2) Is that first picture what you would put in each hive, the 14W pair ? (3) In the lower picture I am a little confused about what I am looking at. Is the red colored board the bottom board and the way it is shown in the picture the way it is installed with the aluminum plate facing up ?
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gaucho10
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« Reply #14 on: February 06, 2010, 09:13:29 PM »

Sparky,

Not to complicate matters but back in the late 60's and early 70's I used to read and play around with photovoltaic, wind and solar power.  I have actually built a wind mill out of a 55 gal. drum and roller bearings.  It could produce enough electricity to charge a small battery.  I was always interested in harnessing wind and solar power but it was not cost effective.  I did it just for fun.  Technology has come a long ways since then and prices will come down to make it worthwile eventually.  This summer I am thinking on building a "small scale" hot water heater.  There are several pages on the WEB that explain the system but the cheapest plans I found so far require a small investment of about $2,000.  Most of these plans are for heating HOME hot water where the tanks are indoors.  I am interested in heating a small hole in the ice on my outdoor koi (fish) pond to keep it open for gas exchange (Ammonia). Presently I am using a small underwater pump that keeps the water moving thus keeps it from freezing.  My plan is to use a 4' x 8' insulated box with pipes.  If I can come up with something for my pond I might extend it to work on my bee hives.
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My favorite comedy program used to be Glenn Beck--The only thing is that after I heard the same joke over and over again it became BOOOORING.....

People who have inspired me throughout my life---Pee-wee Herman, Adolph Hitler, George W. Bush, Glenn Beck.
Notice I did not say they were people who I admire !!!
gaucho10
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« Reply #15 on: April 14, 2010, 07:15:24 AM »

Soooory for the delay folks!!!   I got your email Sparky, I just could not answer due to computer crashes!!!

Here are my results:

      1.  Out of all initial three hives I lost my #2 hive , FIRST LOSS EVER!!!!  Hive #2 was my weakest hive right from the begining of the cold weather.  I knew this from the start.  Several things happened here.  First of all I found several small clusters of dead bees when I finally opened up the hive several weeks ago.  There was plenty of honey but "0" (zero) pollen on the frames.  The bees did not die with their heads into the cells.  They just died on the surface.  The major cluster was found on the bottom deep brood chamber with a small amount of honey remaining on the edges of some frames.
Here is my reasoning for the loss:  To start off with I think they died due to the lack of pollen for brood development.  Also, when I installed my (VIC) ventilated inner cover I did it during the winter, on a mild day, I did it quickly (10-15 seconds) but I could have caused a lot of heat loss in the process.  When I did the VIC exchange that was the first time I noticed the first small cluster of dead bees on the top deep brood chamber.  Live bees were coming up to investigate as I was doing the changeover so the hive was alive then.  All three hives originally had one 20 ft. heat coil going from hive to hive.  After a couple of days I managed to finish my single 10 ft. length heat coil which I installed inside of hive #2.  So hive #2 had its own 10 ft. heat coil.  During this process I might have also caused some heat loss through the bottom.  My new design of screened bottom board allows for the insertion of the heat tape without disturbing the bees.  I did not have one built at the time.

     2.  Hive #1 and #3 had the original heat coil that was installed earlier in the fall.  When I installed the heat coil in hive #2 I did not have to disturb hive #1 and #3 therefore they did not loose much heat during the installation process.  As soon as the warmer days arrived here a few weeks back I removed the heat coil going to both hives.  By this time the average day temps were in the 60's and night temps above freezing.  I did not have to remove the heat coils but I was in the process of cleaning out the hives and inspecting so I just did not replace them.  Next Fall I will have individual heat coils for at least 4 hives and new design screened bottom boards.

On March 15 th. I noticed the first signs of pollen coming in to the hives.  Both hives #1 & #3 are going strong at present.  Both queens are laying well.

So the moral of the story here is...DO NOT disturb your bees after the cold weather arrives....regarless how good your new equipment might be.  Heat loss is a NO-NO.   Also hive #2 needed pollen sub.  It was placed on top but the bees did not get to it.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2010, 07:30:21 AM by gaucho10 » Logged

My favorite comedy program used to be Glenn Beck--The only thing is that after I heard the same joke over and over again it became BOOOORING.....

