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Author Topic: How do you hurrican-proof a hive?  (Read 5180 times)
Apis629
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« on: May 18, 2005, 06:01:17 PM »

I live on the western side of Florida near Tampa Bay.  My main concern about beekeeping is losing a hive if Florida has as bad a hurricane season as the last one.  I've built and sealed a wooden 2 by 4 base for the hive which I have anchored into the ground with 2 wires connected to 2 concreate anchors 2 Ft. underground (Did I use the number 2 enough times in there? Cheesy )  Anyways in the event of a hurricane I plan to use a cargo securing strap (the ones with the ratchet action) and tighten the entire hive, cover to stand, together and the stand is held down with the anchores I mentioned earlier.  The hive is protected from strong winds in the south and west and by weaker winds from the east( The south and west are protected by a re-enforced cinderblock building and the east is protected by a wooden 1 by 4 fence).  The hive enterence faces east.  I waas just wondering if anyone else had any hurricane-proofing ideas from experiance or guesses.   Thanks.
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Jay
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« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2005, 06:05:35 PM »

10' underground bunker? shocked  I've seen some of that footage on the news and I think if a house flys by and hits your hives, it won't matter how deep you put the concrete ancors! wink
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Apis629
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« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2005, 07:35:24 PM »

I'm pretty sure the house won't fly by.  It stood through every hurricane since 1973.  Anyways the inner and outer walls are made of cinderblock re-enforced with rebar and poured cement.  And as I said, I'm on the west side of Florida.  Over here we experience fewer hurricanes than the east and they usually weaken because they have to cross over almost 200 miles of land.
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Miss Chick-a-BEE
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« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2005, 08:50:36 PM »

You probably managed to think of everything. I live in central Georgia, and this last hurricane season we had some pretty bad storms. I did nothing different for my hives, and the bees just stayed in from the rain, and I had no problems. I did loose some roofing on our greenhouse though from the winds. I'm sure our storms aren't as bad, but they were bad enough here that an old building in town blew down, some trees were blown over (roots and all), had flooding, and branches that took down lots of power lines. But the hives I guess are low enough to the ground, and compact, so nothing happened.

Beth
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Apis629
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« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2005, 09:26:18 PM »

Ok.  It looks like the hurricane season may be just as bad this year.   It doesn't start until June 1st but there's already a Tropical Storm (T.S. Adrian) headed to a possible 80 miles from Key West. http://baynews9.com/TropicalUpdate.html">http://baynews9.com/TropicalUpdate.html  I'm not very good at links so I hope this works.
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Miss Chick-a-BEE
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« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2005, 09:30:02 PM »

I did read just recently (last day or two) that this hurricane season will be worse than usual. Keep us updated on how it goes.

Beth
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SherryL
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« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2005, 02:56:34 PM »

Sounds like the "weakest link" in your system is the straps - not sure how well they would fair.  We have a home in Naples, so I feel your pain - we had only tree damage last year, but having lost a home in a tornado before I can tell you, if it's going to happen, it's going to happen.

If a hurricane were coming, and you suspected a direct or near direct hit, I think I'd devise a way to move my hives into a garage or something temporarily, just till the storm passed.
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Apis629
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« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2005, 03:16:00 PM »

In more detail the bolts in the anchor are eye bolds with a safe working load each of 225 pounds.  The rope that conects them to the base the hive will be standing on has a safe work load of 250 pounds each and the straps have  a safe working load of 300 pounds.  I hope that with the wind protection this should be enough as long as I don't get a tornado like you.  And yeah I do suppose that if we have a hurrican with a 20Ft+ storm surge of a catagory 3 or even a strong category 2 I probably would attempt to move the hive into the garage. (Garage has poured concreate sides with re-enforced walls of cinderblock, cement and rebar.  The door is bolted to the floor with 2 steel shafts that can withstand the impact of a category 4 hurricane. i.e. 200-254m.p.h.)
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BigRog
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« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2005, 06:21:34 PM »

Something I hadn't thought of but We got hit hard here with isabell.
Might have to put them in the shed.
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Horns Pure Honey
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« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2005, 11:02:58 PM »