People who have inspired me throughout my life---Pee-wee Herman, Adolph Hitler, George W. Bush, Glenn Beck.
Notice I did not say they were people who I admire !!!
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« Reply #16 on: April 14, 2010, 09:55:41 AM »

3 watts per foot with 10 foot heat tape is a tad over 9 watts for the total length.
My math ain't that fuzzy... 3 x 10 = 30w, not 9.  grin

...DOUG
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gaucho10
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« Reply #17 on: April 14, 2010, 11:07:46 AM »

KD4MOJ,

The 9 watts was mentioned earlier was referring to someone else's post for the lightbulb they used if my memory serves me right.  On the package of my regulator (one of them anyway) it states that it puts out 3 Watts per foot.  Initially I had all 3 hives going on 20 ft. of coil.  That's 3 x 20 = 60 Watts.  Eventually I design one system with 10 ft. of coil as an experiment.  My experiment failed me in that I used the 10 ft. of coil on my weak hive which did not have an ample supply of food.  The other 2 hives did well on the ~6 ft. of coil each.  Next Fall I will use both systems and monitor the temperatures of each hive.  Hopefully I will have more hives to experiment with.  Some hives with two types of heat coil and a couple with no heating elements.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2010, 12:45:08 PM by gaucho10 » Logged

My favorite comedy program used to be Glenn Beck--The only thing is that after I heard the same joke over and over again it became BOOOORING.....

People who have inspired me throughout my life---Pee-wee Herman, Adolph Hitler, George W. Bush, Glenn Beck.
Notice I did not say they were people who I admire !!!
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« Reply #18 on: April 14, 2010, 12:05:24 PM »

goucho10:
Very nice work!  What are you using for your mite screen and how did you make it rigid enough to slide out like a tray?  I can barely get that hardward cloth to lay flat when I am nailing it on.  Thanks for sharing.
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-Mike
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« Reply #19 on: April 14, 2010, 12:53:38 PM »

Hethen57,

If you search this forum you will find earlier posts that I (we) were discussing in reference to my new design of screened bottom board and ventilated inner cover.  Or you can go to my website at www.beesbatsandbeyond.com and you can see some pics.  For the #8 screen I use either staples if you are going to build a simple sbb by just stapling it to your frame, or you can temporarily staple it all the way to the sides and then nail a 3/4" trim around the perimeter except for the front where the bees are going to use as a front entrance or you can use some aluminum trim around the edge of the screen and then dado a groove on the base so that you can slide the screen in and out.
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My favorite comedy program used to be Glenn Beck--The only thing is that after I heard the same joke over and over again it became BOOOORING.....

People who have inspired me throughout my life---Pee-wee Herman, Adolph Hitler, George W. Bush, Glenn Beck.
Notice I did not say they were people who I admire !!!
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« Reply #20 on: April 14, 2010, 01:32:32 PM »

Thanks for the reference to your site...so it looks like you have a frame around the wire made from strips of aluminum?  How do you attach that frame to the wire?  I've tried making a frame out of wood and the thin strips of wood just don't hold up very well in our cold damp winters.   Aluminum would be much better, I just can't tell from those pictures if you sandwiched the wire between strips of aluminum or what?  Thanks.
-Mike
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gaucho10
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« Reply #21 on: April 14, 2010, 07:51:03 PM »

That's just what I did.  I took a piece of aluminum and cut it to length.  The width could be 2 times whatever thikness you want it.  I think I used 1" on one and 2" on anotherone.  I then fold it in half, put the screen into it and press together.  If you can manage keeping one long strip to go the whole perimeter of the screen thats better but you can make each side individual.  If you do each side individual you will have to either solder or use rivets.  SMALL rivets and a hammer work well.  It works for me.  I can see how wood would not hold but aluminum is stiff enough.  You can also take a thin strip and dado it using silicone to hold the screen in place.  That could be a little tricky. I like the aluminum idea.  If you use the 2" width and fold it in half it works pretty good.
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My favorite comedy program used to be Glenn Beck--The only thing is that after I heard the same joke over and over again it became BOOOORING.....

People who have inspired me throughout my life---Pee-wee Herman, Adolph Hitler, George W. Bush, Glenn Beck.
Notice I did not say they were people who I admire !!!
gaucho10
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« Reply #22 on: March 19, 2011, 10:42:41 AM »

Folks....for those who are interested......After using my single hive design of a heated screened bottom board sometime around the start of 2010  2 out of 3 of my hives made it through the winter in good health.  At the end of 2010 I designed a 4-hive screened bottom board which included a 20 ft. heat tape.  (See picture below).  Throughout the winter I kept a record on temperatures outside the hive and compared them with temperatures in-between the 4 hive bodies which were externally insulated.

I checked my four hives 3 days ago when temperatures climbed into the 60's.  Included bellow are my readings for the winter season.  All four of my hives made it through in good health with PLENTY of remaining honey and pollen.


BTW......for those who DO have moisture problems or for those who are interested....I have had NO moisture problems all winter.  No fungus growing inside or on dead bees.  I attribute this to the use of the ventilated upper cover and the screen bottom board.

Those are my thoughts...



                                   Temperature comparisons:

10/13/10   Installed all 4 hives on new base.  Temps in the 40's at night.
10/13/10   Merged hive #5 above hive #4 with newspaper.                     (D-M-M)
10/15/10   Outside temp. =  43 deg. F- Hive temp 52 deg. F.
10/17/10   Outside temp. = 50 Deg. F- Hive temp. 59 deg. F.
10/18/10   Outside temp = 35 deg. F - Hive temp. 46 deg. F.****Outside = 40 F-- Hive = 49 F
10/19/10   Outside = 33 deg. F -  Hive = 44 deg. F
11/02/10   Outside = 29 deg. F - Hive = 47 deg. F
11/03/10   Outside = 21 deg. F - Hive = 38 deg. F @ 2 AM
11/04/10   Outside = 29 deg. F - Hive = 44 deg. F @ 3 AM
11/23/10   Outside = 59 deg. F - Hive = 72 deg. F @ 3 PM
11/28/10   Outside = 25 deg. F - Hive = 41 deg. F @ 12:40 AM
11/28/10   Outside = 21 deg. F -  Hive = 36 deg. F @ 07:45 AM
12/04/10   Outside = 35 deg. F - Hive = 41 deg. F @ 9 AM
01/01/11   Outside Temp. = 52℉ - Hive Temp. = 59℉ @ 12:00 PM
01/01/11   Temperatures today at 3 PM climbed up to 56℉.
01/11/11   Outside temp. = 10℉ - Hive temp. 32℉ @ 7 AM
01/14/11   Outside temp. = 6.5℉ - Hive temp. 27℉ @ 7 PM
01/15/11   Outside temp. = -3.4℉ - Hive temp. = 16.2℉ @ 2:15 AM
01/15/11   Outside temp. = -4.1℉ - Hive temp. = 15℉ @ 3:15 AM
01/23/10   Outside temp. = -8.5℉ - Hive temp. = 11.7℉ @ 3:30 AM
02/04/11   Outside temp. = -4℉ - Hive temp. = 18℉ @ 5:50 AM   ---   Hives with approx. 3 ft. of snow all
                around.
02/11/11   Outside temp. = -6.5℉ - Hive temp. = 18℉ @ 5:40 AM
02/14/11   Outside temp. = 50℉ and bees were flying all around.
02/15/11   Outside temp. = 21℉ - Hive temp. = 36℉ @ 6:10 AM
02/17/11   Outside temp. = 37F - Hive temp. = 48F @ 9 AM
02/18/11   Outside temp. = 56F - Hive temp. = 62F @ 4:20 PM
02/22/11   Outside temp. = 9F - Hive temp. = 23F @ 7:20 AM
02/24/11   Outside temp. = 5F - Hive temp. = 22F @ 5:20 AM
02/24/11   Outside temp. = 40F - Hive temp. = 46F @ 4:00 PM
02/25/11   Outside temp. = 33F - Hive temp. 49F @ 7 AM
02/28/11   Outside temp. = 37F - Hive temp. = 50F @ 1:30 PM---cloudy/foggy/drizzle
03/05/11   Outside temp. = 51F - Hive temp. = 58F @ 2 PM.