Make a big cylinder with no top or bottom and stck it over your hives and do a cross pattern of 2 straps. The cylinder will knock down wind resistance and the straps will keep the cylinder and the hives down. Without the top the bees can fly out if nice. Only use them when a storm is comming though.  Cheesy
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Ryan Horn
Apis629
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« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2005, 10:18:54 AM »

Wow...that's sounds like a cool idea, but, how should I get a cilender that big?
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Jay
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« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2005, 10:54:48 AM »

You can get sono tubes in all different sizes for the construction trade. Biggest ones I've seen are 4 foot diameter.
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Apis629
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« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2005, 11:16:47 AM »

Ok...that sounds good!
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Horns Pure Honey
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« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2005, 08:07:54 PM »

The tubes will work great due to they are a strong plastic. It is funny that you all like it becuase that idea came right off the top of my head! Cheesy
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Ryan Horn
Apis629
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« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2005, 06:37:06 PM »

I'm happy now! Cheesy The tropical storm crossing Mexico died today!
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« Reply #15 on: July 11, 2006, 09:04:26 PM »

DO NOT USE STRETCH WRAP!! Cheesy

We used that last year in preparation for Wilma (SW Fla).  We stapled down the lids and stretch-wrapped pallets.    We only lost one box, and the eye went right over many of our yards...

-BUT-

We lost over 1k hives because many bees became confused by the stretch-wrap (we did burn flight holes with a torch) and expired underneath it.  This led to a SHB outbreak that wreaked-havoc.

This year our strategy will be:
1. Place pallets on 1-2 lg 4way pallets (the kind you see laying around everywhere).  -- In case of flooding.
2. Strap/band each row (2) of hives to the entire stack of pallets (Crosswise, not Lengthwise).  -- In case of high-winds... holds lids on and keeps boxes from flying.
3. Use entrance reducers.  --In case of driving rain (I lost 200 hives one year to driving rains associated with a hurricane, that went in the bottom board entrance, and soaked the bees/brood).

Good Luck
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TwT
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« Reply #16 on: July 11, 2006, 10:41:21 PM »

when one is coming, bring them to me in north east Ga. Ill keep them for you........just think what you got in the hives and what you will spend on gas, OK don't think about gas, it might be the same cheesy .... I would have to get them out of there were ever you bring them!!!!!! but if you live in the middle of Florida, anchor them down, you stand a better chance a tree falling on them than a house in the middle of the state.....
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« Reply #17 on: July 11, 2006, 10:55:48 PM »

Move out of Florida.
As another Florida person. My wife has learned much to her unhappiness that the hives will get sealed and either moved to my sisters or moved into the house. It has to be a weak hurricane for that. I don't want to be in the house with the house collapsing on the bees.  The bees will go in the second bedroom. The bees will do fine for up to 48 hours sealed in their hives.
After that they will go back in the yard and help clean up the by carring off all the small branches (okay maybe not that part).

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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« Reply #18 on: July 12, 2006, 10:13:08 AM »

by sealed i hope you mean with screen and not "air tight' and hopefully into an airconditioned room just in case a few find an escape Wink

ps  i would gladly consider GA, how much space is available nearby?  we'll be looking at 3k-5k hives down here this year.  might fill up a back-yard rather quickly  evil
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« Reply #19 on: July 12, 2006, 10:29:38 AM »

Air conditioning isn't really on option during a hurricane. Power goes out, no AC. I have a backup generator but I will not run until the winds die down and the debris is off the generator and things are safe. Usually that means 24 hours.

By sealed I mean the entrances are closed. I have a screened bottom board on all my hives. It means they will get air but they will be cranky after all is said and done.

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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Apis629
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« Reply #20 on: July 12, 2006, 03:57:01 PM »

Wow...over a year ago and the thread is STILL active.  I'd say I learned my lesson about what to do durring hurricanes.  Get them to high ground and tie them down.  Unfortunately, half of my hives are about 7 inches above a little river.  I have them stacked on double cinderblocks but, my guess is that they're moving to the garage if a big one comes.
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