PICS TO BE UL SOON (AFTER I FIGURE OUT HOW) rolleyes

« Last Edit: March 21, 2011, 02:28:03 AM by gaucho10 » Logged

My favorite comedy program used to be Glenn Beck--The only thing is that after I heard the same joke over and over again it became BOOOORING.....

People who have inspired me throughout my life---Pee-wee Herman, Adolph Hitler, George W. Bush, Glenn Beck.
Notice I did not say they were people who I admire !!!
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« Reply #23 on: March 19, 2011, 11:01:00 AM »



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My favorite comedy program used to be Glenn Beck--The only thing is that after I heard the same joke over and over again it became BOOOORING.....

People who have inspired me throughout my life---Pee-wee Herman, Adolph Hitler, George W. Bush, Glenn Beck.
Notice I did not say they were people who I admire !!!
BlueBee
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« Reply #24 on: March 19, 2011, 04:56:22 PM »

Guacho10, I just stumbled upon this thread.  I love experimenting and hence loved your work.  

I used electric heat on some small nucs this winter and they all survived.  A couple were only 2 to 3 medium frames.  I used power resistors potted in cement for my heat source.  Un potted, the resistors reach 180F, potted they get to 100F.

My hive temps were much warmer than youre reporting; they probably never got under 40F and were usually in the 60s inside.  Outside we got down to -6F.  The bees didnt eat any more than 1 medium frame of honey all winter and did not brood up early.  However I did have a problem.  The warmer temps were also good for wax moths.  I was out killing wax moths in the snow!  

I had used a bottom heater box similar to what you described but Im redesigning that now.  The problem I found was the wax moths would go under the #8 mesh and multiply where the bees couldnt get to them.  Some wax moths would even live on the wax capping that fell thru.  I would imagine a similar problem would occur in SHB country.

Thanks for sharing your work, very interesting.  

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« Reply #25 on: March 19, 2011, 07:21:48 PM »

BlueBee,
Thanks for the come-back.

<I used electric heat on some small nucs this winter and they all survived.  A couple were only 2 to 3 medium frames.>

WOW!!! That is interesting.  Small hives that survived!!!

<I used power resistors potted in cement for my heat source.  Un potted, the resistors reach 180F, potted they get to 100F.>

Without getting too far off topic...Would you mind explaining "potted in cement"and "un potted"?  Bear in mind that myself and perhaps other readers might not be electrically charged challenged.

The heat coil I used is basically a tape for preventing frozen pipes.  To give you an idea...this tape puts out 3W/ft. and I used 20 ft. of tape.  The controller turns on at 32F and shuts off at 50F.

gaucho10
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My favorite comedy program used to be Glenn Beck--The only thing is that after I heard the same joke over and over again it became BOOOORING.....

People who have inspired me throughout my life---Pee-wee Herman, Adolph Hitler, George W. Bush, Glenn Beck.
Notice I did not say they were people who I admire !!!
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« Reply #26 on: March 19, 2011, 08:25:34 PM »

My belief is that you can over winter very small colonies if you provide for the lack of heater bees with artificial heat and/or insulation.  Next winter Im going to try to winter mini mating nucs if I can solve my wax moth problems.

I really liked your heater tape solution.  Youve got a nice elegant design with a built in controller.  A shut off temp of 50F is probably about ideal for a full sized hive.  Some of the old books claim slightly warmer temps enhance survivability with the trade off of more stores consumed.  At 50F though, you should not have to worry about wax moths.

Im a little more insulated than you are.  My hives have 2 EPS foam on all sides.  Like you, I have no moisture problems whatsoever.  Dry as a bone in there.

I was going to create a new post showing my latest batch of potted heaters and how I made them.  Until I get around to doing that, heres an earlier link talking about them and showing them before they are potted. 

http://forum.beemaster.com/index.php/topic,31071.0.html

I think I bought about 100 2watt power resistors for $1 in total.  I pot them using a bag of mortar which makes about 30 10watt heaters.  So for about $5, I have 30 heaters (10 watts each).

Potting is a term used to describe covering something with an insulating material, water proofing material, or thermal material, etc.  In this case, Im just sticking my raw power resistors (see the link) in cement molds and pouring mortar on top for the purpose of acting as a heat sink for the resistors.  Without a heat sink of some sort, the resistors surface temps get to 180F and that could catch something on fire in the hive.  When embedded in cement, the resistors still put out the same amount of heat, but the surface area is larger and dissipates more heat.  The net result is a heater with a surface temp of about 100F instead of 180F and still putting out 10 watts of heat.  Actually the surface temp is moderate enough that the dang wax moths often spin their cocoons right on the heaters!!!

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« Reply #27 on: March 19, 2011, 11:00:31 PM »

VERY NICE Rich. The sweet thing about your design is it can easily adapted to many methods of heat source such as BlueBees and more. GREAT WORK!! Wink Is the solar for just the fence charger or is it your power source for the heat also ?
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« Reply #28 on: March 20, 2011, 08:16:21 AM »

Sparky, the solar pack is for my electric fence.  Electric fence is for "skunks, coyotes and bears" OH MY!.....

But......funny you should ask......I was thinking of using solar for the same reasons as we are discussing.  NOW that BlueBee mentioned his OTHER "resistors potted in cement" idea I will have to take a look.  Just for interest sake you know  grin.

OK...now for a couple of the down-falls I had with my design...

   1.  After I placed my 4 hives together last Fall I had to insert a narrow piece of pine in-between the exterior face of the hive bodies.
        This piece was to close off the gap between the hive bodies (~3") in order to keep unwanted creatures from building a nest within
        the cavity.  I made these pieces to fit really tight in an upright position.  After this installation I would then enclose the hives with
        my exterior insulation.  It worked fine till sometime around February 15 at which time I noticed that one of those blocks had
        either fallen in or was pushed in, creating an access point.  I kept checking it once in a while to make sure that nothing was living
        in between the hive bodies.  On March 17 I took everything apart and relocated my four hives back to their original location in my
        bee yard.  This is when I noticed that a pair of field mice have accessed the platform and had actually made their way trough the
        plug that separates the cavity space from the heat tape area underneath the platform.  After removing the "slider" panels off the
        bottom I discovered a mouse nest and two residents.  Luckily I caught it in time.  The nest was recently built with hardly any
        urine or mouse droppings on the trays and none of the wires were damaged.  No critters had access to the interior of the hive
        bodies because of the #8 screened bottom.  SOMETHING TO CORRECT for next season.

      
   2.  On 12/27/10 we got a blizzard with strong winds and several feet of snow.  The winds were strong enough to remove a 4' X 4',
        1/2" piece of plywood that I had covering the four hive bodies.  This plywood was weighted down with a 3' section of 6" x 6" piece
        of lumber and four granite cobble stones.  When I discovered the problem I also noticed that two of my hives had the top
        telescopic covers blown off.  Several inches of snow managed to fill the top empty boxes I had placed ABOVE my ventilated inner
        covers.  After rectifying the problem I had thoughts that those two hives might not survive the winter.  I was wrong.  Apparently
        my (insulated) vented inner cover retained the hive heat well enough to allow them to survive.  Next year i will have to park my
        farm tractor on top   grin.  
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My favorite comedy program used to be Glenn Beck--The only thing is that after I heard the same joke over and over again it became BOOOORING.....

People who have inspired me throughout my life---Pee-wee Herman, Adolph Hitler, George W. Bush, Glenn Beck.
Notice I did not say they were people who I admire !!!
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« Reply #29 on: March 20, 2011, 09:37:17 PM »

I've been using this removable screen, and removable tray for quite some time, even has slat boards built over them.



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« Reply #30 on: March 21, 2011, 03:05:05 AM »

Bee-Bop,   that is very similar to my previous designs of the single screened bottom boards.  They work really well but I use them in the Summer season now that I built the 4-hive SBB.  I don't have one with a slated rack.  My slated racks are optional  grin
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My favorite comedy program used to be Glenn Beck--The only thing is that after I heard the same joke over and over again it became BOOOORING.....

People who have inspired me throughout my life---Pee-wee Herman, Adolph Hitler, George W. Bush, Glenn Beck.
Notice I did not say they were people who I admire !!!
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« Reply #31 on: March 21, 2011, 05:02:49 PM »

Gaucho, what are your thoughts on using solar for your heat source? 

I have thought about it, but in Michigan we dont get much sun in the winter and we dont normally get any Sun in the middle of the night when it is coldest.  I figured a passive solar system might be more effective than an active (electric) one since you lose so much efficiency converting solar radiation to electricity.  I think we get about 100 watts/sq foot of solar radiation/heat and hence you really wouldnt need a very large surface area to add a lot of watts into a hive.  100 watts of heat would be more than you even want.  I guess this is basically the idea behind the black tar wraps.

Maybe some combo of passive solar to collect daytime heat and insulation to hold it over night?   
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« Reply #32 on: March 21, 2011, 05:27:45 PM »

BlueBee,

Your ideas sound good but there is only one way to find out  grin

I am not totally sure about my electric fence output and battery storage capacity (12v).  I know that the rechargeable battery works throughout the night and it operates well over a mile of wire.

I have not started any projects yet with "solar hot water" but that was my next thought.  Perhaps using the sun's heat to heat up some water located underneath the hive bodies and insulating it till daylight.  Don't get much sun?Huh  I read somewhere that sunlight filtering through the cloud cover sometimes does work.  I don't know about that but I will be doing some research sometime in the near future.  I original started on this idea not so much for my bees but for keeping a hole opened on the ice over my pond.  A hole is needed to allow for gas exchange (Ammonia).  I saw some neat projects on the web where the storage tank was a 100-200 gal insulated tank of water being fed by a 4' x 8' solar panel made out of 1/2" copper pipe and some 90's, the whole panel covered with glass.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2011, 05:40:06 AM by gaucho10 » Logged

My favorite comedy program used to be Glenn Beck--The only thing is that after I heard the same joke over and over again it became BOOOORING.....

People who have inspired me throughout my life---Pee-wee Herman, Adolph Hitler, George W. Bush, Glenn Beck.
Notice I did not say they were people who I admire !!!
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« Reply #33 on: March 21, 2011, 09:09:47 PM »

I KNEW IT !! The talk about hot water confirms that the next upgrade was going to be the hot tub. grin When you say water I am sure you meant something with glycol so it would not freeze.
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« Reply #34 on: March 22, 2011, 06:41:22 AM »

A friend of mine had a 12' above-ground, round pool for his kids.  He also had a small shed approximately 10' away from the pool.  On the roof of the shed he built one of these solar water heaters.  This heater created enough heat to keep his pool water warmer then usual during the Spring and Fall to extend his pool use.  I think that a circulator pump of some sort is required but my friends design was simple and he did not have a circulator pump.  I take that back...I just spoke with him and he DID have to turn on a small pump to make the hot water flow.  He also had "one-way" valves along the way to prevent water from returning.  rolleyes

I'll have to do more research on THAT...

gaucho10
« Last Edit: March 22, 2011, 07:42:55 AM by gaucho10 » Logged

My favorite comedy program used to be Glenn Beck--The only thing is that after I heard the same joke over and over again it became BOOOORING.....

People who have inspired me throughout my life---Pee-wee Herman, Adolph Hitler, George W. Bush, Glenn Beck.
Notice I did not say they were people who I admire !!!
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« Reply #35 on: March 23, 2011, 05:48:14 AM »

I think that a circulator pump of some sort is required but my friends design was simple and he did not have a circulator pump.  
I take that back...I just spoke with him and he DID have to turn on a small pump to make the hot water flow.


I did some reading about solar hot water heaters and I found out that YOU DO NOT NEED a circulator pump in the warmer latitudes.  For us northerners a pump is required to make the water flow from warm to cold BUT in the warmer latitudes (above freezing) water will flow due to different density between temperatures.  Just a thought incase folks down South were wondering about "cost" savings.

gaucho10
« Last Edit: March 24, 2011, 09:55:32 AM by gaucho10 » Logged

My favorite comedy program used to be Glenn Beck--The only thing is that after I heard the same joke over and over again it became BOOOORING.....

People who have inspired me throughout my life---Pee-wee Herman, Adolph Hitler, George W. Bush, Glenn Beck.
Notice I did not say they were people who I admire !!!
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« Reply #36 on: March 24, 2011, 10:03:08 AM »

I just received my new wireless thermometers.  I bought two of them...three total.....I placed one outside for "outdoor" temperature readings. I placed another one right inside the bottom entrance, directly on top of the #8 screened bottom board (SBB).  I placed the third one on the inside of the ventilated inner cover (VIC), right on top of the center vent hole.  I also inserted a heat tape underneath the SBB.

This is my hive #2 which is composed off a medium bottom brood chamber and a deep 2nd. chamber.  The bees are occupying the bottom section of the deep chamber at this time.

Temperature readings @ 1000 hrs. were as follows:      Outside temp. = 30F
                                                                            SBB temp.      = 53F
                                                                            VIC  temp.      = 45F

Temperature readings @ 1500 hrs. were as follows:      Outside temp.  = 40F
                                                                            SBB temp.       = 59F
                                                                            VIC temp.        = 49F

Temperature readings @ o3oo hrs. were as follows:      Outside temp.   = 25F
                                                                            SBB temp.        = 48F
                                                                            VIC temp.         = 50F
« Last Edit: March 25, 2011, 03:41:37 AM by gaucho10 » Logged

My favorite comedy program used to be Glenn Beck--The only thing is that after I heard the same joke over and over again it became BOOOORING.....

People who have inspired me throughout my life---Pee-wee Herman, Adolph Hitler, George W. Bush, Glenn Beck.
Notice I did not say they were people who I admire !!!
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« Reply #37 on: March 24, 2011, 05:10:07 PM »

Gaucho, your bees are freezing out there in MA, you need to move to Michigan  grin

Nice job on the temperature readings.  Ill post my balmy bee readings shortly.
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« Reply #38 on: May 24, 2011, 02:22:57 AM »

Gaucho/

Great idea thanks for sharing!

On this picture from your site

www*beesbatsandbeyond*com/images/vic_12_resized_1-17-10_odfm*png

*=dot=.

The vent holes are blocked out with insulation. Is that right?

And only the big hole in the middle allowing air flow to where?

Is there a bottom air inlet also?




My case/
The previous year(09) I heated 4 hives with a setup using a thermostat, a dimmer switch(7W-32W) and the heating element of a cup warmer, with some flat metal as heat sink, all incorporated in a tray in the SBB.

On 2010 no heat was available and all died.


For the hole vents, I used cutouts of soffit louvers and scouring pads(!) to plug the holes to minimize drafts in the winter and rain water getting in, something similar to a ridge vent of a regular house roof.
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JP
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« Reply #39 on: May 24, 2011, 03:56:31 AM »

Some how I missed seeing this thread. How interesting your tinkerings Gaucho!

BTW bookmarked your webpage.

Have a good one and best of luck with your inventions.

Great thread!


...JP
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« Reply #40 on: May 24, 2011, 07:09:35 AM »

Thanks JP...

BLITZ,

I know that you can't post pics but I was not able to follow the link you gave me.   But I will explain...

The vent holes on my VIC (Ventilated Inner Cover) are located alongside the back and sides.  There are no vent holes in the front where the upper entrance is located.  The reason for that is because during the winter/cold months I found that the bees go out on their cleansing flights and when they return they tend to land on the front "screened" holes and die.  They don't try to find the actual top-front entrance hole.  The hole is NOT located inside the brood chamber as is the case with a regular inner cover.  The hole is actually on the inside-bottom-front of the VIC.  You can get the same results by actually inverting a regular inner cover and placing a regular empty supper on top then covering it with a telescopic cover.  I don't want to drill holes on the side of my regular suppers so I built a "one unit VIC".

Yes, the interior walls of the VIC have foam insulation sheets cut to fit tightly around the VIC.  The only hole available is in the front panel and is the size of the top-entrance hole (~3/4" X 2").  Resting on top of the wall insulation is a horizontal insulation sheet with a center hole cut into it.  This hole allows me to insert an inverted  1/2 gal. bottle of honey to feed during the winter if required.

If you are asking me if there is a "bottom inlet hole" underneath the VIC the answer is NO.  But I do have a BOTTOM ENTRANCE in my SBB (screened bottom board).

BTW...if you are interested in seeing my VIC design do a search on this webpage or go to my webpage at www.beestbatsandbeyond.com where I have instructions on DIY equipment.

I believe that by having a SBB (with the bottom tray closed during cold weather) and a VIC working together prevents moisture from remaining in the hive.  I have had totally dry hives since I started using this design in 2008.  The VIC acts as a insulation box on top of the bees.  Think of it as a three decker home, if you have them in your area  grin   The tenants on the first and third floor usually have a higher oil bill during the heating season.  The second floor usually spends less because it is insulated by the ceiling and floors of the other apartments.  Same principal here only heat rises and vents out the small 3/4" X 2" top entrance hole.  On windy days the bees do not get directly hit with the wind that usually enters through the top hole.

One other point I should mention...Some people build a VIC and fill it with moisture absorbing material such as hay.  I found that there is no reason for that since the moisture is eliminated through the small top entrance hole.

Hope that helps.

gaucho10
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My favorite comedy program used to be Glenn Beck--The only thing is that after I heard the same joke over and over again it became BOOOORING.....

People who have inspired me throughout my life---Pee-wee Herman, Adolph Hitler, George W. Bush, Glenn Beck.
Notice I did not say they were people who I admire !!!
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« Reply #41 on: May 24, 2011, 10:48:57 AM »

Gaucho/


Sorry for being pesky,I do not want to loose my girls again.



The links are from your site, the  " * " should be substituted by a dot  " . " to be useful, just working around the restrictions.



Is this pic below just an insulated jar feeder with a rear window and winter entrance?

www*beesbatsandbeyond*com/images/vic_12_resized_1-17-10_odfm.png



www*beesbatsandbeyond*com/images/vic_11_resized__1-17-10_9lf4.png


Where are the side holes in the first pic?


Are they plugged in the winter with the insulation?



The cleats seem to leave a gap between the insulation and the wood or there are fillers to go in place?


/
I had the same problem with the bees not finding the right hole to enter back in the hive, that is why I used the aluminum louvers on top of them and the scouring pads to keep other insects from nesting in the holes.



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« Reply #42 on: May 24, 2011, 01:50:45 PM »

BLITZZ,

The first pic and the second pic are the same.  One is a front view and the other is a rear view.
Here are a couple others of the VIC construction.



Uploaded with ImageShack.us




Uploaded with ImageShack.us

The original website pictures of my VIC also show the following:

1.    (my terminology) a "front porch" or alighting board, or an overhang enclosing the top entrance.  All this does is block some of the wind blowing into the hive.  It is not necessary but I thought it would help...and I think it does.

2.    What I think you call a "cleat" or border going around the top of the VIC is just an insert that goes over the top of the box.  It is about 3" tall and the lip just holds it in place over the VIC.  All that does is extend the VIC so that I can fit/invert a 1/2 gal. bottle of honey as a feed.  It is interchangeable so that I can use ALL medium boxes.  I am in the process of getting rid of all my deep supers.

3.    Inside of the VIC you can see a heavy guage wire "contraption".  All that is is a bottle holder.  Late in the winter season when the bees reach the top box and congregate on top of the frames they pretty much fill the center feed hole.  In order for me to prevent squashing any bees I built that "contraption" to keep the feed bottle just above the hole.

4.    On one of the pictures you see the top insulation installed and you can see that there is a 2-3" space above the insulation.  That space is what allows me to grab the feed bottle so that I can take it out and refill.

5.   Although you can not see any side vent holes, they ARE there...on the side.  Some of my VIC's have side holes on the side and back.  n this particular VIC I did not drill any holes in the back but I did cut out an observation window.  That window just lets me see when the bees get to the top without me having to remove the top cover.  It is nothing special...I just like to play around with things (projects).   evil    grin    huh
« Last Edit: May 24, 2011, 02:06:41 PM by gaucho10 » Logged

My favorite comedy program used to be Glenn Beck--The only thing is that after I heard the same joke over and over again it became BOOOORING.....

People who have inspired me throughout my life---Pee-wee Herman, Adolph Hitler, George W. Bush, Glenn Beck.
Notice I did not say they were people who I admire !!!
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